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Starting a window cleaning business - Equipment you need, suppliers to use and trade organisations to join, etc.

30 per hour for 1 person - is this true?

Posted by Central (Central), 25 September 2003
I have heard on a few occasions that people do 30 per hour window cleaning.  Ive been doing this for about 9 months and average about 15 per hour on my own and 30 per hour when two of us work (he's been cleaning windows for about 5 years.

Do people really earn 30 per hour and if so how?  Do they charge a lot per house or what?  I charge as much as I can and I know I couldn't get any more from the houses I currently have.  

Has any one got any advice or are the people who say they earn 30 per hour exaggerating?

Look forward to any comments
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 25 September 2003
Hi Central,
              Yes you can earn 30 an hour window cleaning but it tends to go up and down depending on what jobs you are doing Huh It also depends on what end of the country you live in as i live in the South East where prices are probably higher than North ( Mind you the cost of living is different also Sad )

Steve Lowe
Posted by Central (Central), 25 September 2003
Yes I suppose that is true.  I have earnt around 30 per hour on things like gutters but as a rule it tends to be around 15 per hour average over the week.

I live in the midlands, is it just the window cleaners down south that can make 30 an hour or does any one know of anything which could effectively doublew my work rate?
Posted by DerekW (Derek Whittle), 25 September 2003
Yes I do, if you had the right equipment you could make 50k per year as I do.  I bought the package from www.hydrotech.org.uk  it's absolutely superb. you can clean anything and charge accordingly.  Cheers,
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 25 September 2003
Hi Derek
           I thought you were hydrotech uk Huh  Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 25 September 2003
Hi Central
As Steve has said, on certain jobs I'm sure 30 per hour can be achieved but I dont know any window cleaners that can get that level consistently day in and day out unless they get involved with some of the high level Reach & Wash equipment.
I'm sure that certain claims about potential earnings assume 3 things:
1) It never rains
2) You never stop to talk to your customers or collect money
3) It doesnt take long to clean the windows and therefor they're not cleaned very well.

HOWEVER, I'm sure someone said in an earlier post that they charged 1.00 a window. I've also read that Terry Burrows can clean 3 windows and wipe the sills in 9.91 seconds. Potentially that's 1089.00 per hour  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
Posted by DerekW (Derek Whittle), 25 September 2003
Hello Steve Lowe, yes I am now connected with Hydrotech UK and help promote the business, but originally I bought some equipment from them.  Cheers,
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 25 September 2003
I agree with Mike. I remember when i started 18 years ago a couple of window cleaners used to give me some incredible figures of what they say they earned but no matter how hard i worked i could not get anywhere near that amount. Cry But then i noticed when passing the local pub that same afternoon that they must have been in their about 3 hours. Shocked  After that i just took notice of what i could do and concentrated on building my business and let the dreamers stay in the pub. Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 28 September 2003
The whole basis of what you earn depends on what you charge. Most window cleaners (including me) are far too soft.
When I hear what other cleaners are charging I am amazed.
Here in North London 15-20 is charged, and got! for a three bed semi.
We have had gangs of 4-6 blokes coming in from South Wales and the like who come to London for a few days each week to earn as much as possible and then go home. They are really fast.
Rubbish cleaners but they still get the work. They sleep rough in their vans or go to cheap B and Bs. Most appear to drink heavily and look really hung over but you want to see them go.
A two man team will do a house in ten minutes and while one is collecting the money the other is setting up the ladders at the next house. They don't stop for cups of tea or chats and if you tread on their toes they can be very agressive.
Recently we have seen teams of young eastern european blokes operating in much the same way. These teams are making well over 30 each per hour
Posted by sham33 (sham33), 28 September 2003
I charge between 8=10 for a 3 bed semi. Cant beleive any 1 in there right mind would pay upto 20  Shocked
I live in the south east and it is possible to earn 30 a hour.
Posted by AMG (AMG), 29 September 2003

This is an interesting point, I live in the Central/ East (Suffolk) and from what I can gather the going rate for a house of a general size is 6, so I guess I'm restricted to what everyone else is charging. Does anyone else charge this amount? obviously it will differ from area to area but I was expecting to charge 7 - 8 per house. 6 just seems quite low for a back and front.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 29 September 2003
Hi AMG
         I would stick to your 7-8 a house when canvassing and see how you get on because i have found that if you are reliable and do a good job people will have you even if its a couple of pound more. Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by Central (Central), 29 September 2003
I generaly sharge for an average house with 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs window at the front and 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs window with a pation door at the back about 5-6 if that same house had a conservatory then I'd charge about 7-8 (remembering I wouldnt be able to do one of the upstairs windows).   I live just south of Birmingham.  I generally do about 15 per hour on average with the odd fag break hear and there.  Does this sound about right or am I undercharging (I really don't see that customers would pay any more though).
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 29 September 2003
Hi Central,
               I think it varies from area to area but we would charge about 10 for a three bedroom semi but i have heard of other window cleaners lately charging 15 but i dont know how many they get Huh We are in Surrey.

Steve Lowe
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 29 September 2003
Pricing is the hardest part. I never know what to charge.
Average here (NW London)is 10-12 but that often gets a refusal if you are canvassing.
It is hard to put up prices afterwards so I think its better to take a few more refusals but I am the worlds worst.
A lot of WCs still go out at 7 ish and a good friend of mine gets his done for 4. It seems to be based on age, younger WCs are dearer.
There are a lot of sharp operators, fly by nights and rip off merchants who overcharge and do a terrible job and then generally never come back.
I would say don't worry, 15 per hour is twice what a bus driver earns and you don't have to work shifts.
After all its not rocket science.
And you are your own boss.
And on a nice day there is no better job
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 29 September 2003
I think that it depends on the job, I have a couple of contract jobs where I can earn good money for  little work .
I think it all depends  what you want to earn per hour , if you want to earn 10 or even 20 per hour it all comes down to your pricing , if you do a good job  for a fair price word will start to spread and soon you will be earning 72k per year Grin A 2 up and 2 down here in Fleetwood you will get about 3.00,  a 3 bed semi 4.50-5.00  Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 29 September 2003
Hi John,
          I suppose its all relative to the cost of living in your particular area. To buy an average 3 bed semi around here costs about 200,000 so although you tend to earn a bit more you certainly end up paying more than average on a mortgage. Cry

Steve Lowe
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 29 September 2003
Hi Steve
To buy the same size house here would be about 100,000- 150.000, depending on the area , we have a gang of window cleaners who travel about 40 miles to work here , I cant clean windows for the price that they are charging (dirt cheap) but you get what you pay for . We could turn up at houses next to each other and start at the sme time  by the time I have finished the front they are on to the next one ,they dont know how to get into the corners Cool
Posted by gibbouk (gibbouk), 29 September 2003
saw a ticket today in a show home house from 3 quid bungalows from 2 quid cant see how they do it. i think people are wising up to cheap window cleaners and over priced ones i just picked up a job that a bloke was charging 30 quid for
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 30 September 2003
I agree,
           I think customers are prepared to pay a reasonable price for a decent job but some window cleaners around here are pushing their luck with prices but it backfires when they lose the work.

Steve Lowe
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 30 September 2003
I think a lot more goes on your appearence than a lot of people give credit for.
Impressions do count and if you have a proper van and wear overalls you look the biz. It really does make a difference.
Put yourself in the customers shoes and see it from their point of view.
Oh yes....and don't forget the corners!
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 30 September 2003
Hi Londoner,
                  I agree. When i first started my business i was determined to not look like the average window cleaner down the road and had overalls embroidered with the company name and got a van sign written etc and it worked wonders Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by fez (fez), 2 October 2003
I always aim for 20 per hour to cover travelling,collecting etc. I don't always achieve it though.
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 2 October 2003
When I started I had a couple of cloths a 99p bucket and some fold away ladders. I was given 12 customers and didn't get any more for months.

Then I bought some proper ladders hip bucket scrims etc. and looked the biz and got 3 or 4 new customers a day.


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