Chapter 12

Estimating Jobs, Scheduling,
and Bookkeeping

Estimating Jobs

Estimating could be a trial and error process, there are many factors that go into pricing a job.

Timing and pricing are for first-time cleaning and depend on how much varnish, bug spots, mineral deposits, and paint needs to be removed.

A first-time cleaning always requires extra work.

Adjust prices up for hard conditions: working around and through trees, bushes in the way of the stepladder, thorny plants, vines that need to be removed, air conditioners in the way, sloping ground, stairwells, furniture, hanging lights, hanging plants, heavy drapes, etc.

Adjust prices down (not very much and not too often) for easy conditions: all level surfaces, nothing in the way, all ground floor with no step-ladder work, or many same size windows grouped together.

Keep in mind; pricing is not just for cleaning the glass. It includes setting up to do the job, a few minutes of talking to the customer, taking a drink of water, moving the ladders, putting down drop cloths, re-supplying your tote tray, changing squeegee rubbers, changing razor blades, going back to get missed spots, and other sundry activities that go along with cleaning the windows. 

Check out our Estimating Templates that are free for you to download.


  • Time Management

    If you have residential work, you’re going to have to prioritize and manage your time efficiently in order to get all the jobs done. Try to get route work that is along the road to the areas you will be doing full house cleanings. Use all of your time wisely! When you get an account, build the route work in that area around the account. Less travel time means more money.

  • Calendar

    Keep track of all your jobs, big OR small. You can’t always rely on your brain to remember everything you have to get done. Keep an organized calendar with you (physical or digital) so that you can easily book new jobs and know what you're doing every day of the week. Write everything down!


First things first, a computer or mobile device will be your best friend when keeping track of everything you need for bookkeeping.

If you prefer to keep everything organized with paper, that’s ok too! Just make sure you keep everything organized and always backup everything.

Customer Cards

It’s important to keep track of your customers. It’s an important part of bookkeeping! Just keep all your customers' information in one place with the usual information with address, contact information, and any special notes that go with that job. You can keep that information with their file of invoices.


Invoice your customers in some way, whether it be digital or a physical copy. Keep a copy for your records. You can purchase an invoice book or even generate your own forms. It’s completely up to you. Businesses like numbered invoices to prove they are not being billed twice for the same work. 

Use a self-addressed stamped envelope if you leave a bill or send a bill. Sometimes the homeowner lives elsewhere or has a bill-paying service. 

Deductible Items

It’s important to track your mileage for a business deduction. It’s a must to record the mileage of your vehicle at the beginning and end of the year. Talk to your accountant about what method of tracking mileage would be best for you. It can be the simple mileage way or actual expense way. 

You may deduct health insurance premiums, vehicle mileage to and from the jobs (Check with your CPA, Certified Public Accountant, for the current rate.) postage, window cleaning supplies, telephone, subscription to American Window Cleaner magazine, dues to the IWCA (International Window Cleaning Association), office supplies, business insurance, contract labor (if you have a helper on occasion), hardware items purchased for the business, glass repair invoices when you break a customers window, etc. If you use it for business, it is deductible. See your CPA for a detailed list.