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Penpro
12-03-2004, 11:55 PM
A few days ago i was raking leaves for a customer when he asked me if i would do some pressure washing for him. I said sure. One problem, i had no pressure washer. I told him that i would get back with him with an estimate the next day. So i went to all the stores that sold pressure washers. I found the best deal at the local Northern Equipment store. 2.5 @ 2500 for $399.
With a couple of other accesories including a 24' ladder, the total would come up to around $550. Not bad for start up. Anyway, yesterday i went back with an estimate of $1,140. The dude jumped on it. It's a nice neighborhood. $200-300K average. He also said that he would spread my name around. I already have a couple of other customers wanting some work done. Question is...could anyone give me some tips on estimating. I heard that majority of other companies are charging round $2,500 for the job that i did. How would i write this down so it looks pleasing to the customers.?? Any and all tips appreciated. Thanks.

Lawnchoice
12-04-2004, 12:20 AM
For 1140.00 what are you doing for your customer?

hosejockey2002
12-04-2004, 12:19 PM
Just to play devil's advocate, does your insurance policy allow you to do pressure washing? In this state if you do pressure washing as a specialty contractor you have to choose it as a specialty on your contractor's license. Myself, I hate pressure washing so I don't do it. As far as equipment goes, I'm no expert but save yourself money in the long run and buy a good commercial grade pressure washer. If you get the cheapest one you can find, it will end up costing you more later.

lpwhandyman
12-04-2004, 02:16 PM
$1100 - $2500 to wash a house? Pressure washing is my number one income. Lawn care is second. What are you using as a cleaner? How long will you let it dwell? What size tip will you use? How will you reach the high spots? I hope not with that ladder you mentioned. If I were to pressure wash for the first time, it surely wouldn't be on a $300,000 home, but that's just me. You may be getting in over your head. There's a lot more to pressure washing then it looks. But if I can help, ask away.

eruuska
12-04-2004, 05:08 PM
What's a good source of info on pressure washing? I'm thinking of adding it to my list o' services and it would be nice to have some sort of reference.

Thanks,
Eric

Penpro
12-04-2004, 08:34 PM
The house was Cedar siding with not too much mold or meldew, but it was visible in some areas. The tip i had was 25 degrees. I also used a Turbo Nozzle for some of the brick and the driveway. As for the high spots...that was tricky, but by the next job i'm buying a 3 Story Telescoping Wand. It's a North Star product. Number #22824-1501. As for the cleaner, it was Outdoor Bleach. Luckily the meldew wasn't that bad. I don't know much about it yet, but i'm learning. It's something that i would like to do and I tell my customers that i'm just starting out, so they're understanding. I have my second job lined up for next week. It's a 2 story wood siding with a big ass driveway. Should only take about 4-5 hours. That one's for 1,800. Is that reasonable for a flat rate? How much should i charge hourly. I was thinking between 45-75. I was also thinking about charging $100 per story. Then charging about .50 - .75 per square ft. with the driveways. How does that sound..? Looks like there's pretty good money in pressure washing. Not a bad job either.

Penpro
12-04-2004, 08:37 PM
Oh yeah, what's the easiest and safest way to clean a deck. It's painted white so i want to be careful. Should i hand scrub it with bleach and then spray it off. I'm reading more about it online. But all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks again....

lpwhandyman
12-04-2004, 09:04 PM
http://www.dcs1.com/dcs1boards/messages/front.cfm?board_id=10 More reading then you can handle on that site. Four hours labor and charging $1800? That's $450/hr. If you can make those numbers, that's great. But be prepared of the customers preceived value per hour. As far as you wanting to purchase a 3 story wand....If that's the route you decide to go, you'd better start working the upper body now, because you'll soon find muscles you never knew you had. We used to use them, but now they only get used on rare occasions. As far as your first wash, I hope you rinsed, rinsed and rinsed some more after you were done.