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View Full Version : Who else is doing mostly gutter cleaning? We have 1,500 accounts now.


Alan Oncken
03-25-2005, 12:56 PM
We have over 1,500 accounts just for gutter cleaning and would like to know others in the country doing mainly gutter cleaning. Marketing ideas, pricing, etc.

ksmmoto
03-29-2005, 12:32 AM
I am thinking of bidding on a job power washing and cleaning the gutters on my local township hall. I'll have to rent a lift as the building is 30' tall.

Do you have a special rider on your insurance? Also do you price gutters by the foot or by the job?

ksmmoto

Lawnworks
03-29-2005, 12:35 AM
wow 1500 accounts. How do you market your service currently? How many annual visits? What is your average job price?

Alan Oncken
03-29-2005, 09:12 AM
I am thinking of bidding on a job power washing and cleaning the gutters on my local township hall. I'll have to rent a lift as the building is 30' tall.

Do you have a special rider on your insurance? Also do you price gutters by the foot or by the job?

ksmmoto

We turn away jobs like this. No "special rider" just a lot of liability ins. and we price according to time required to complete job.

Alan Oncken
03-29-2005, 09:16 AM
wow 1500 accounts. How do you market your service currently? How many annual visits? What is your average job price?

To answear all 3 of your questions our gross is $100,000+ but can't go any further since I do not know your location.

All_Clear
09-15-2005, 10:36 PM
Sorry for bringing this back up but i just ran across it....

Alan Oncken if you happen to see this email me at All_Clear@msn.com

I'd like to exchange some emails about your / my gutter cleaning business.

If someone else can pm this guy for me please do, with low post count i'm unable to and dont want to go random post.

Thanks
All Clear
Gutter Cleaning

Alan Oncken
09-16-2005, 09:22 AM
Sorry for bringing this back up but i just ran across it....

Alan Oncken if you happen to see this email me at All_Clear@msn.com

I'd like to exchange some emails about your / my gutter cleaning business.

If someone else can pm this guy for me please do, with low post count i'm unable to and dont want to go random post.

Thanks
All Clear
Gutter Cleaning

Just sent you a message.

grasswhacker
09-16-2005, 09:25 AM
Do you do gutter repair also?

eruuska
09-17-2005, 10:56 PM
Gutter cleaning is not a huge part of my business, but I do enough of it to keep me interested. How do you guys charge? I charge by the linear foot, ranging from .50-1.00 per foot, based on whether I can walk the roof, how high it is, whether I can use a stepladder or have to use an extension ladder. My minimum charge is $45, but I'll often waive that if I'm doing other work for them.

I can almost always make over $60/hour, sometimes over $100. I can see where building up a large client base could be highly profitable.

Any other thoughts?

Planet Landscaping
09-17-2005, 11:25 PM
Gutter Helmet and Gutter gaurd Gotta hurt buisness? payup

gogetter
12-01-2005, 11:57 PM
Gutter Helmet and Gutter gaurd Gotta hurt buisness? payup

I doubt it, as from what I've read, none of those things work very well.

RyanD
12-02-2005, 07:56 AM
When you want to clean the gutter, there is an extra expense to remove these (gutter guard, etc) first!

BENTLEY'S
12-02-2005, 08:32 PM
Alan if you cover Newport News I can send some work your way. I get calls all the time for 2 storiy homes.

Bentley's

tinman
12-03-2005, 03:22 AM
We have over 1,500 accounts just for gutter cleaning and would like to know others in the country doing mainly gutter cleaning. Marketing ideas, pricing, etc.
Hell if you have 1500 accounts for gutter cleaning ,, you need to post YOUR mrketing ideas!:)
AVG 1 story easy is $45 - $50 ......... As much as $200 for crazy high stuff. Mostly we do them while pressure washing the house if they want them done. I do not like doing high ones. Washing a tall home is usually still done mostly with no ladder, but with Gutters you have to get above them. Although I do have a gutter cleaning attatchment but you cannot control it on an extention pole. Thought about using a ladder ONLY to hold the wand with gutter cleaning attatchment in place by placing the wand thru the top rung of ladder somehow.

Alan Oncken
12-06-2005, 08:23 PM
Alan if you cover Newport News I can send some work your way. I get calls all the time for 2 storiy homes.

Bentley's

Send them my way. In the yellow pages under "Gutters"-Professional Gutter Cleaning. Thanks!

Alan Oncken
12-06-2005, 08:36 PM
Hell if you have 1500 accounts for gutter cleaning ,, you need to post YOUR mrketing ideas!:)
AVG 1 story easy is $45 - $50 ......... As much as $200 for crazy high stuff. Mostly we do them while pressure washing the house if they want them done. I do not like doing high ones. Washing a tall home is usually still done mostly with no ladder, but with Gutters you have to get above them. Although I do have a gutter cleaning attatchment but you cannot control it on an extention pole. Thought about using a ladder ONLY to hold the wand with gutter cleaning attatchment in place by placing the wand thru the top rung of ladder somehow.

Your prices are way too high! You can either price very high and end up with a handful of accounts or you can price the service low (which we do) and chase everyone out of business (which we did about 10 years ago).

Alan Oncken
12-06-2005, 08:38 PM
When you want to clean the gutter, there is an extra expense to remove these (gutter guard, etc) first!

Since most don't work we offer 1 option-Permanent Removal!!!

tinman
12-06-2005, 10:58 PM
Your prices are way too high! You can either price very high and end up with a handful of accounts or you can price the service low (which we do) and chase everyone out of business (which we did about 10 years ago).
So what are your price ranges? I can see doing volume on 1 story homes & cutting way down on the price.

gogetter
12-06-2005, 11:39 PM
Your prices are way too high! You can either price very high and end up with a handful of accounts or you can price the service low (which we do) and chase everyone out of business (which we did about 10 years ago).


LOL! Great logic.
Just like lawns, I'd rather do 50 lawns at $30 then 75 lawns at $20.

Work smarter, not harder.

zturncutter
12-07-2005, 08:11 PM
Your prices are way too high! You can either price very high and end up with a handful of accounts or you can price the service low (which we do) and chase everyone out of business (which we did about 10 years ago).

So you have had the cheapest prices for the last 10 years:help:

Alan Oncken
12-25-2006, 10:58 AM
Anyone else?

Precision
12-26-2006, 09:47 AM
Anyone else?So help me out with the math.

You do 1500 accts. you charge less than $45 per
I am going to assume $35 is a typical house.
I will assume that your average price is $42 since some will be higher
I will also assume once annually is pretty standard but say with one timers and occasional anal people you get 1900 jobs annually.

That is $79,800 gross.

now with 1900 accts and a full work season of 200 days, you are doing 9-10 per day every working day.

Or is the work is seasonal, which I imagine. So in season you are doing 25+ per day and in the offseason doing nothing. If this is the case, then $79,800 for a full-time (part year) job, solo is pretty good. If this requires full time (full year) and /or requires a helper, then this stinks in my opinion.

Uranus
12-26-2006, 09:58 AM
I hate doing gutters but love charging people $75 for 15 minutes worth of work. payup

Rons Rightway Lawncare
12-26-2006, 10:37 AM
I rarely do Gutters anymore, most of my customers homes have roofs way too steep to walk on, and I have just not been asked to clean gutters on almost all my customers homes.

In the past, back when I operated as "Rons Affordable Lawn and Landscape" Alot of my customers were in neigborhoods with homes 30 + years old.... Not dumpy little shacks, most were big homes, but they were older for the most part. These older houses almost always had shallow pitch roofs, very easy to walk on, some you could just about run on without fear of slipping off.... Also alot of these home had many big tall trees in the yard so the gutters were clogged often. These customers would need gutter cleaning 3-4 times per year.

For these customers, I would do them, almost in all cases... I simply would bring a ladder with me as I cut the lawns, and take the ladder up to the house with my backpack blower idling on my back, Climb up to the roof and walk around the house blowing the gutters clean. Usually took no more than 5 to 10 minutes tops. Then back down the ladder and back to the truck to get back to mowing the lawn or simply leaving to go onto the next lawn.

I charged between 25-30$ for gutters blown clean. Every once in a while I would have a house that needed gutters cleaned by hand with the ladder, so it was up and down a ladder every 3-4 feet of gutter, This would take a hour or two and was messy... for these I would charge 75-100$

If I got back into doing alot of gutters today, I would charge 75-100$ like I used to for hand cleaning - or more if the house is huge or very difficult to do- and probably 35-50$ for walking the roof with the blower, just due to the risk to myself for being up there. A fall from even a single story roof can kill you, so I risk my life up there to blow them clean... got to charge a little more for that risk!

This season I have only blown 3 homes gutters, and that is counting my own gutters!

green horizons
12-30-2006, 11:27 PM
I clean gutters and I don't like it one bit! I advertised early on to fill in
my autumn schedule. I swore to myself that as soon as business was
up and running with the jobs I enjoy that I would stop offering the
service. Well... I still clean them, but I'm much higher priced than I
was, and much more picky about the job. I won't bid every job like I use to.
The earlier post regarding death from a fall is very real.
Jumping from a one story on purpose can be done with little harm.
"Slipping" from a one story is totaly different. As for pricing, it's by the job.
Yes, I count downspouts, linear footage, disposal, etc., but I don't
have a specific equation.

Alan Oncken
12-31-2006, 11:59 AM
So help me out with the math.

You do 1500 accts. you charge less than $45 per
I am going to assume $35 is a typical house.
I will assume that your average price is $42 since some will be higher
I will also assume once annually is pretty standard but say with one timers and occasional anal people you get 1900 jobs annually.

That is $79,800 gross.

now with 1900 accts and a full work season of 200 days, you are doing 9-10 per day every working day.

Or is the work is seasonal, which I imagine. So in season you are doing 25+ per day and in the offseason doing nothing. If this is the case, then $79,800 for a full-time (part year) job, solo is pretty good. If this requires full time (full year) and /or requires a helper, then this stinks in my opinion.

Oh wow, a mathemateician who knows my business better than I do.

To help everyones math; 90% of our customers clean twice per year and 50% clean 3 to 4 times per year. I run more than 1 crew and crew members earn $20-$25 per hour, $30 on some days. MOST of the crews income comes from tips so I am not saddled with high employee costs and we only need to work approx. 6 months of the year. Its about how one markets yourself and your business to generate that kind of tip income! Oh, your $42 average is way off too!!! By the way, the other HALF of the business is condo-apartment complexes, hotels, motels, large commercial buildings, real estate agent referrals, and all of the schools and post offices.

The reason for this post was to find other businesses through out the country like mine but can see from the posts that everyone here is mostly lawn care. I wish no offense to anyone, but most all of the replys to this post have been from lawn care peoples haphazard attempts at gutter cleaning and no real vision to think (or be) a fairly large business, again like mine. Who knows, when my "guide" is published in the spring, I just might sell the business and concentrate on that, although I do enjoy being out with the crews (they do the work) socializing with the customers and sometimes teaching a new crew member on what to do but more important, what NOT to do. Good luck to everyone.

mattfromNY
12-31-2006, 12:19 PM
Sounds like you've got a pretty good "Niche" market. Although you seem to have posted it on the wrong forum, its nice to see this, because I think we all like to have our own little Niche, and it shows us that we can still make a little money thinking outside the box in a very competitive field. Thanks for the post.
Matt

TJLANDS
12-31-2006, 03:33 PM
Your prices are way too high! You can either price very high and end up with a handful of accounts or you can price the service low (which we do) and chase everyone out of business (which we did about 10 years ago).


We do gutter cleaning for high end costumers(residential and commercial)
Average yearly price per costumer is $500 for 2X per year, (125 or so costumers).

JimLewis
01-01-2007, 08:03 PM
I would love to do more gutter cleaning if they were all 1-story houses. I am not real excited about being 2 or more stories up on a 40' ladder. The problem is most of the homes in our area are 2 stories or more. So it really isn't something we've wanted to get into. But I am intrigued at your success.

Dirty Water
01-01-2007, 08:25 PM
But I am intrigued at your success.

If its really a success.

He won't go into detail about crew size, I'm guessing he pays them piecework since he definitely isn't paying a $25 hourly for a gutter cleaner.

I'd like to know the size of each crew, how long on average it takes to do one house, and what his average charge is.

Next, I'd like to know how he is calculating in vehicle costs, as well as equipment.

1500 accounts over 6 months (5 day weeks) means he needs to average 22 a day (assuming he is really doing 3,000 cleanings in that 6 month period).

I'm going to assume two crews, so each crew will do 11. This means he has about an hour and fifteen minutes per job, counting unload/load and drivetime.

The only way he could pull this off is with an incredibly tight route, however, since he isn't doing this as a weekly service, I have a hard time believing he is able to make a route that does all 1,500 customers with the least amount of drive time.

BTW, You pay your guys on average $25 an hour, I'm assuming with 4 people (2 crews of 2) your paying out $800 per day, not counting ANY overhead. At 22 cleanings a day, charging $35 (Since you said $45 was waaay to high) you bring in $770 a day, not counting ANY overhead.

So your at a net loss just trying to pay the guys, let alone pay for trucks, insurance, gas, advertising, equipment, accounting, taxes, and last but not least your own salary.

Alan Oncken
01-01-2007, 09:19 PM
If its really a success.

He won't go into detail about crew size, I'm guessing he pays them piecework since he definitely isn't paying a $25 hourly for a gutter cleaner.

I'd like to know the size of each crew, how long on average it takes to do one house, and what his average charge is.

Next, I'd like to know how he is calculating in vehicle costs, as well as equipment.

1500 accounts over 6 months (5 day weeks) means he needs to average 22 a day (assuming he is really doing 3,000 cleanings in that 6 month period).

I'm going to assume two crews, so each crew will do 11. This means he has about an hour and fifteen minutes per job, counting unload/load and drivetime.

The only way he could pull this off is with an incredibly tight route, however, since he isn't doing this as a weekly service, I have a hard time believing he is able to make a route that does all 1,500 customers with the least amount of drive time.

BTW, You pay your guys on average $25 an hour, I'm assuming with 4 people (2 crews of 2) your paying out $800 per day, not counting ANY overhead. At 22 cleanings a day, charging $35 (Since you said $45 was waaay to high) you bring in $770 a day, not counting ANY overhead.

So your at a net loss just trying to pay the guys, let alone pay for trucks, insurance, gas, advertising, equipment, accounting, taxes, and last but not least your own salary.

Believe I said "$45 way too high 10 years ago".

Look at the other posts for time per house. My crews do 25-35 per day, PER CREW!!! We DON'T jump all over town, with this many accounts, AS YOU ASSUME!!!

Again, look at the other posts, $75-$100 for 15 minutes work, FOR 1 PERSON!!!

I believe what those interested needs to do is to clean some gutters and then seeing for themselves if by specializing in this kind of of work appeals to them. In my area I notice that every 4th pick up truck on the road is pulling a trailer of "lawn care" equipment and NONE are pulling trailers of ladders. Again, I have NO, NADA, 0 competition!!!

Again, price it low (to start) and take all of the accounts away from the competition. You can always raise prices in the future once you have elimited the competition (which we have done).

As for the guys charging $75-$100 for 15 minutes of work. I will steal ALL of your accounts and those acounts will be with me forever.

Dirty Water
01-01-2007, 09:32 PM
15 minutes to clean a gutter? I've cleaned gutters, and do to it well, it takes more time than that. If your using a pressure washer you need to clean the crap up as well, as it sprays everywhere.

Second, Even generously assuming you can clean gutters in 15 minutes, you still have at least 10 minutes to load and unload the ladders, park, talk to the client ETC....

So, I'm giving you a very generous time of 25 minutes per client. How many hours per day do your guys work? Basic math shows me that 25 minute x 25 clients is more minutes than there is in 8 hours (25 x 25 = 625 / 60 = 10.41)

If your route is as tight as you say, then lets go with 10 minutes of drive time between clients. Which is again, very generous when you have a route of 1,500 clients.

So lets do a little math:

25 minutes per job x 25 clients = 625 minutes
10 minutes of drivetime per 25 clients = 250 minutes

Total time: 875 minutes / Divided that by 60 and you get 14.5 hours.

And this is on your low average... :)

Face it, your numbers don't add up. Everything you've have said just doesn't pencil out, and I'd be willing to bet that if you did let me know how many crews "you have", how you pay them, and what you charge I'd show that your Yearly gross doesn't pencil out either.

We all know that your not working your crews for 15 (14.5 hours of work + 30 minute lunch) hours per day. And we all know that it takes more than 25 minutes per cleaning.

Big Bad Bob
01-01-2007, 09:49 PM
Oh wow, a mathemateician who knows my business better than I do.

To help everyones math; 90% of our customers clean twice per year and 50% clean 3 to 4 times per year. I run more than 1 crew and crew members earn $20-$25 per hour, $30 on some days. MOST of the crews income comes from tips so I am not saddled with high employee costs and we only need to work approx. 6 months of the year. Its about how one markets yourself and your business to generate that kind of tip income! Oh, your $42 average is way off too!!! By the way, the other HALF of the business is condo-apartment complexes, hotels, motels, large commercial buildings, real estate agent referrals, and all of the schools and post offices.

The reason for this post was to find other businesses through out the country like mine but can see from the posts that everyone here is mostly lawn care. I wish no offense to anyone, but most all of the replys to this post have been from lawn care peoples haphazard attempts at gutter cleaning and no real vision to think (or be) a fairly large business, again like mine. Who knows, when my "guide" is published in the spring, I just might sell the business and concentrate on that, although I do enjoy being out with the crews (they do the work) socializing with the customers and sometimes teaching a new crew member on what to do but more important, what NOT to do. Good luck to everyone.



i calculate you are getting an average of $66/ job. i suppose some are more, some are less. if you do them every 3 months and use a bucket this could be very profitable as the gutters don't get a buildup of black ooze. i do some gutter cleaning, with a ladder and blower by the way, and i average $65 for a 2000 sq foot house. that's once a year. i have bounced on the ground once though so i always have a helper.
if you are doing as well as you want to, then good for you.
you do sound a bit like a certain lco from new jersey who's not been heard from for a while though. :)

Dirty Water
01-04-2007, 01:18 AM
A few days and no response...I guess calling his bluff scared him away.

Precision
01-04-2007, 10:02 AM
A few days and no response...I guess calling his bluff scared him away.

either that or his own personal quicksand swallowed him.

Mike33
01-04-2007, 11:00 AM
A few days and no response...I guess calling his bluff scared him away.

Jon, ive been lol the whole way thru. Good job on the math and i have never heard of anyone eliminating all of there competion.
Mike

Lawnworks
01-04-2007, 03:46 PM
Maybe he can post his BMW 745i like just mow it did... lol.

mcwlandscaping
01-04-2007, 05:32 PM
Oh wow, a mathemateician who knows my business better than I do.

To help everyones math; 90% of our customers clean twice per year and 50% clean 3 to 4 times per year.


Nah, he's probably learning that you cant' have 140% worth of customers!

turfquip
01-04-2007, 07:45 PM
The key point here may be the 'guide' he intends to publish...

Perhaps he was counting on dazzling us with the numbers, then offering to teach us how to be like him.

Smells like spam to me :rolleyes:

jdgent
01-05-2007, 08:05 AM
15 minutes to clean a gutter? I've cleaned gutters, and do to it well, it takes more time than that. If your using a pressure washer you need to clean the crap up as well, as it sprays everywhere.

Second, Even generously assuming you can clean gutters in 15 minutes, you still have at least 10 minutes to load and unload the ladders, park, talk to the client ETC....

So, I'm giving you a very generous time of 25 minutes per client. How many hours per day do your guys work? Basic math shows me that 25 minute x 25 clients is more minutes than there is in 8 hours (25 x 25 = 625 / 60 = 10.41)

If your route is as tight as you say, then lets go with 10 minutes of drive time between clients. Which is again, very generous when you have a route of 1,500 clients.

So lets do a little math:

25 minutes per job x 25 clients = 625 minutes
10 minutes of drive time per 25 clients = 250 minutes

Total time: 875 minutes / Divided that by 60 and you get 14.5 hours.

And this is on your low average... :)

Face it, your numbers don't add up. Everything you've have said just doesn't pencil out, and I'd be willing to bet that if you did let me know how many crews "you have", how you pay them, and what you charge I'd show that your Yearly gross doesn't pencil out either.

We all know that your not working your crews for 15 (14.5 hours of work + 30 minute lunch) hours per day. And we all know that it takes more than 25 minutes per cleaning.



I agree with the math, except that with that many accounts the drive time may be a little less. He has to be going to a subdivision, or particular area, and having a days work....many homes right next to each other, i.e., parking and hitting five or six homes. Even though, it is a stretch. And paying his men that much!?!? In my area, professionals make that amount of money...not blue collar workers cleaning gutters.

gqnine44
01-05-2007, 03:14 PM
I am as skeptical as anyone but he didnt say he pays them $25 an hour. He says they earn $20-25 and indicated that much of this income comes from tips.

lawnguy268
01-21-2007, 05:36 PM
soo he runs everyone out of bussiness by low balling all the custmers

lawnjocky
02-09-2007, 08:33 PM
I read all of this thread and it sounded interesting for awhile (until the math was done). Gutter cleaning is something I tried once but couldn't get it to work. I thought at the time it would be a good way to extend my season. Still might be. From my efforts at cleaning gutters I learned two basic lesson's.

1. Easy job's get done by friend's, neighbors, family, or someone who charges $20

2. Hard job's I had to charge so much for labor that the customer would say no and live with the leaves or hire a tree company with a bucket truck.

There has to be trick's of the trade to doing gutter's properly. I just don't know what they are. Is there anyone willing to post advice, knows of web sites, books, or is willing to discuss gutter cleaning? I am in central Illinois.
Thanks

Lawnworks
02-10-2007, 01:02 AM
I read all of this thread and it sounded interesting for awhile (until the math was done). Gutter cleaning is something I tried once but couldn't get it to work. I thought at the time it would be a good way to extend my season. Still might be. From my efforts at cleaning gutters I learned two basic lesson's.

1. Easy job's get done by friend's, neighbors, family, or someone who charges $20

2. Hard job's I had to charge so much for labor that the customer would say no and live with the leaves or hire a tree company with a bucket truck.

There has to be trick's of the trade to doing gutter's properly. I just don't know what they are. Is there anyone willing to post advice, knows of web sites, books, or is willing to discuss gutter cleaning? I am in central Illinois.
Thanks

You have to own a helicoptor.

robbo521
02-10-2007, 01:26 AM
leaf vac and no mess to clean up!been doing it for 5 yrs.

gqnine44
02-10-2007, 10:13 PM
leaf vac and no mess to clean up!been doing it for 5 yrs.

What kind of leaf vac??

lawnjocky
02-12-2007, 12:05 AM
Must have a long hose for that leaf vac.

STONE SCAPES
02-12-2007, 10:47 AM
I started doing gutters this year. I hate heights! Had a helper with me payed him $10 hour to hold ladder. I would climb. worked out well. only in third year so not as busy as i would like to be. worked well this past fall and will be looking for more this coming year. It's great fill work.