Do you quote in person or over the phone? Why?


Personally I like looking at the home first and giving the quote in person but I want to at least learn how to quote over the phone effectively for situations where the home is further then a 15-30 drive & to simply become as effective as I possibly can.

I know people are going to say tell the homeowner to tell you how many windows they have. Well from my experience these are the problems I encountered when I worked for someone who quoted over the phone.

  1. They never know how many
  2. They’re not that motivated to go out and count, and I don’t really want to push it.
  3. You get to the house and the windows are filthy or they have way more then expected.

How do you handle these situations? There where instances where the homeowner should have been charged double but I find that once they have a price in mind it’s hard to raise it by much.

I live in a midsize cities and some of the homes I work on are in rural areas, you can’t google map them to try to get an idea.


Mostly over the phone. Well do an on site quote for anything over 5k sq.ft. We just get too many quote requests. We quote over the phone and let people know our window pricing and that we’ll adjust as needed on arrival. We know how many windows per 1k sq.ft there are typically on a home and base it on that.


About how many are in 1,000 sq foot?

Can you give me a example?

I hope to have the same problem sooner then later lol and I know I need to be more accurate or at least close enough.


I always do in person, the 4 times I tried over the phone, everything was wrong, and not in my favor every time.

I count by the pane is my reason. I also tried pricing by the sq ft but when I would get one 1400sq ft with 30 panes taking 1.5 hours and with $210 to another at 1400 sq ft with 80 panes normally worth $560… I found my area to be much better bybthebpane and in person quotes only. Sometimes I charge gas and I have yet to have a complaint.


I do both but I prefer in person. If I’m home I look at google maps and zillow. It also helps if you know the neighborhood they live in. When I price over the phone I ask a handful of questions, some of which have no real factor in the price but it gives me a chance to feel out the caller. I try to walk them through there house, second floor how many etc. Also, I always give a range of $50-$75 for the price and I’m aware that by quoting over the phone they are saving me a trip and therefor money. It’s only backfired once or twice and I’ve explained things to the customer. But I’m always willing to walk away.


I only do in person quotes. You can’t get a handle on the level of “dirty” or even how many windows may be average for X amount of square feet, in my service area. If someone just HAS to have an idea over the phone, I tell them my minimum and what the “average” price might be for a home their size. That usually saves me a trip. People that HAVE to know over the phone, I find, are cheap and want bucket Bob prices.

I price by the window or pane for French. Bigger windows cost more, but I don’t waste my time with pane pricing. I average very well. I also charge more when I have to break out a ladder, or other circumstances. So I need to see the job in person to price right and keep my profits up.


Generally in person. That way you get to see exactly what you are dealing with. Aluminium, UPVC wooden frames how many windows there are and what condition they are in. I’ll normally do the quote when I’m in the area, if they’re really keen they normally are happy to wait.

I’ve done quotes over the phone and because a)you can’t see the house and b) the customer has no idea what’s involved it typically doesn’t sit right with either party.


give them a quote based on their count, reiterate their number back to them “okay, for 17 Windows it would be…” and then aim your estimate on the high side to count for at least one or two extra windows.

I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody complain, a few times they have said i’ll count and then get back to you.

our pricing includes up to really dirty Windows although not including post construction debris. And if they have more windows than they told me, I’ll just knock on the door and say “hi mrs. Jones, on the phone you told us you had 17 windows we counted 24, were there any Windows you wanted us to skip?”

usually they say oh no I forgot this one and that one I want to do all of them, or they’ll say you can skip the garage and the bathroom window or something like that. people understand that the price you quoted them is for the number they told you and if they end up having more windows the price will be correspondingly higher


Over the phone. Cuts out a ton of windshield time.


Homes in our area have about 10 windows per 1k sq.ft.


If a customer asks for a quote over the phone I let them know that it is only a ball park estimate on what they have told me. If they are still interested in having their windows clean it is understood that upon arrival I will do a walk around to make a good assessment of what it will take to get their windows done to my standards. That may or may not be the same price estimated over the phone. Yesterdays over the phone job was $188, upon arrival it actually turned out to be $243 and the customer was good with that.


I live in a area with lots of retirees, many are in good health but some are not, often times they have hip or knee or replacements.

Lots of the communities/subdivisions where I get work at are advertised as closer to nature and basically anti-city. Basically think of lots and lots of trees, hilld and lots of lakes.

The homes are not like what you see in the city where they clear out most if not all the trees and flatten and level most of the surrounding area.

Basically what I am getting at is I can’t really expect them to go out there and count every window. I get lots of gutter cleaning jobs just because they don’t even want to attempt to get on a ladder to see if they’re clogged or not.

I’ve done gutter jobs where it took me 20-30 minutes and mde $200 or so dollars.

I just want to find a way to give quotes and be withing range. If the price goes up 25 to even 100 depending on the home is reasonable and I don’t think I would have trouble getting the homeowner to agree. But if you’re doubling the price or going up by 25% or more, then I find it more difficult.

I have yet to do a straight phone quote on my own, this is my experience for when I was working for someone. I am just trying to prepare for when I do so. Or figure out wether I should even give straight phone quotes at all.


Care to share your process?

Or the questions you ask to determine said price.


What was the reason it went up?

Care to share what type of questions you ask?

I think I am going to stick to mainly in person quotes but I know I will eventually have to give phone quotes and I need to get better so like you said, I am in the ballpark.



Yup, this… tweaked to fit our purposes


The reason it went up was because there were more sliders than mentioned and more screens. The tracks were extra dirty and took a bit more effort to get all clean.
I do not generally go for phone quotes. If the customer offers it I give them a BALL PARK figure and qualify them that way. I also tell them that it is a sight unseen estimate and I will give an accurate estimate when I do the walk through that may or may not be more than estimated over the phone. No surprises that way.


I don’t think most people get up and take a walk around their house when I ask them how many windows they have, rather they go through their house mentally counting the windows in each room, that’s why it’s common that they would forget one or two typically the bathrooms or the garage windows or the ones by the front door but it’s still close enough usually. if they tell you they have 15 windows you could give them a window price based on them having 17 or 18 and have that skew slightly up, it’s possible you’ll lose some jobs because your bid is higher than it actually will cost but you’ll still have that cushion for the jobs that do accept you.


If I give a price over the phone. The estimate is a ball park based on what your telling me. I send them that in a written estimate exactly what they say
An when I get there we walk around to see if the price was right , An before we start we give them the price. I’m more than wiling to walk if they don’t like the price after the Reassessment. It’s has happened, but not often.

But some people are just lost when you try an let them tell what they jace. Especially window cleaning. It has to be an easy house. All Casements , or all Double Hungs.


I guess this would be in perspective for each market. I have many houses that have 15 or so windows that have 30 panes and others that still have 15 windows but over half of the windows contain 6-7 large panes of glass, double the work for the same verbal description, without trying to confuse the customer over the phone with a pane count.
That and the close proximity of majority of customers makes it easier for me to best price in person.