What's The Perfect Middle When Giving a Bid?

Hey Y’all-

As I said in my last post, I’m pretty new to the business and still just trying to get things off the ground and going well.
My jobs have been almost all concrete, and the jobs are averaging around 2,000 Sq. Ft. and my average charge is about $150. When i first started, Every price I was giving was being taken up quickly, without hesitation from the customer, so I knew i was charging too low. I put things up to a higher price, and got rejected on multiple bids (These examples are from my first 10-ish jobs). Since then I’ve started charging a little bit more expensive than when I first started giving bids, but my customers are still taking the bait without thinking twice about the price.

How much are Y’all charging for jobs like that?? Is there like a “perfect middle” when bidding? It bothers me every time i feel like i’ve bid too low or too high and I can’t quite find the right pricing.

This is something I could use help with too …I am starting up for real this coming year and am really eager to learn…I’ve been buying equipment for about a year now so I look at it as just “my time” for now till I figure it out …I think it will take a few years until I am comfortable with my pricing …keep going up on Prices a little at a time until the no’s out weigh the yes then back off alittle …even if you under bid your still making money …at least that’s how I see it…


Im closing out my first year and made plenty of mistakes. Im still working on pricing my self but ive gotten pretty good at it.

The best way to go about pricing is to calculate your expenses, all of them. Next figure out how much it cost to do each job and the time it takes. Then you have everything you need to know how much to charge and how much profit you want to make. Their are a few ways to charge, my system is a hybrid of them. By Ln ft, sq ft, time, pita factor plus travel expenses. I aim for a hundred an hour and generally bid by sqft and time.

That being said someone with a small 2-3 gpm who will take 4 hours to do a driveway cant charge $400 just because they have a smaller machine vs some one with an 8 gpm who can get the job done in 30min-1hr. Once you get a “big” machine you can essentially keep the price the same but your per hour $ will go up because your able to work faster.

Second thing is in MOST CASES when someone thinks your too high that just means the prospect does not see the value in your service. So you have to find/come up with a way to explain your worth. Just for starters people need to know like and trust you before anything else. So this begins with self betterment and learning how to relay that to the customer first. Start reading books and learn how to sell, Im trying to read at least 1 book a week. Their is so much information on selling and tips and tricks that have help me.

First mistake i made was only trying to do driveways/flat work instead of going after the house. Once i started going after the house i made way more money, plus most of the time the customer wanted everything done so driveway would always end up in the price.

That being said every business is different and you have to figure out what works best for you. One way to look at flat work for residential is as a loss leader. This gets you in the neighbor hood and in front of customer, then start saying the magic statement. I noticed this… would you like that cleaned to?

The info above is kind of all over the place, but still good


Keep a spreadsheet with information about each job. You can choose what to record but to start consider:

Area, square footage of flat work or building
Drive time
Setup and pack up time. This will reduce over time as you get faster or buy better equipment like hose reels. But some jobs just take a long time to lay out all the hoses, move the hoses, climb the ladder…
Time spent cleaning
Cost of chemicals and fuel
Price quoted
Price accepted (if you had to negotiate down)
Hourly rate

You can break it down and record information relevant to each type of jobs, like

Flat work
HOUSE washing
Roof washing

Later on you will be able to cslcukate more detailed amounts like
Depreciation of equipment
Maintenance $ per hour of machine operation
Vehicle $ per mile
Insurance cost per hour
But don’t worry about these ones today.

You are learning so all jobs are valuable experience for you… even when horribly under charged! Good luck to ya

1 Like

Every area is going to be different on pricing and there are so many factors that drive that pricing to which nobody here is going to be able to offer you hard numbers to go off of. Obviously, a house wash in a high income community verses a poverty community will be vastly different even o bthe same home. A town with an abundance of PW businesses will have lower rates than one with just a few. A guy paying insurance, truck payments, heavy marketing fees, owns better equipment, may need to chsrge differently than a guy who doesn’t.

Your best bet is to figure out how much YOU need to nake to keep growing your business and meet your financial goals. If you’re losing most bids, you’re too high, if you’re winning every one of them, you’re too low. Find YOUR happy medium based off of YOUR experience.
That’s the best advice I can give you…

Thanks Everyone for Chiming in!
I’m taking all of you’re recommendations into consideration and I’m always looking to better myself and my company.
I already keep a spreadsheet like document about what has been done, what was asked for, what I could sell as the “cherry topper” to the cleaning job and etc… I’ve been advertising for only flat surfaces, but now realize that a change needs to be made there.

Again, Thanks!

Old thread but chiming in for newer people.

Conventional wisdom on pricing (in any business not just pw) is that you should be getting turned down by about 15% of your prospects.

So, keep adjusting your pricing until you get told no once for every 8 to 10 bids but make sure you know your operating costs (taxes, advertising, chems, equipment repairs, supplies, days unable to work due to weather, etc) and ensure you are pricing viably.

You also might look at your market as well. You might get 85% of the jobs in a poorer neighborhood at your current rate but 8 miles away you might get 85% of the jobs if you prices were 60% higher… so there is that too. Some folks only target certain types of customers and that will impact pricing. Not everyone can afford luxury cars in the driveway and overseas vacations, so know what YOUR target customer is like.