School bid help


I was underbid by $1000 on my last school (and I priced it as low as I could but the lift alone was almost half the price!), so I would really love some opinions on my next big bid. Here’s a summary with pics below:

About 5000 french panes total
-3600 of them are OLD with chipping paint, 21 frenchies per window, each window needing a ladder/stool even from inside.
-1400 of them are newer pellas with vinyl frames.

About 160 triple-track storms cover the old windows. The maintenance guy said they can be stubborn (as we know all too well).

About 100 “normal” panes ranging from average-sized to large

Definitely will need a lift, probably a boom lift. I recently got a quote on an all-terrain scissor lift at about $1200 for a week; not sure of boom pricing, but imagine it’s somewhere in the same range.

I’m thinking I can possibly wfp the pellas, but I’m gonna bid it assuming it will all have to be trad just in case.

Last company was a 5-man crew and it took them 3-4 days, but they skipped a bunch of windows and did poor quality work.

I’m guestimating it’s 90 hours of work? …so maybe $4500 labor + lift?

Here are the pics (they don’t show the interior hallway windows, but the counts above should still give you an idea):




I don’t see where you would use lift on this project.

Possibly even with your last bid maybe that’s the difference in your bids. Your pricing in lft costs where others are using ladders or wfp as means of access.


It’s taller than it looks. Last company also used a lift.

But maybe I could do it. My ladder is 24’.

Last job had spots that were around 40’…I estimate my wfp (xero ult) can reach about 34’. However, these windows, particularly the old ones, I don’t think it’s an option.


Humm, yeah, I’d plan on wfp’ing everything and then where you need to ladder up. Lifts can be a pain AND dragging plywood around to prevent that lift from sinking into the grass is also a pain.

My only advice is: don’t try and beat anyone on price. Price the job where YOU are happy with it and if you don’t get it, then on to the next one. Because if you bid it, get it, and are not happy with the price, you’ll spend the entire job kicking yourself mentally.


Would it be cost effective to buy extensions or a longer WFP instead of renting a lift? Spending $ to own stuff is much more enjoyable than renting.


My current wfp is long enough for this job, but not an option because the windows are in very poor condition (paint chipping on the frames). I’ve gotta do this nose to glass.


I’d wonder if it’s even worth for a 1 man operation to take on a time consuming job like this. You’ll be at it for a week and a 1/2, going inside pulling windows to clean the exterior then back inside for inserts and insides.

If you choose to use a lift, I wouldn’t, you’ll need 2 styles. One for inside gymnasium, another for outsides where the landscape and playground make it a challenge and moving plywood under tires with 1 man will add more time than it’s worth. 24-28 foot ladder seems very doable


Thing is, I’m at the point where I’m basically completely out of resi jobs so to have a couple weeks of work to fill in the summer slump would be perfect. Plus, I really would like to have the experience doing a large job and finally get my foot in the door for commercial.


So… Does anyone have any feedback on if $4500 seems reasonable?

(I know markets vary and ultimately I need to make what i need to make, but it would still help to know if I’m even in the ballpark.)


Your at then low end of what I would charge. The French pane Windows with storms will eat up man hours. I would charge $ 4000 just for these 160 of those. FYI I would stipulate that you wouldn’t do any Windows with A.C. units installed in them.
Clearview Windows and More


Great advise … Especially on big jobs like this. Stick with your pricing you will only land a low percentage, but your better off.
What I’m finding is these jobs like this are severely low baller most of the time. Im leaning towards nit even wasting my time estimating big jobs Like this anymore . it’s a nitemare waste of time.


:weary::scream: just be glad you didn’t get it …Ugh!!