New to this, advice/help needed


#1

Hey everyone, I’m completely new to this. I have been thinking about doing pressure washing for a couple months now, but I’m getting serious about it now and want to start this season. I have been searching online and found a lot of answers to my questions already, but still need help answering a few. A friend and I want to go into it together. We’re not looking to make tons of money or to quit our day jobs, but we want to work on our days off and earn a little extra on the side. We are from Wyoming, and have noticed that there are not many (none) residential pressure washers in our area. We have picked out a 4GPM machine that has good reviews, but have not yet purchased it. I also plan on purchasing a cheaper (~$100) surface cleaner. Money IS a factor, but we want to do this right, so we’re not afraid to throw some money at this if we can earn it back. (That being said though, a lot of what I have seen online suggest starting with expensive hot water washers and trailers. While we are willing to throw some money into this, we plan on starting very small.) If you can answer any of the following questions or have any advice for two new people, we’re all ears! Let me know if I’m overlooking something.

Insurance - We obviously want insurance to protect us. What does a good insurance plan look like for someone in our shoes? The rates will be different if you’re from a different state, but what should we be looking for, and when should we get it? Should we get it before getting our first job?

LLC - When should we set up an LLC? How will our taxes work if we set up an LLC, vs if we don’t set one up? Is that an urgent matter, or should we wait to see if this is profitable in our area, and consider it next season if we pursue this?

Could we run two guys on a 4 GPM / 4000 PSI machine? Like split the hoses and we both do the house/whatever at once? Should we be looking into starting off with two machines? Could one house provide enough water to run two 4 GPM machines at once (if we got that route)?

We plan on practicing on our houses/neighbors houses (for free) at first before charging people for it so that we are comfortable with it. What should we practice on in particular? I notice a lot of extremely dirty driveways and sidewalks in our areas, so I want to get good at those. What do you guys mostly do? House washes? Flatwork? Gutters?

Thanks for the help. Like I said, we have been searching the internet for a lot of our answers, but if any of these questions can be answered somewhere else, feel free to send me a link. I’m sure more questions will pop up later.

Thanks!


#2

It appears you spent more time typing that post then searching the forum for answers.

You can find lots of good info here. Do yourself a favor, read as much as you can and learn. I started with subpar equipment, and life is easier with better stuff… dont buy from some box store becuase it has 52 decent reviews, order a machine that is made to work efficently and reliably…but im still new really and still soak in as much as i can.


#3

The magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner will reveal a ton of information.


#4

I’m fairly new as well, but here is my 2cents.

Keep researching equipment. GPM is king (I found out the hard way and bought a 4gpm before I found this forum) and now I’m wishing I had spent a little more and got at a minimum 5.5. Stay away from the box stores. You can find a reputable company that specializes in PW’ing equipment and the price difference isn’t as bad as you might think. You can find some good deals on direct drive machines with higher gpm for about the same as the lower gpm’s you will find in the box stores.

  1. Definitely get insured. My suggestion is to reach out to some local companies and talk to them about what your doing and what they suggest. Go local if at all possible.

  2. I’m no expert, but I don’t think your going to be running 2 people off a 4gpm machine.

  3. Keep searching and researching. You will hear many people say to use the search bar. I was told that several times after asking question.

Good luck to you and hope you find all the answers your looking for. This forum is a wealth of information, but they aren’t going to feed it to you without you doing some leg work first. If you do your research and ask informed questions, there are several on here that will gladly help you.


#5

I’m a big believer that you can start small and go big as the end result. Everyone reading this is about to crack up, but, hey, you gotta start somewhere.

I started with an electric washer, 2k psi, 1.4gpm, it wasn’t the greatest, but it got the job done until I was ready to take my pressure washing to the next level. I now own a 4.2k psi, 4gpm, champion pressure washer. I bought it from costco for 700 dollars, it was a steal, the best part is that you DO NOT need to be a Costco member to buy it.

Anyways, this new unit that I own works great. I use a Ladder Saver nozzle for 30 ft hard to reach areas.

Im now ready to upgrade my unit. This is probably going to leave a few of you cracking up or even scratching your head, but this idea is truly unique and I am almost sure that the majority of those reading this have not heard of this before, but, here it goes. I’m going to mount my 4K unit to a trailer, along with a generator and a waterless tank heater, this will heat the water to at least 150-170 degrees, or maybe even past boiling. The reason I did this was because a 4K 4gpm hot water unit is about 4500 dollars, plus a trailer, so 5500. I will get the trailer for 500-800, the washer that I have is 700, the heater will be about 200, and the generator will cost about 1000, total will be 2400-2800, which Represents a 50% savings. Now, will this all work? I have no idea, I’ll let you know though, lol.


#6

Just fyi pressure washer pumps need the cool water to keep them cool. On a hot water pressure washer the heating coil is after the pump and already under pressure. I’d also check the kwh of the heater. They require far more electricity then people usually realize.


#7

yeah that doesnt sound like a great idea. I think you’re going to burn that pump up in 5 minutes tops. Obviously your intake hose, pw hose, and gun all need to be rated for hot water too. But a regular PW pump needs the cold water to cool.


#8

wyo read as much as you can. there are also a few soft washers on youtube that explain things very well. Theres a channel called “Dans vlog” (i think?) that will show you a lot about basic equiptment and how to softwash for beginners. He explains anything from cheaper surface cleaners, chemical injectors, small business models and so on. He isn’t too bright with some of his SH ratio math but his set up is cheap and pretty basic for up and comers like us. Just try and get at least a 4gpm commercial machine with a honda motor and treat your pump like your baby. Make some money and buy better equiptment. Insurance is a must. 99% sure you can only run 1 hose per pressure washer. Water pressure is different at every house so Im not too sure about running 2 pressure washers at the same time but I wouldnt try it when you can soft wash a home pretty fast with 1 unit. You are probably better off starting out as a sole proprietor to start our as taxes are a breeze. But you can easily google the differences and find out whats best for you.


#9

I would never start out any business as a sole proprietor; C-corporation with an application for S-Corporation status.


#10

I just started about 2 weeks ago. I must say my $99 SC has already been upgraded to the GP Hammerhead 20" and I must say its night and day difference I highly recommend you get one or atleast something bigger. I knock out concrete fast and it cleans great. Its already paid for itself in 2 days. You CAN start with a smaller SC but the time it takes you will be kicking yourself in the tail because you should’ve just saved that money and got the bigger one. Also I do this by myself and its highly profitable. I don’t see myself having help until I get bigger or just so busy I cant keep up and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.


#11

Nope.

When you have to replace it all and start from scratch the $4500 properly built unit will feel like a bargain.


#12

Yep…


#13

He’s only got 18 minutes of read time here. And to pop in out of nowhere with bad/dangerous “advice” is very awesomewash-esque.

I’d keep an eye out for this guy. If this isn’t that goon awesomewash he needs to spend a lot more time here reading and less time “advising” people to throw a home’s hot water heater on your trailer and boiling water through your pump.


#14

I take it you’re in Wyoming? Wyoming is my favorite state in the whole country. Love it.

Anyway, all your questions can be answered using the search. Most of the replies here, although from well meaning individuals, are pretty green as well. No disrespect intended, but most of the vets have stopped replying to brand new posts when a member has been here for less than a couple hours and want the info without working for it.

If you’d even call using the search “working for it.” Mountains of good info in the little magnifying glass. Good luck!


#15

Why would I have to start from scratch ?


#16

I’m not advising anyone on PW, you should learn how to read.


#17

Brandon Glidden, now NFCCS, formerly known as Awesomewash. You gave dumb advice. I read very clearly.

Then you told him unequivocally how you would set up your business charter without knowing anything about his business.

Good luck with your utility closet wash rig.


#18

I have no idea who “AwesomeWash” is, but I changed my username for branding purposes.

Again, you might want to learn to read because any person who sets up a sole proprietorship in the pressure washing industry is personally taking on the liability associated with the before mentioned industry. But you knew that right?

Also, just because you’re a veteran doesn’t in anyway make you better than the next person, nor does it give you the license to put others down. Again, learn to read. I said at the end of my post that I was testing out the theory; regardless of the success/failure of my “closet rug”, I will post the result.

All that I was trying to allude to is the possibility to operate at a competitive level without having to necessarily purchase marked up products. There’s nothing wrong with improving the mouse trap, but by all means, continue to be ignorant to how business works.

Also, I’m a US Army Veteran. You should put some more professionalism in your blog posts, because your website portrays you to be something that you’re not.


#19

I never said you were a bad person. I’m incredibly grateful for your service.

I said that your groundbreaking, revolutionary wash closet rig idea and offering one of multiple different charter options after 8 minutes of being here and knowing nothing about his business was dumb. I maintain that opinion.

I disagree with a lot of people on here, but it doesn’t mean I disrespect them or dislike them.


#20

““Why would I have to start from scratch ?””

because after your burn your pump up by running hot water through it you will need to buy a new one