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Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

Pricing for builders clean

Posted by Wishy-Washy_window (Mikey Y), 19 March 2004
Hi Guy·s,

I have picked up two builders cleans this week, and was wondering how much you fellas would charge extra for this.

I started one yesterday which was 72 panes x two, for the both sides, ( I use a pane count system here)I estamated at about 100 quid,(160 euro) and reckon I have another 2.5 hours left today, these panes all needed a really good scrape, as lots of plaster, paint, cement, syllicone, to remove, therefore at the end of the job I needed to charge at least 50% on top of the normal price.

would this be a fair price? or in reallity 100% extra as each pane has been washed a minimum two times, the one next week is priced at around 350 euro, its gets a liitle embarrassing asking for 350 euro to wash some windows, but I think that job will take a minimum 10 hours.

Any input would be appeciated but also from guys that clean large homes.

Best regards
Mikey Y
Spain Cool
Posted by simonb (simonb), 19 March 2004
I base my price on whether its a one off or not.
Builders are usually one offs so u charge whatever you can get.

If I am getting the repeat work I put on 50% and tell them I will get the worst off 1st time and then after 2 or 3 visits it will be immaculate. This hooks them into regular cleaning
Posted by Wishy-Washy_window (Mikey Y), 19 March 2004
Hi Simon,

sounds a good idea, but I have been stung a few times with people saying thay want a regular cleaner, after spending time getting the glass in pristine condition thinking its an investment for future times.

When I call to make an appointment they fob me off, (need to call as security is tight here)with an excuse. You would be surprised that some folk living in an apartment worth a million quid think that 30 quid for all glass boths sides is expensive, and thats with having to drive there in the first place.

Spain Cool
Posted by simonb (simonb), 19 March 2004
That's the whole point of NOT getting it immaculate first time.
Explain its a process.
On visit 2 you get off the silicone. (You need a special expensive fluid for this!)
On visit 3 you get off all the tiny paint specs which you cant see on the initial clean cos of all the 'builders dirt'.
It's an art and you know they can afford it!
Ps what's the weather like?

Posted by Ian_Giles (Ian_Giles), 20 March 2004
I used to do an awful lot of initial cleans for builders, one thing that I would advise is to charge at the very least THREE TIMES YOUR NORMAL PRICE!
Builders cleans are one off's.
With initial cleans for private customers who you hope will turn into regular cleans, I agree with doing the work in stages over a couple of months.
I have never used special solvents for the silicone myself, I have found that the 4inch unger razor knives are fine.
But the smaller the window panes the more frustrating it is! and of course it takes a lot longer too.
I always told customers of this sort that I would fully initial clean some of the windows this month, a few more next month, and so on until all windows were perfect.
Charge a few pound extra per clean, and then when all have been initial cleaned the price drops to your normal charge rate.
But big house or small house, initial cleaning will take you at least three times as long to do, so charge accordingly.
If the builders/glaziers/painters/brickies did their work with more care there would not be the mess to clean off in the first place!

Oh, a tip.

With regards to initial cleans, before you make a start, check the widows carefully for scratches and also point out to the builder or agent that if there is sand and cement over the widows there is a strong chance there will be scratches. If the windows are of the painted variety, check for clumsy decorators who haven't paid attention to the marks and scratches that can so easily be made from sanding down the paintwork.
The reason for pointing this out is to prevent someone trying to claim that you have caused the damage, and then trying to claim of your insurance for new glass.

Trust me, this happens!!


Posted by karlosdaze (karlosdaze), 20 March 2004
Hi Mike,
Builders cleans here are a little different to the U.K., as they are a lot messier here. I would go for the 200 euro mark minimum. Tell them it will be cheaper on the next clean, as you know that they will call in the spray-maids after. Give them the next clean price, then they realise the amount of work the first clean really is.
P.S. If we used silicon removers here, the windows would fall out.
Rain all next week Mike, hopefully not the brown stuff!
Posted by Bones (Mikey Warner), 20 March 2004

I do 1 to 3 initial cleans per week for a housing develpment. I follow the plasterer and decorators and clean the crud they left all over the windows and frames inside and out.

As for pricing i charge anything between £70 to £100 plus my travel there and back (as it's a 20 mile drive)

Another tip, make a marking on your tools, as i have lost my unger scraper and lighweight stanley and i know which one of the labourers has them Angry

Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 21 March 2004
Go by day price not panes.Go on whether anyone else could do it weve done building cleans cladding,windows in and out and have charged upto £1,500 and still saved them money.Also if you quote for so many days and obsticles are in the way when you get there invoice them for more they will pay.If you do do big builders cleans most will only do if you have cis certificate.

Posted by Ian_Giles (Ian_Giles), 21 March 2004
Curious...........what is cis cerificate Steve?

I don't do builders cleans anymore, there are far easier ways of earning a crust! Though I know you can make damn good money doing them. Hence, keeping your prices way up!
I can understand charging a day rate on really large jobs, but you are better of pricing for the work if all you are doing are the initial cleans on site houses as and when they become ready.

Posted by Wishy-Washy_window (Mikey Y), 22 March 2004
Thanks for the input fellas, think next time i will try 3 times my usual price, got that big place on Thursday and Friday this week so will see if i got my price right.

Karl think we got sunshine, had warm 24 degrees today but very windy this morning, nearlly blew me off my ladder.
see ya
Mikey Y
Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 22 March 2004
The only really big builders clean we done was for a well known clothes department store as soon as it went up and thereason i charged a lot was one because no one else could get up to 80 feet,secondly the building company building it turn over 85miilion a year and secondly i waited untill the last minute getting back to them when i knew it was to late for anyone else to do it.A CIS certificate is a construction industry scheme certificate where the building compant deduct the tax from the invoice before paying you.
Posted by Ian_Giles (Ian_Giles), 22 March 2004
.A CIS certificate is a construction industry scheme certificate where the building compant deduct the tax from the invoice before paying you. [/quote]

Ahh, thanks for that Steve, with you now, I used to have that (well, similar) when I worked in the construction industry, it's a real pain, but if you do a lot it can often mean a nice rebate at the end of your tax year!


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