Power Washing...anyone doing it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Exess100, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. JarrodsDad

    JarrodsDad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Thanks for the advice. I wouldn't venture into anything like this without doing my research and getting hands on experience first.

    Thanks again..
  2. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,845

    We offer the service. We do a fair amount of decks and houses with vinyle siding. I run a 3500 psi waher, 8 hp honda, but look at the pump. That is main. Our pump is doing 4 gpm, which is good flow of water if the house can supply, or else use a tank. We offer the services as a service, do a deck, let it dry for a couple days, if they ask, we'll apply a sealer or paint. Vinyl - ladder work, no matter the amount of ext. we always use them. We wash concrete for stains, spills, removal of parking lot striping, like anything else, possiblities are endless! All what you want to make of it!
  3. JarrodsDad

    JarrodsDad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    So what kind of rate per hr or job can you charge? Is there a demand for the service or is it easy to sell to customers? Up here we get caterpillers and worms on the houses with webs that people would want wasahed off. Would it be sellable here?

    Your thoughts..

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    You have read this before on this site---how much does it cost you to be in business, how much do you pay yourself, how much profit do you need / want to make. Add that up and now you know. Also what will the market bear. One thing to remember is that all your equipment is always costing you money. Take a ZTR. If it lasts 3 years ( 8000 by 3 = 2666) and you work 40 hours a week x 40 weeks= 1600 than 2666 by 1600=1.67 If you are cutting grass than you are covering that 1.67 if you are pressure washing than the mower is costing you and not working for you. This is all very simplified but the point is if you are a solo or just 2 man and you have 10 pieces of equipment than at any given time only 1 or 2 are working for you , the rest are costing you money. Something to think about as you grow. A $2000.00 wash set up to do 9 $200.00 jobs in a year and you have not even payed for the unit. Add soap-gas-maintenance, and your labor and you are not making any thing and you mower is still sitting doing nothing. It might take 2-3 years to break even. It looks like you have a 6 x 10 trailer. you will have to remove all the lawn stuff and switch to wash stuff and that takes time. By your earler post it looks like you are just starting out. Look into a commerical walk behind or ZTR to invest in and improve your lawn maintenance before branching out. IMO that would be a better way to go. Yes, there is money to be made but just like lawn care it is a business with all the costs and overhead. Think it through and good luck.
  5. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    Thanks for the GOOD advice. I was thinking along the same lines as weather it would be worth it right now. The more i look into the power washing biz the more i see it's not just a 1-2-3 operation. My bro and i r just getting started with out lawn care biz this year so i think we are going to focus on that. But keep the good advice comming in. Thanks again guys.
  6. lpwhandyman

    lpwhandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    Pressure Washing is my main meal ticket and have been doing it for the past ten years. Handyman services are second now including mowing this year. Pressure washing is very demanding work. Please do your research before you jump into it. You can do a lot of damage as I've seen it done by many homeowners attempting it. I've seen paint taken off aluminum siding, treated decks scarred by too much pressure and people getting burnt by chemicals. But it can be VERY rewarding if you know how to market and have the desire. If I can answer any questions, give a shout.
  7. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    How do you learn the right way to wash stuff? Like decks,houses,ect. This might sound stupid but,is there a book or something out there to get the do's and dont's?
  8. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    To do pressure washing right it takes a lot of money for a "professional setup". Going out there with a cheapo pressure washer would make all of us scrubs in that business. I refer out all of my pressure washing customers to the pros and they refer their lawn customers to me.
  9. lpwhandyman

    lpwhandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    www.dcs1.com Just like this site, more reading and learning then you can handle. One thing that site will give you that I wish this one had, is a "what to charge" average taken from contractors nationwide. Yes we all charge differently, but having a base to go from would be great to have on this site. Anyways, that site will help you tremedously if you want to get started. But just like all trades, a lot of learning comes with trial and error.
  10. amw

    amw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    we do P/Washing

    We have 4,

    2 of them are gas powered 16hp 4.0 gal. 3500psi
    with diesel fired burners, (basicly it has HOT and cold water)
    W/ float tank (they have cat pumps & key start)

    the other 2 are 13hp gas 4.0gal 3500psi (cold water only)

    and it all fits on its own little trailer, with hoses, guns..ect.. and gets pulled buy one of 2 trucks

    we where going to get out of pressure washing but so far just this month we have 47 jobs we quoted and 41 of them have called back to say yes already (non of this is a current lawn customer.. i will offer it to them after i get cought up) about 20 are houses/decks, the rest are gas stations.

    Glad i didnt sell off the units!

    i have done this from basicly the begining, but i never realy pushed the pressure washing side.... wanted to build up some lawn customers first.... i probly should have started sooner!

    If i am asked to do a job at a res. house and they have their lawn cut by another Co. I DONT try to get their lawn .... if they ask me i ask them whats wrong with the current co. and depending on what they say depends on wheather i would do it or not... i realy hate when they ask... as i hate taken biz from other lco's.

    ins. is a must if pressure washing!

    if you want abunch of good info check out

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