What to pay subcontractors?

Hi guys! What do you usually pay subcontractors when they do a job?

Here we go again

I’m new here… Sorry I haven’t read anything about it before. If you know the answer or another feed that discusses this please share it here. I haven’t been able to find a good one in my searching. So yeah, I’m just asking for help, because isn’t that what this forum is for?

I have been a 1099 twice in my career. First time was 75% and it worked out very well. Second time was 60% but I ended up having to fight with the guy all the time over what I could and couldn’t do as he had no idea how to window clean and got stupidly ridiculous jobs like 5 story brownstones, wall cleaning in a tennis center, etc. if I needed to ‘borrow’ his employee on jobs I’d only get 30%.

Subs get 10% and no more.


Wow. I want some help too.

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I was just be8ng sarcastic. We recently had a post about this that got going back and forth pretty good. I was just stirring the pot a little. Just being mischievous.

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Depends how good they are? A good window cleaner should make you $500 to $800
a day if your doing homes or even larger commercial, Phillip Alexander Owner Of SimPole
WeDewWindows and Alexanders Window Cleaning Pressure Washing

Beatings will continue until morale improves.


I would imagine 60-70 percent of the job is about right. You are supplying your own tools, ladders, truck, insurance, license, gas and paying your self employment and income tax-- that’s why I think there is leeway for 60-70 percent.

I am looking into this route, as I have many people who have their own business and just don’t like window cleaning. Or, some people i know have just too much work and want to meet the deadline and are 30 homes behind and the month is over in 3 days. 60 percent, if the job is priced right – is not a bad starting point. That way I can supplement my days I am not doing my jobs, so have work subbed out to me. Talks are in the works, piece by piece it will all come together. Just have to be ready. That’s all it is at this point. BEING READY…for some it could be a year cleaning, others 15 under your belt-- there is no “right time”-- only “your time”

I think it is a great way to generate income if you aren’t up to where you need to be for your yearly income. If you are trusted by many cleaners, I don’t see how this can be a bad thing— IF the terms are AGREED upon. I don’t care “what the guy is making”, that has no effect on me. If someone is subbing out $600 and you take home 60-70 percent of that in a day, you still have a decent day to get you going for the week. Keep in mind, you aren’t doing anything but cleaning the windows…the time spent getting the customer and all that is already done. The person subbing out does not have to supply you with anything other than the job location. The rest is on you, scheduling it for your business. Hell, the person subbing out can sit on the couch and make 30-40 percent. If the numbers aren’t right, it isn’t worth it-- so try to see what your numbers daily would be. If you are as good if not faster and more efficient than the person subbing the work out to you-- you can do well I would imagine (Well, to be fair your OWN work will generate you 100 percent of the job, compared to 60-70…but I would IMAGINE it beats an employee hourly wage!) Remember, they can chose ANYBODY to sub this work out to, they are choosing you. Making them look good is making YOURSELF look good. Be grateful someone would sub the work out to you!

If said company cleans with a 14 or an 18 squeegee, and you grab your 22 or 36…you will be done faster. Same can be said if someone is traditionally cleaning and you have a WFP with purification…you will do the job FASTER. Faster/Efficient = More money for you. QUALITY= More referrals and jobs in the future from contractors, and HAPPY CUSTOMERS. Because that’s what it’s all about, HAPPY CUSTOMERS…well, some are never happy-- let’s just say SATISFIED?..Er…

Again, everybody has different views on “what they should make”-- to each their own. One guy can charge 40-50 an hour flatrate, another can charge 8 dollars PER window-- if you are getting work subbed-- make sure you know… And map out the locations. If you are driving 15-20 minutes that’s one thing, but anything over 45 is a long trek imo…and time spent driving is still time spent “working” because the day isn’t DONE until you are home. (But just because you “got home” doesn’t mean the day is over…Then the second job starts, the book keeping, the towel washing, the squeegee changing.) An old boss once told me, “Do everything you want before you get started in this, it will be like your baby and you will work on it tirelessly to grow. Go out, have your fun…but know once you start, it doesn’t stop” He wasn’t wrong!

Remember, THE IRS are very strict when it comes to employees vs contractors-- best bet is to check with a CPA or other tax professional and make sure Uncle Sam doesn’t find the need to audit you because you are an employee and not a contractor. I have seen people in other fields (landscaping, roofing) use their bosses tools, truck, even have them schedule the jobs for them… and claim to be a 1099 independent contractor. Some are audited, you do not want to owe back taxes for years because you didn’t do your homework…and neither would the person who subbed the work out!!! Recipe for disaster. Make sure you know the laws.

We’re here in Long Beach Ca and we’ve traditionally paid 50% plus 5% performance bonus. Sales bonuses too, it they apply. And we offer Liability Ins buy-in which saves them a bunch of money.

We have pretty much small and medium businesses with some water fed. Subs tend to make about $25 to $30 an hour with this system. We like them to have a house based business of their own but some have had small routes. They sign non-competition agreements so it works out ok.

[BTW—As of Feb 2019 we’re actually looking for someone. So if you know someone in this area pass them the word].

Our last guy was here 10 years and the one before him was here 6. So I’m guessing this is workable.