Hello everyone, my name is Alex and after much time spent planning I’m looking to finally “pull the trigger” and start my business. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on here lately and am very grateful for the wealth of knowledge and information. Little about me: I’m 24, currently doing welding and fabrication work but have always wanted to start my own business. I have a little experience with consumer grade power washers (nothing more than 2700 psi) on flatwork, but no experience with houses or roofs or anything like that. I’m a quick learner, high attention to detail, and love interacting with customers so that we both win.
I’m located in San Antonio, Texas and I believe this is a great area to start a new business as competition seems minimal and the city is quite large. Driving around the nicer parts of town you see many houses that could benefit from a good washing. I have a good network in town including mentors from a few local business owners(unrelated to pressure washing).
Here is the breakdown of expenses so far(still learning excel):
I know I’m missing a few things like chem tanks and all the fittings.
As you can see I’m looking to assemble my own unit. I want to do this because I feel I can get better equipment while staying in my budget ($4000 for everything excluding the truck), and also getting to know all my equipment a little better. I plan to weld a skid together that everything will sit on in the back of the truck until I get the funds down the road for a trailer.
My current plan is as follows:
- Start working on website
- Register business with state, get IRS tax id, open bank account
- Purchase truck, equipment, business cards etc., assemble and test everything
- Wash family driveways/houses at no cost (ask them to review/like my pages) track how long it takes to do different size houses/driveways, gas use, chem use, and get more proficient in general
- Use info I gathered to get better at pricing and overall effeciency
- Extend to friends and people in network, possibly do some discounted cleanings for certain people and then go talk to all neighbors offering services and quotes
- Market with flyers, door to door, online
- Grow business and eventually move to commercial/contractual jobs
I know I blasted a lot of info out, but I’m really just excited to be honest! All feedback is appreciated and ask any questions as I’m sure there is still a lot that I missed.
Join the PWRA/WCRA for $99.00 before the special ends.
Drop the first four items. Buy a 5.5 hp honda powered unit for similar money. Spend the time saved from self-build on marketing. Thank me later.
Skip the cheap surface cleaner, buy a whisper wash 16" ( I prefer Pressuretek.com you pick your own vendor)
Buy three injectors the day you buy one.
Don’t buy red kap shirts - they turn white.
Don’t believe everything you see on line.
Congrats on deciding to start you own business.
Just going on what you have for your equipment i can recommend a few changes.
Engine: great engine dont forget to price a battery.
Pump: good choice, you may want to consider a 5.5@ 2500psi machine. More gpm mean you can clean faster. With the 5.5 you will probably need to run a small buffer tank, its not too hard to set up.
Unloader: not sure of that particular one but you can get a unloader cheaper. Call Russ at southside or the powerwash store.
Going based off the price you have listed just for the above 3 components your at $1200, and would be cheaper to buy an already built one. Also belt driven are better in the long run vs direct drive which i assume you building. The site your looking at to buy the items are higher then most, even with their free shipping.
Hose: realistically you going to want/need more than 100 ft, plus back up hose in case one breaks.
Nozzle kit: Just guessing, but the kit your about to order is for high pressure. High pressure is very damaging especially at 4k psi. Learn about soft washing and how read a nozzle chart to lower the pressure.
Surface cleaner: If you stick with the 4 gpm pump then i would not get that surface cleaner. The general rule is 4 in for every gpm so a 4 gpm machine should go with a 16in surface cleaner. The whisperwash 16in i highly recommend. I have both surface cleaners and with my 4gpm the 16 inch is better in every way.
I didnt see is if you have/created a business name and logo. If you need help with designing stuff freelancer.com and fiver are great sights to get stuff done.
For supplies you should check out southside (http://shop.pressurewasherky.us/main.sc)
powerwashstore.com and pressurtek.com, kec supplies.com
Their is a lot to learn and it takes time, if you haven’t already learn about soft washing.
Thanks Tim, but with your last line of text now I don’t know whether to believe what you said or not!
Okay, all kidding aside, I’ll take your advice to just buy an assembled unit. Looking now I’ve found a few that are still 4 GPM/4000 PSI for only a few hundred more.
Any input on these machines?
Pressure Pro 4 GPM/3500 PSI $1387
Pressure Pro 4 GPM/4000 PSI CAT pump - $1612
Pressure Tek 4 GPM/4000 PSI General pump - $1621
I’ll also go ahead and add the WhisperWash, but why three injectors? Do they wear quick or what?
Any other brands besides Red Kap that you would recommend? I just want something collared to look professional.
Go to kecsupplies. Set up an account. See if you can get a 5.5 unit. Skip the 4.
Thanks Donte, I’m going to be taking yours and Tim’s advice and just buy a complete unit. I think I can get a one similar to what I was going to build and still stay in budget.
Will add some more hose to have extra and backup as well as getting the WhisperWash 16" instead.
As far as nozzles it was my understanding that they are rated by the GPM so with a 4GPM machine I would get size 4 and then just choose a different tip or adjust unloader to get desired pressure. I definitely need to read a bit more about soft washing as that is what I assume is best to clean houses. Many houses here have brick exteriors so I know high pressure is a no go. From what I’ve
I work with a few graphic designers that have made me a logo already and I have confirmed with the Secretary of State that the name I’m seeking is available. Will post pictures when the business is formally registered here in a few weeks.
Seems to be about a $1000+ dollar jump to go to the 5.5, which I can’t afford just yet unless I drop to a 2500 PSI unit, which as I understand is not enough pressure to run the surface cleaner. Best just to stick to a 4@4000 honda powered one? Are CAT pumps “better” than Generals or are they all pretty much the same?
Read my reply. Follow my instructions. Have a nice day.
Take out a snall loan if needed. Personally, I wouldn’t wanna start with less than a 5.5 and preferably an 8gpm. Once work starts coming, you’ll make the difference up in a matter of days and you’ll be kicking yourself for buying a 4gpm machine. I just opened my PW business this past June and I’m very VERY thankful I listened to the fellers here who suggested we buy the 8gpm machine…