Growing- More services or more area?

After completing a full year in my new market, I did pretty good. I have little to no competition, figured my pricing out and my customers are happy. I currently offer house washing, roof cleaning, concrete cleaning and gutter cleaning. Roofs and gutters are the lions share. I am pretty sure I can push a little harder and squeeze 30% more business out this year but I want more than that.

My current service area is from my house, to about an hour north. This covers about 18,000 households. We are pretty rural. 2 hours east to the major highway, the market is much larger.

I am considering my options.

  1. Adding windows, wood restoration and concrete sealing to my local area will surely provide more work and this might be the way to go.

  2. Stick to washing and expand 2-4hours (one way) east and pursuing commercial and multi family. This market has Hoa’s, apartments and far more commercial opportunity. A couple weeks ago @Innocentbystander made a very valid point, one that I have struggled with since I started in 2017; “single family homes are a grind”. I worked for several PMs in Nashville and Murfreesboro and it was so much simpler than singles. However, the market was flooded with washers so it was tough to only serve those customers. The travel is not worth the singles obviously.

I think trying both at one time would be overwhelming, too many irons in the fire. I plan on picking one option this year and pushing it hard.

Ultimately, I want the residential market and commercial markets in multiple areas, the way TruGreen did landscaping. Thanks guys.

I’m primarily a window cleaner, but PWing fits right in with window cleaning. A $300-$400 window job usually ends up into a $800-$1000 + job. With gutters, windows, drive way and surface clean or roof clean added. Here in Oregon we get a lot of big green moss and annual green “slime” from the rain. Easy to up sell my other services if I offer them.

I realized offering a bundle of services from one company (mine) I was able to keep the same number of customers but increase the revenue of each job. Keeping my bookwork, travel time, advertising reduced. So far so good- always learning and listening though……

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Where are you located?

Nevermind, your in Tillamook. What do windows go for on the Oregon coast?

I don’t use a window formula or count windows. Way too many variables in pricing- A customer could have just 10 windows- all on a cliff right over the ocean 4 stories up or 50 windows all single story fixed panes.

Typical house for interior and exterior window cleaning is about $400–$600 in these parts. I use a water fed pole system w pure h20 for 100% of the exterior.

I don’t charge by the hour, but try to average $80-$110 per man hour, there is 2 of us.

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Looking at wfp’s now. Thinking 40’ covers 90%. Xero?

Well, keep in mind a WFP will not get the windows as clean as ‘nose to glass’ hands on methods. Customers there may not care but I only use mine on windows I’ve previously hand cleaned a few months prior, and even then that’s rare.

Window cleaning just doesn’t make as much as PW, usually about half or less and is four times the hassle and expertise. So much more to know when it comes to glass.

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A 40 is more than enough- probably more than you will need most of the time. It’s a great pole to start, you will quickly want to get another smaller (cheaper) pole for deck glass, sliders, and tight spaces as well as 1st. And 2nd story windows. It’s amazing how much difference a couple pounds can make when your cleaning 30-40 ft up or trying to work w a collapsed 40’ pole in tight spaces.

The Xero WFP is awesome because you can quickly remove the individual pieces and have a short, medium or long pole. I personally use Gardiner

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That is the info I’m after right there. So it makes money, but its a pain and less money per hour. Is it any easier after the house is washed? Does it make sense to offer it in an upgraded package?

I think a a lot of “how much it makes” and “how much of a hassle” is geographic location and setup. I’m in a vacation destination area, a lot of second homes with wealthy owners, they are not bringing their window cleaning supplies to their beach home. They never argue w price, they just want it done. I know that’s not the case everywhere.

I have a dedicated dual RO/DI setup in my trailer, tubing is all on reels similar to a PW setup. Hook up water supply and go to work in minutes. We do a ton of commercial and high end residential, last year we had zero complaints or call backs for any glass that was not cleaned or any issues. I give a 100% satisfaction guarantee, I’m so confident in our work, I give the customers 72 hours before I email them an invoice, just to make sure they happy. Have yet to get burned by a non paying customer in 6 years……so far :slight_smile:

I would beg to differ that a properly setup WFP and properly trained user cannot get the glass as clean as nose on the glass. Yes- there are instances where that’s required, but the minority, not the majority. After washing a house exterior you already did a lot of heavy lifting for the window cleaning part, it’s really just a scrub and rinse to detail them out w pure water.

I don’t know, does it make as much PWing per hour? Usually not, however averaging $90-$100 an hour isn’t bad $ either to clean glass. When you do both you can be in the same neighborhood or house all day- less drive time, fuel, etc.

something else I found was other companies who offer both house washing and window washing services, were starting to eat away at my window customers when I only offered window cleaning- the point being- customers like one company to both services in my opinion.

Also the overhead for window cleaning is a lot less than PW’ing, once your tooled up its cheap.

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It seems to makes a lot of sense given our ridiculous west coast gas prices! $90-100/ hr is not bad money if I am already there to wash. I target $140/hr but that includes chems. A few wealthy customers have asked about it but still less than 10 or so. I don’t think it will increase my annual income by that much but it might improve my profit simply by decreasing drive time and fuel per dollar made. My average fuel cost was $1350/month…

$1350 a month! Ouch. I don’t travel more than 30 miles in any direction from home base. Keeps 2 guys busy full time in that geographic radius. We don’t have high density, only 25k full time residents in the whole county, But a lot of vacation rentals and second homes in beach communities.

Case in point: this last Monday I had a call from a guy who was going to list his beach house, wanted window cleaning. He texted me pics- I quoted him $400. In the pics I noticed the driveway, gutters, patio and roof could use some love. Ended up being a $1,300 job- and he was stoked to get it all
Done in one day with one company.

So you could get potential customers who want just window cleaning, but are open to more services once you offer them. .02 cents


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Guess the windows in VA and KY are just extra dirty, there’s no way a WFP DI/RO setup is coming close to removing silicone, artillery fungus, screen deposits and atmospheric fallout here, especially with all the french panes.

We had a ‘window cleaner’ that attempted to base his WC business on WFP, guess who they called to fix his mess.

I’m not saying RO/DI doesn’t have it’s uses, I’ve used my Xero for stuff I’m not willing to reach with a ladder. It’s just not a ‘high quality results’ piece of equipment.

That’s a bit of a stretch don’t you think brock? Lol

No, it’s not. We’re not talking basic, flat glass here, I’m including all types of windows and associated mechanics, along with specialized techniques and equipment to get the job done safely and effectively.

Ever try taking apart a 1981 Pella window insert and have all the screen keys disintegrate on you? Know how to safely disassemble 12 over 16 storm windows caked with dirt from 1945 without snapping the glass?

Why do you think I took up PW? Years of fighting windows.

Get a ro/di setup, with a 40’ pole. Great to have, saves a ton of time, especially on your maintenance cleans…yeah you will have to ladder up if there’s hard water, staining, caulk, etc…but you charge way more for that to be cared for. Kinda like charging more for oxidation removal but for windows. WFP is the way to go though, I’m glad I started using it 10 years ago, wish I had it 20 years prior.

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I don’t know man, not impressed with the results thus far with mine. TDS out of the filter is zero so can’t be that. Do you only use yours on recurring cleans or ‘hadn’t been cleaned in ten years’ windows?

I’ve yet to run into a job that doesn’t extensively need a razor.🤷🏼

Boars hair brush with bronze pad on the other side of brush. I would say if the windows haven’t been cleaned in 10 years, yeah might need to do that by hand. Majority I do are high end homes and they do often….every once in awhile I’ll get a real dirty one but not often. I love my system, easily make 200 plus an hour, big time saver and I can clean the window trim too, which customers love. Saves even more time on the French Pane windows, did a farm with over 1600 French Panes. There is a learning curve on wfp cleaning for sure though.

Not trying to turn this into WCR…but how do you keep the runs coming down from the top frame from happening? No matter how much I rinse there’s a dirty line.

I have one customer that has probably 800 thermal frenches, I gave him the option of 1/4 the price for WFP and he’s fine with that.

Do you use a rinse bar? I rinse a couple of top sashes and let them drip then go back and do the bottoms.