Probably one of the greatest mysteries for the new self-employed window cleaner is knowing what to charge for your window cleaning services. First you must remember that you are becoming a business and as such, your earnings go towards the cost of running a business as well as putting food on your kitchen table and a roof over your head. Now I’ve made mention on the home page about window cleaners earning $50/hr and up but you may be wondering how one prices actual jobs so that you can earn this kind of money from them.
Target Earning Goal
I usually tell beginners to set an earning goal of around 50$/hr for their first few months (up to a year) in the biz. If a new window cleaner can achieve this consistently, then they are well on their way to earning $60-$70/hr by their second year. Here’s why. Even after you’ve calculated what to charge per window/job in order for you to achieve the return of $50/hr, you will be earning this as an unskilled window cleaner. That’s right, until you’ve been cleaning windows for a while; technically you’re still unskilled. But after you’ve acquired the skills to clean windows more professionally and quickly, your hourly return rate will increase.
I tell a story on my window cleaning tutorial DVD of when I first started out window cleaning and priced out a job where I ended up only making around $35/hr. The following year I returned to do a repeat clean at the same bid price but because of the improvements in my technique, my earnings on that job increased to $70/hr. Simply because I was now cleaning more windows per hour.
How To Price (bid) Jobs
After studying price ranges (for residential) across the North American market, I have determined that window cleaning companies charge anywhere from $4 per basic window in/out on the low end to $8 per window on the high end. Storm windows are usually priced much higher because of the amount of work, not just in cleaning them but also the time it takes to take them apart and re-assemble them. French panes (small cut ups) are often charged at $1 in/out to $1.50 in/out for each individual pane. The two things that will determine what you charge is how your per window price meets your earning goal and also what your market will bare.
Pricing commercial work is slightly different. Usually a per window price will be lower than residential work. Reasons for this include such things as level of competition in your, simpler window styles (usually), more frequent visits (sometimes by contract of weekly/monthly/quarterly etc.) In many cases you may be ask just to clean the outside glass only. Pricing of anywhere between $1 per pane side to $2 per pane side is quite common for ground level commercial glass but may need to be increased depending on other variables. (see below) window washing
If you are looking at going after storefront work, it is often a good idea to set a minimum per service stop because some stores may only have a few pieces of glass. If you’re aiming at getting many small stores in one area location, you may want to set your min per stop at around $15 and test the waters for going up from there. The one main characteristic in doing storefront work is that although you may make a smaller amount per stop, you plan to make it up in volume (number of stops per day). Some window cleaners prefer this type of work because a store front window cleaning route of weekly/bi-weekly/monthly accounts means consistent earnings throughout the year, even in the cold winter months.