Waterfed Pole pricing HELP!


So I got this HUGE job I’m bidding on, I have been in the business for over 9 years now but just started with waterfed pole cleaning. This job I am bidding on is a Hospital in California and has over 2500 window panes! I just want to put up one picture here to see what you guys think for bidding these 4th story windows off the roof. each window pack has 6 panes. I was debating $5-$6 per pane which would make each high pack about $30 each. I am pretty sure that is fair price but not for sure. I would rather bid the job off panes than hourly as I don’t know how long things will take me. Also how much difference is price and time when I have to do these high ones from the ground instead of the roof top? Also for you WTF Pole Pro’s, how long would each 6 pack of windows up high usually take? Thanks so much in advance! This job will be cleaned 1-2 times per year.

Thanks so much!


Can you not stand on the first floor roof?


Yes I can on a lot of them, but this picture I would have to stand on the one story roof to clean these windows. I am just curious from a Professional that uses Water Fed Pole a lot, Of much time would each of these 6 pack of windows take? That is all I really need to know.


Not going to take much more time that the floor under thrm when using a wfp.


Just make sure to set expectations. Explain to them how you clean…with a wfp. And that every window mighy not be perfect. Especially if they havnt been cleaned in a while. Some one using ropes would prob get them much cleaner but would also demand a much higher price.


Well the company that was doing this job before for a long time, has not been seen much around anymore and just been sending bills. No Hospital employees have seem them in years! That is not the way I work, they will know I’m there. This Hospital has 2’ ledges on some windows but they don’t want us walking on them. So they are aware of the WFP. This place will be on going for windows on a weekly basis for most and the high stuff once a year after the buildings are pressure washed by my buddies company. The job is up for bid for multi year contract and we will be getting it due to who the Director is with our connection.

My concern is how long much time each “6 Pack” of windows roughly takes a normal window cleaner with WFP. I am guessing about 5 minutes each so I am hoping $30 each would work. This Hospital covers 4 city blocks and has over 300 patient rooms. They even asked about cleaning all inside windows and keeping them on schedule also. I guess I’m just stoked about this bid and just want to get as much info as possible.


If you are going to clean the inside glass, make sure you ask if there are special requirements as to what you use or what you wear in there. Sometimes there are special requirements when working inside a hospital from what I have heard.


Sounds like a good opportunity. Speaking from experience, of you’ve never done a big job like this expect it to take longer than you planned. If you’re using labor make sure everyone is 100% on board and isn’t going to miss a day.


Thanks guys for the info! It will just be my wife and I doing all the window cleaning work, I can not trust employees for this stuff and also really nervous about hiring people. I just have to figure out how to fit this in with my other 225+ storefronts that I do weekly, biweekly and monthly.


J-Rod. It sounds like you have limited WFP experience. Rinsing will be the key to these windows looking good. What I recommend if you want to eliminate guess work, which I recommend, wash a couple of full sets on the first floor. Count how many passes you do per pane for rinsing, so you can replicate your work on all the glass. Once you have washed the first floor sets, check it once it dries, depending on the day 5-20 minutes. If it dries clear you are good to go and know the process and exactly what to expect. If there is grey streaking or looks dirty still adjust your process so you like the final result.
If the windows haven’t been done in a couple of years, even though billed, the glass or sill dividers may have a lot of dirt. The rinsing process may be difficult. If a job is not done for a couple of years it may test the pole’s ability. You will probably be fine but it is better to eliminate that concern at the beginning vs. half way through the job.
Good luck.


Why would you offer any services that don’t offer perfect results? If you’re not getting good results you doing something wrong.

I don’t Reduce my prices for WFP work. It saves me time but cost more on equipment and mantaining it. Justify the cost of your equipment or you’re setting yourself back.


Have you ever cleaned 2500 panes at 3-4 stories with a wfp? If you did chances are that some windows weren’t perfect. Especially on a first time clean.
I didnt say I wasnt getting good results wugh a wfp. Not sure where you got that from. The reality of the situation is that if your nose to glass you can pretty much guarantee perfection. If your 40’ below there’s lots of variables that could affect you thw wfp performs. Everything from wind, bad seals, stuck on debris you can’t see from 40’ away.

And is it just me or are you always the first one around here to jump on people and start telling them that there probably doing something wrong.


My average WFP job is 5 stories and about 2000 panes.

Not that I tell everyone they are wrong, just another view besides the one posted.

Honestly if i tell a customer the job they hired to complete might not be perfect would not be wuse or i should find another method.


If you think you are so informed about jhans then you would know he also has a truck mounted WFP system, besides the big 5 stage system he has talked about. I’m pretty sure a guy that has that much invested in WFP, isn’t some goober just starting out.

AND, he’s right. You don’t tell your client that the windows probably aren’t going to turn out good because they haven’t been cleaned in a couple of years. IF you know what you are doing, you should be confident you can do a goof job. Nose to glass doesn’t necessarily ensure the job will be better. It just depends on the person doing the work.


To add to your info or to tell you why your post may have another method or way to access and clean.

Someone would not use ropes and this 3 Story area with overhangs that wont allow the person descending to easily reach back into the windows. The building likely doesn’t have anchors also as it wouldn’t be designed for that type of work.

If you’re wondering, yes, we also do rope descent work also.


I didn’t suggest he was a goober. And don’t pretend to know anything about him other than what I read here on the forums. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

And obviously you shouldn’t tell your customers that the job isn’t going to come out good. I said you should set expectations accordingly, it can be worded a million ways. That was advice for the op and had nothing to do with jhans.

I probably could have not added that last comment on the my previous post. I was just stating my observations. Ill admit that was unnecessarily personal.

@jhans I want trying to say that you don’t know what you’re doing or talking about. I don’t do rope work or high rise work over 5 stories. In my experience people who do pay much higher insurance premiums and generally deal with alot more liability than people who don’t and therefore need more $ to be profitable.


Know the value of the type of work your bidding. By under bidding you can decrease market prices in your area.

I service every level from storefront to highrise window cleaning and i can be just as, if not more profitable in storefronts than a company who only performs storefront. Just because my overhead is more other factors contribute to the final profit.Effeciency, scheduling, knowledge, experience and pricing are factors too.


Well said. You clearly have knowledge of the business.


Can’t use ropes here in California. Illeagal period. And a hospital absolutely won’t want that on their property.

The biggest problem with hospitals is their billing cycle…usually 90 days…IF you’re lucky.

That said, @J-Rod when timing is a major factor for the bid I would look at the first floor windows on an area where its the worst (usually an area of the building that won’t get cleaned durring the maintenance cleanings like maybe a window behind the dumpster enclosure, or somewhere on the side or back near the dock…

and quickly clean the whole area, all 6 panes, as if they were only one plate of glass.

Reason I do that is because I will be able to see if I’m going to be getting some bleeds from the frames in the middle and bottoms of each pane.

That time it took you to finish that, without having to do each pane individually is your best case scenario.

Now, starting on the top row clean each pane and the top of each frame below. Then move over to the next set of windows and do the same.

Go back to the first set of windows and start on the next row of glass hitting the top of the frames on the row below and then the same on the next set of windows…repeat.

Then, there is your true timing per “window”.
Per window (x) time, mutiplied by the amount of “windows”, divided into days (but the last two hours of each day add .5 to (x) for fatigue or whatever.

Don’t laugh, it works.


@thorSG1, i thought rope descent was allowed but only like at 150’ or less in CA?

I hear you on hospital billings, i do alot of those too.