Adding Pressure Washing?


#1

I received a request from a federal agency to remove some bird nests from two picnic type pavilions and pressure wash them, I’m 99% I’m not biding against anyone and I don’t want to leave money on the table. I own a pressure washer, but I don’t actively advertise it, as I just use it occasionally on a few jobs to pre-clean some super dirty windows I did a quick google search and I can’t find that anybody in my area that even offers such a service and I can’t recall even seeing anyone doing it anywhere. What is the hourly rate that is typically being charged? I was thinking at least a $100/hr?


#2

I guess it depends for instance, this guy:


with his $99 electric pressure washer on the roof taking 8 hours or longer to complete.
If you are set up with the right gear and do the job effectively then you should be able to get double, but to charge $100/hr to use a hand wand on a flat surface might place your bids well above what they would be for a company who is set up.


#3

Is that a Fisher-Price “My First Pressure Washer” ?


#4

I would check your local laws regarding pest control. I might take down an obviously vacant nest as a favor for a residential customer, but for government work it’s always best to cover yourself.

As far as rates go, I think most properly setup power washing companies gross between 125-250 pmh, depending on location and type of work. I’m usually around $175-$200/hr for residential house-washing, and I’m still learning and optimizing my workflow.

But I don’t know of many power washers who charge an hourly rate. Like window cleaning, most charge by the job


#5

Thanks Alex, I was hoping to get a straight forward response from a WCRA veteran.


#6

I saw a guy using a surface cleaner on a shingle roof once. Between that and his cigarette breaks every 15-20 minutes, he was there all day.


#7

All I can say to that…

:man_facepalming:


#8

We measure everything and charge by the square foot for flat surfaces ($0.20-$0.30 per square foot), and the linear foot for vertical surfaces ($1.25 for one story, $2.25 for two story, $3.30 for three story). Fences are usually $0.50-$1 per foot depending on type and height. With my equipment and experience, I usually get between $150-$200 per hour on the job. I do have quite a bid invested in high quality professional equipment. Just like with windows, its best to bid the work at set prices and the time is ups to you. I’ve found that theres more set up/behind the scenes time and maintenance with pressure washing once you start doin it a lot, but I still usually make a better hourly rate than when I do windows.

Hope that gives you a good idea. You’ll have to feel out the market where you live adjust your prices accordingly.

Cheers


#9

My friend got into PW 2 years ago. He had about 500+ residential accounts for window cleaning, so it was a smart move-- I believe out of those 500 he has done 200+ pressure cleaning walls, gutters, screen enclosures, patios, roofs and driveways.

I believe his initial investment was around 10k for a professionally built system with trailer. He made that up in 6 months, not a bad idea. He likes the PW more than windows, 100-150 an hour easily once you get your feet wet is not out of the ordinary.

Keep in mind, he had his friend who had been PW for 13+ years show him the ropes. Don’t slice your toe off with the red tip!


#10

Which you should do to the fact of equipment ,chemical, an gas costs . Same goes for resi window cleaning verse store front window cleaning . There is more overhead for resi , An more labor so you should make
more. Just saying btw :laughing:


#11

The market is probably regional, I have never seen anyone power washing anything other than parking lots around here and even that’s pretty rare. I always run into that occasional customer that really needs a good PW’ing prior to cleaning the windows, but I just haven’t entertained building that side of the business. There used to be a company with a mobile truck that primarily washed vehicles, obviously that wasn’t a great business model when you can get a deluxe car wash for $12. He has since disappeared.


#13

Beware, I added PW/SW about two months ago as I was watching money fly out the window every time a WC customer asked if I knew someone that could get algae off their siding. So far I’ve invested about $3000 in equipment and realize PW is a whole other skillset.

You don’t have to spend $10,000 on a new rig, just understand the MINIMUM for a starter 4k/4gpm machine is $1000. That doesn’t even include all the hoses and nozzles needed.


#14

No offense to those who prefer to go the cheaper route on a PW machine, but I think starting with a machine with 5.5 GPM or better, is a much better idea.
My 6.5 GPM machine alone cost me 2200. I still have to add battery and cables, and a gas tank. That’s another 2-300 bucks.

I figure I’ll have close to 7K in used trailer and all the equipment, in power wash AND soft wash equipment for next Spring. Yeah, that’s probably pretty high compared to what some guys start with, but I won’t have half the problems that going the cheapest possible route, brings.