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Old 03-15-2008, 11:30 PM   #1
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Talking House Washing Prices

After an exhaustive search of the net, and asking those who know, I have come to the conclusion (at least here in Baltimore, MD), that the going rate for house pressure washing is: $100 an hour, up to 3 hours...after which its on me. Basically, $300 is the top I would charge for a general house cleaning. Add-on's would be drive ways, side walks and so forth.

I'm pretty much in the beginning stage of this business, so I know you guys know way more than I do. Though I only dropped 16K to start this thing I think its money well spent. Spent the money on a new van (new to me anyway), pressure washer (Sunbrite rox), Insurance, bond, chems, tons of toys (X-Jet and so forth), Web site (was free...GF is a web designer, but having my web site posted on the top 10 search of Google/yahoo is priceless), and all kinds of toys.

Today, I did a two story house (friend who was crazy happy to get a free house wash, and was spastic happy with the wash itself...was filthy prior to the wash). Tomorrow we hand out customized flyer's (only spent about $50 at Office Depot).

Cant tell you's how friggen happy I am to get away from the "work for an employer for what-ever and hour" mentality. Sorry, first business for me...lol!

Anyway... generally, what is the "per hour rate" or per square linear footage rate you guys charge in your area? Just trying to get an idea here.

Thanx for the info in advance.

Tom
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:34 PM   #2
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I can't answer your question, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum!

I used to live in Germantown. I miss Maryland some days!

Torrey
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:38 PM   #3
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Thanx for the welcome!!
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #4
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Ultra,

Your selling yourself short. Beleive me I know...last year was my first year fulltime, charging 100 an hour. This year, I am working a part time gig again and starting my business all over...

Sell value..., dont sell washing, sell the value of having a clean exterior, and then you can get a lot more than just 100 an hour. If you charge 100 an hour, and pay for insurance, gas, equipment, etc and etc you will make next to nothing.

For example, I just cleaned a roof and got 489 for it. My buddy did a roof 3/4 of the size and closed it for almost 600. The roof I did he said he gets 700-800. I left a lot of money on the table because I thought "I'm making way over 100 an hour, I'm doing good".

Now, after I pay for my help and chems, I am looking at 400, gas was 30 so now I am down to 370, had to buy some parts for 150 now I am down to 230, and now my van needs some work and now I am at neg-270.

So, see what I mean...your going to have to test your market, but test on the high end. If your closing 80% of your jobs, raise your prices more.

If you get out here charging 150 for housewashes, its not going to be pretty at the end of the year for you.

Just my .02

Last edited by Don M.; 03-16-2008 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:21 PM   #5
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Default Ahhh, ok

Yeah, I see what your saying Don. Still though seems a little confusing on how to charge. I'm guessing square footage or linear footage would be a better quote. I will have to kick the numbers around.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraBrite View Post
Yeah, I see what your saying Don. Still though seems a little confusing on how to charge. I'm guessing square footage or linear footage would be a better quote. I will have to kick the numbers around.
A lot of guys go by linear foot. Some say charge $1 a foot. My house is 40x26. If you go by that it would cost 132 to do my house. With the price of everything, plus the customer acquistion cost, what would you really make?
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #7
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Good point there
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:42 PM   #8
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Default Pricing House Washing

Ultra

The average price is what was mentioned above per linear foot per story. Some charge more some charge less, it's whatever your market will allow. You have to have a minimum price though, like mentioned above on a smaller home pricing by the linear foot will kill you. A good minimum for a premium house washing service in my area would be around $300.

Don't price jobs by the hour by trying to figure how long it will take you. Price per linear foot that way as your methods improve and you get more efficient it's like giving yourself a raise. There is nothing wrong with making good money in this industry. Just provide a premium service at a higher end price to separate yourself from the dude with the washer in the back of his station wagon. You'll be grateful a couple of years from now when you have a quality loyal customer base.

Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:56 AM   #9
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Ok, I will keep that in mind Barry. On message boards lately I have been reading varying figures as to what to charge. Initially I thought it was supposed to be around 150 for a house wash. I thought to myself: "How am I supposed to live on that??". Then I noticed numbers at around 400+. I'm guessing the linear footage equation would be best. Today, and Friday I have estimates to give. Hopefully I get the numbers straight for those.

Which reminds me... I noticed on craigslist, some joker was offering pressure washing (siding, deck, AND concrete) for around 99 bucks. I almost fell outta my chair when I read that. Then I sent a little "sting email" to him, pretending to be a customer in search of a quote. As a matter of fact, I will cut and paste it here:

I noticed the prices on that ad you placed on Craigslist. Sounds really good. What is the brand of cleaner you use for the exterior pressure washing, by name? I have a friend who has been pressure washing for some years now, and said that this price is incredibly low, considering the cost of house wash cleaner. His prices are much higher (which is why I cant afford to have him pressure wash my house) He said to give you some details of my home and get an idea of how much it would cost. Here goes:

I have a 2100 square foot house, no deck, no artillery fungus, and no mildew/mold. Also, would you be using a hot water pressure washer, or cold water? The siding is aluminum, and not oxidized.

Thanx in advance.


LOL! I cant wait to get a reply.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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I would know that came from a contractor in a heartbeat.

For the record.. in the northeast you have to charge much higher for a house wash because if our short season and higher cost of living. I get $395 (my minimum on a HW) to $850 every day of the week. We offer above and beyond service, peace of mind and a pleasant experience, which is what customers will pay for.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:47 PM   #11
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Most compaines in Maryland, house wash prices start at $199.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:44 PM   #12
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I would also know that that message came from a contractor.....too many technical terms....i would be surprised if he responds at all. and if he does Id love to see his reply....you should create another email address and ask him again but without any technical terms.....

this pricing thing is driving me nuts as well. I was figuring on my first couple of estimates going with 300 as my min and if i land the jobs start pricing higher. Ive started my advertising and my first ad comes out in 2 weeks....i have offered some freebies like free window washing with house wash up to 7....you know...everyone on the boards talk a good game about money but noone really gives you an exact price or a ball park figure to charge, they all say go with what your area will allow.....for someone starting off how do u do that? pull a figure out of your butt? I tell you this, i loose out on my first couple of estimates and i need to put food on the table my price has to go down.....so i can atleast get a burger or two off the dollar menu...........

just venting
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:24 PM   #13
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That contractor did actually get back to me. He changed his price to $300. I have to wonder... exactly what is the structure he would do for 99 bucks? A shed maybe? lol

Anyway, I seem to be having a lot of luck with "$1.25 per linear foot per story". Maybe its just the area I've been "farming" for business in lately. For example: today I did an estimate for a 28X28 two story house. I charged $280, which is a reasonable price. The siding is new, and except for one wall, its fairly clean. I have to clean the gutters, and even through in a wash for the RV in the driveway.

The homeowner said before I arrived, he had another guy do an estimate, but that they lost the bid because he would need a translator to understand the contractor. (Contractors first language was apparently not English..haha). The homeowner also said, that although the non-English speaking contractors was $195, he still chose me because I clearly explained the reasoning behind my price.

Actually, in addition to that, he wants me to PW his moms house, a few streets over and refer more business my way. Cant beat that with a stick.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:32 PM   #14
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OMG... I cannot believe how much I DIDN'T know back then! HAHAHA!!!

I am setting here, revisiting some of my first posts here on this board and wondering how in the hell I made it this far?!? LOL!!!

Tell ya what... owning and running your own business can be quite an education, and one that no book will teach you.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:38 PM   #15
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wow, i cant remmber the last time i was here but got a email in my box saying someone responded to my post from almost 4 years ago!!!LOL, i agree with you 100,000 percent, what you learn that noone teaches you, glad to see your still in buisness, and that 300 price i was going to go with worked out pretty darn well.....i pulled a great one out of my ass!
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #16
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Pricing is more of an art than it is a science.As demands on people's lives increases, more and more homeowners are delegating their household cleaning jobs to professional contractors.The housing market is frothy, no-one ever knows what the value of a house is,the value is what someone is willing to pay.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraBrite View Post
After an exhaustive search of the net, and asking those who know, I have come to the conclusion (at least here in Baltimore, MD), that the going rate for house pressure washing is: $100 an hour, up to 3 hours...after which its on me. Basically, $300 is the top I would charge for a general house cleaning. Add-on's would be drive ways, side walks and so forth.

I'm pretty much in the beginning stage of this business, so I know you guys know way more than I do. Though I only dropped 16K to start this thing I think its money well spent. Spent the money on a new van (new to me anyway), pressure washer (Sunbrite rox), Insurance, bond, chems, tons of toys (X-Jet and so forth), Web site (was free...GF is a web designer, but having my web site posted on the top 10 search of Google/yahoo is priceless), and all kinds of toys.

Today, I did a two story house (friend who was crazy happy to get a free house wash, and was spastic happy with the wash itself...was filthy prior to the wash). Tomorrow we hand out customized flyer's (only spent about $50 at Office Depot).

Cant tell you's how friggen happy I am to get away from the "work for an employer for what-ever and hour" mentality. Sorry, first business for me...lol!

Anyway... generally, what is the "per hour rate" or per square linear footage rate you guys charge in your area? Just trying to get an idea here.

Thanx for the info in advance.

Tom
www.ultrabrite.net
Hello, I am 62 years old and I've been pressure washing since 1978.
About the only thing you can do is figure how much $ you need to make in a day. You can pretty safely estimate business costs to run about 33%
yearly.
So, if you bid a house at $150.00 you can expect to profit $100.00
I have watched pressure washing businesses come and go by the dozens!
Their number 1 problem is thinking they will start out with low-ball prices to get started. What that actually does is keep them from ever getting a start. In general, homeowners know what the going rate is in their area and when a low-baller comes in, they shy away from him, assuming [ and rightly so ] that he can't know what he's doing. Here in Florida pressure washing is a very common business and price cutters have all but ruined it for everyone. Back in the 90's I could get 15 cents a square foot [ under roof ] on shingled roofs and 20 cents on tile. Now that all the off duty firemen and vacationing school teachers etc have been doing it on the side at lower prices than professionals, for the last 10 years or so I can't get over 12 cents on shingles and 15 cents on tile.
Every state is different though, but the need for pressure washing started in Florida and is still greatest in Florida, so we are over run with competition.
One thing you can always do though, have 2 prices in mind and when you go bid the job, give one for more than you need and bid it at say $250.00 If the customer acts shocked, you can do one of 2 things. You can speak right up and say "I have next Thursday open at the moment and I'd like to have a job to start the day out with, so if I can do it Thursday, I'll do it for $200.00 { assuming that's what you really need to get }
Or, you can leave them with the $250 price and call them back in a couple of days and try the lower offer, explaining that you have an unscheduled day coming up. Not to fool them, but to appease their desire for a better deal.
Just don't take jobs for less than you need to earn, or you will fail in business!
I hope that this advice will be of help to you.
Chuck
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #18
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:-) Hahahaha! I just noticed I replied to a post from 2008 :-)
Well, maybe someone can use the info?
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:48 PM   #19
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Hey Chuck,

Nice read, 62 and still going strong.

You are almost twice my age man!

Prolly out work me too!
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergman Pressure Cleaning View Post
:-) Hahahaha! I just noticed I replied to a post from 2008 :-)
Well, maybe someone can use the info?
Chuck
thanks for sharing it
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