Recently did a job with 25 ft. windows. There are more in the neighborhood. I worked them with a pole, fair job with Wagtail, but detailing was pretty bad. Am not rolling in customers yet, but think the investment in WFP will open more doors, do better work and make better time. It would be a financial challenge. So should I invest and bet on return, or keep polling until I am flush with cash? Also these windows are shoreline with heavy sand. Think WFP will flood off sand and make better time cleaning. Spent about 15 minutes per window with detailing after using pole. Not fun. Also, rocks around houses, sand, not good for nose to glass at 25 feet. Thoughts? Thanks.
Wfp would definitely save some energy and time but try not to go into debt too much. Some debt puts a fire under our butts but too much can bring you down.
Check out some of the simple wcr wfp setups they’re selling these days. Prices are getting more reasonable than they used to be.
It makes a BIG difference in investment comparing DI only to RO/DI. If you are going to use the unit much, you need to know which type of unit is more suitable for your area.
WFP is never a bad investment IMO, because its a tool you can use often in your business. You have to be willing to commit to learn to use it. BUT, if you don’t have many clients, and you are short on cash, I would not drain all your savings to get one. You still have bills to pay and if you are in a winter area, Spring advertising is around the corner.
I don’t recommend going into debt to buy the setup. IF you have established clients that you can depend on in Spring, have about 50% or so of the money you can afford to spend on the setup, and would do a 12 months same as cash with someone like PayPal, that might be more doable.
Yeah the amount of time saved with a WFP pays for itself with in no time. It’s an easier and FASTER way fo cleaning. There is 0 detailing, and your sand problem wont be a problem. The water floods the glass and rinses all that away. PLUS you do the frames, which is where a lot of the sand is sitting. I have used pure water for about 10 years, and I couldn’t imagine doing it without. It’s just another tool for you but its an awesome one.
As far as the money side goes, Being I am a salesman, take it with a grain of salt. But there comes a time in business that you realize spending more to have a tool you don’t have to replace in a year, or something you wont OUTGROW is such a better option. BUT there is no money fairy, so you have to work with what you have. IMO figure out how to get the system you want right out of the gate.
Your just starting your business your business probably has more time then money available at the moment.
I would use your money for spring marketing right now since spring season is just right around the corner.
Here’s a great link to help you with your water fed pole and pure water choices when your financial ready.
Also if you have to pole windows at that height it’s way easier to straight pull them when you first start poling. Wagtails and other tools like that have a learning curve.
If you have any questions just ask.
Great advice folks. You are my heroes in the biz. Have chatted with Alex much, and the Xero Pure DI kit with 35’ pole was recommended, since our water is 87 TDS, with frequent use. Am looking at about $1,500 with some bells and whistles. We’ll see.
WCS - Yep. Understood. Am excited about the season.
My poling sucks…at 25’ I’ll use a ladder before a squeegee pole. But before that I’ll use my wfp.
Ladder and squeegee.
Build steady business.
Then invest in expensive tools.
WFP is nice to make those 2nd story windows go faster. I did the ladder thing for years before I finally invested in WFP last October. I earned the money to pay bills and buy my pure water system. If you have the spare cash then go for it. If not than traditional and ladder where needed.
unless you purchase a route a would also build it up slowly.
nice new equipment doesn’t make a phone magically ring
Thanks Garry. Something to be said for “earning” it. That’s why I threw this thread out there. You are the best.
My decision would be based on whether or not I am going to stick with window cleaning. Can you see how the business will work for your needs? Can you see at this point how you will get more efficient and thus increase your earnings?
If you are getting jobs now, provided you don’t stop doing what you have done already, chances are you will continue to get them. This may not seem so, as the first year can have a lot of gaps in the schedule.
All this said, I am re-reading: “Spent about 15 minutes per window…” This where I would start to make your calculations. If you are getting bogged down to $20.00 to $24.00/hour, then a wfp starts to become a necessity rather than a luxury or a mere contemplation.
The obstacles you mention to maintaining efficiency are things that are not about your technique. Rocky landscapes, sandy windows, etc. If you were able to get through 30 of these panes an hour, what would that do for you? Would that justify the investment? Can you move onto to other work on that day, rather than just that one job that took far more time because of impediments that you have no control over? Does this happen with some frequency? Will your book of business be permitted to be completed sooner, with less effort, and thus allow for the acquisition of more business?
And, what about safety considerations? Are you having many situations where ladder sets are on questionable terrain?
These, to me, are the germane questions to ask.
Poling this glass with squeegees is one way to get it clean, and it will behoove you to learn to pole and pole well. In my experience, when doing residential, the variables usually render traditional poling ineffective. Be it terrain, angles, amount of dirt and soiling on the glass. Things have to be just so. I find that squeegee poling is the right technique on one or tow pieces of glass in any given house. Maybe more if it is a large home.
There is no substitute for developing good consistent technique, no substitute for learning correct ladder placement and safety, and the time needed to do so. WFP won’t shorten this learning curve. But we all need areas in a given job where we can sail through to allow ease and patience in areas of a job that will require more time. WFP is a resource that gives more opportunities to realize these fast moving portions of any given piece of work.
If we show up to do a brake job with nothing but an impact wrench and assorted sockets, we’ll only get so far. WFP makes for, in my humble opinion, a window cleaner with a complete set of tools.
It is a big investment and a good bit to learn. But, once you get beyond the wtf’s of using a new technique, the benefits will become so apparent, you will wonder what the debate was all about.
Peace to you, and keep it up!
Stewart, what a generous comment. Thanks so much.