Whatever industry you operate in, price is key to unlocking sustainable business success. On the one hand, you want to give your customers outstanding value for their money and turn one-time buyers into loyal advocates. But, on the other hand, you have to make a reasonable profit and ensure your employees are paid fairly and on time.
So, how should you approach pricing for window cleaning?
The answer isn’t straightforward, and many moving parts are at play. In this article, we’ll explore how to price window cleaning jobs by first revealing the average costs. Then, we’ll dive into the factors that influence price, such as accessibility, window type, and whether you’ll be washing screens and sills.
We’ll look at some of your most significant expenses and give you a simple formula to ensure you make a profit on every job. Finally, we’ll share our top tips on presenting a bid to potential customers so that you can win more business.
The Average Price of Residential Window Cleaning Jobs
The price of residential window cleaning is between $150 and $366. Professional window cleaners charge around $250 for a full house clean.
The average cost of an individual window is $10 to $15, or $4 to $8 per pane of glass. Windows above the second floor are generally priced at $3 to $5 above the average.
Residential Window Cleaning Price Sheet
|Window cleaning price||Price per window||Total price for a full house cleaning|
The Average Price of Commercial Window Cleaning Jobs
Commercial window cleaning jobs are priced a little differently. Generally, window cleaners charge by the square foot, with averages ranging between $0.50 and $2.50. The cost will also depend on how easy the windows are to access and whether the service is a one-off or part of a scheduled cleaning plan.
Commercial Window Cleaning Price Sheet
|Window cleaning price||Price per square feet|
Not All Professional Window Cleaning Jobs Are Created Equally
Averages provide a good starting point when deciding how to price window cleaning jobs. But there’s more to the story. Some windows are easier, faster, and less resource-intensive to clean – whether in a residential or commercial setting. In addition, other factors will impact the total amount you charge your clients, such as where their property is located and the type of windows it has.
Let’s examine these variables in greater detail so that you can devise an accurate and profitable window pricing system.
Number of Windows
The more windows a home has, the more you should charge for window cleaning. Washing each window takes time, and you must ensure you and your employees are fairly compensated.
The average number of windows a property has will likely depend on where you live and operate. For example, properties in colder climates may have fewer windows. Conversely, houses, apartments, and commercial buildings in warmer climates generally have greater numbers of windows. In addition, older homes tend to have smaller windows, whereas modern properties often have larger windows.
Type of Windows
Some types of windows are more difficult and time-consuming to clean than others. Here are some of the most common:
- Picture windows don’t open. They usually consist of one pane of glass and are therefore easily cleaned.
- Awning windows often feature one pane of glass that opens outward. They are typically fuss-free to clean, too.
- Double-hung windows consist of two panes of glass hung one above the other. Some window washing companies consider double-hung windows to be two windows – others see them as one window with two large panes. Either way, double-hung windows have four cleanable surfaces: two inside and two outside.
- Sunburst windows can have a significant number of panes. For example, a single window could have four upper and four lower sections, plus up to five panes arranged as a semi-circle at the top. Each pane must be cleaned individually, making washing sunburst windows more time-consuming.
- Garage doors sometimes feature panes of glass. These are usually relatively small, so they are quick and cheap to clean.
- Skylights or roof windows generally open much like an awning window but are more difficult to reach.
- Sliding glass and French doors are larger than most windows yet easily accessed, so they should be priced accordingly. You can charge per door or per pane.
State of the Windows
Washing a car that’s been off-roading takes a lot more time and effort than washing a car that’s done little more than suburban driving. The same logic applies to window cleaning. Consider how dirty your client’s windows are, and price your service accordingly. For example, do they invest in regular commercial window washing? Do they live in a climate or area prone to mineral deposits and other environmental factors? If so, are specialty products required to ensure a perfect finish?
Building Size and Accessibility
The larger the building, the more windows it will have, and the more you will charge for your window cleaning service. The same goes for accessibility. The more challenging it is to reach the windows, the longer the cleaning process will take, and the more it will cost your client.
Windows above the second story of a home or building can cost up to $20 each to clean. But many window cleaning specialists choose to charge by the hour – instead of per window – when working on multi-story properties. That way, they can be sure their team is paid for the time it takes to access higher windows.
Screen, Sills, and Tracks
Does your window cleaning company offer screen, sill, or track cleaning? If so, you’ll need to factor this into your pricing strategy.
As a guide, window cleaners price screen cleaning at $0.50 to $5 per screen. Sill and track cleaning is often included in the per window or per hour price. However, if a client’s windows are crafted from wood, they may require special cleaning treatments. So be sure to factor this expense into your quote.
Per Window vs. Per Hour
Finally, you’ll need to decide whether to charge per hour or per window. You can choose a blanket pricing strategy or select the best option on a case-by-case basis. The average window cleaner charges between $40 and $75 per hour, with a one-hour minimum and, in some cases, a call-out fee. It takes about three to six hours to wash all the windows of an average-sized home, depending on the complexity, accessibility, and number of window washers.
Don’t Underestimate Your Expenses
You’ll also need to factor in your costs when pricing window cleaning. Otherwise, you risk turning a menial profit or, worse yet, losing money. If you are not making a profit, your business cannot sustain itself long-term.
To calculate your net profit, use this formula:
Net profit = revenue – expenses
Revenue is the amount of money you charge your customers. Now, let’s take a look at some of your possible expenses.
Commercial Window Washing Supplies
The basic supplies you will need to carry out professional window cleaning include:
- Window washer – the tool that applies the water and cleaning chemicals to the window.
- Cleaning chemicals – the product that removes dirt and grime. Some windows may require special cleaning products, such as eco-friendly or toxin-free cleaners.
- Squeegee – the tool that removes water and cleaners from the window, resulting in a crystal-clear, streak-free finish.
- Bucket – to transport your cleaning product around the property.
- Scraper – the tool used to scrape off paint, mineral deposits, mud, and other hard-to-clean marks.
- Extension pole – to lengthen the reach of your window washer and squeegee.
Travel Time and Cost
A window washing job might take you three hours to complete, but don’t forget to factor in the 30-minute drive there and back. Transportation takes time and money, which is why many professional window washers charge a call-out fee of between $45 and $85.
If you run a small window cleaning business, you likely have employees. And those employees must be paid for their time. Ensure you price your window cleaning jobs high enough to compensate your employees fairly and make a worthwhile profit.
Specialty Pricing for Window Cleaning
In addition to the influencing factors and expenses listed above, it’s worth considering non-standard pricing for jobs within specific contexts. Here are two specialty pricing factors to keep in mind.
Frequency of Service
One-off services are typically more expensive than ongoing services. So, you might offer monthly or quarterly window cleaning for a discounted rate per clean. This incentivizes your clients to continue using you for their window cleaning needs while securing all-important cash flow for your business.
Whether it’s plane tickets, hotel rooms, or window cleaning, products and services that are in high demand during specific seasons attract higher price tags.
For example, you might notice an uptick in inquiries in the lead-up to the holidays. Homeowners want to ensure their properties look their best before their families arrive. Commercial business owners want their stores and offices to attract as many customers as possible. During this period, you can hike up your window cleaning rates. This achieves two things:
- It encourages some clients to book their service before the holidays, ensuring your business has a regular income stream.
- You earn extra profit during peak times.
What Does Your Competition Charge?
Before you lock in your pricing strategy, research your local market. For example, residential professional window cleaning might cost $250 on average, but if other window washers in your community charge $200 for a full-home clean, $250 might be too high. In this example, you could either lower your rate to more closely match your competition or bundle in extras to add value to your service above and beyond what others offer.
Simple Tips on Presenting Bids to Customers
Devising a profitable yet competitive pricing strategy is one thing. Convincing clients to trust your business and agree to your charges is another. Here are five simple tips on presenting bids and quotes to potential customers in the residential and commercial window cleaning spaces.
First impressions count. So, if a prospect reaches out to request a quote via phone or email, respond promptly. This legitimizes your business, sets a high standard of customer service, and gives your potential customer less time to contact your competitors.
Ensure You Have All the Required Information
Before you can present a bid to a prospect, you need to know the scope of the window washing job. If required, send a follow-up email or jump on the phone and find out the number and type of windows, the building’s level of accessibility, and any other specific requirements or challenges.
Provide an Accurate Quote
When it comes to expenses, no one likes hidden surprises. So, when you present a bid to a client, ensure the price listed is the actual total price the client will be required to pay. Include all fees and extra charges if applicable.
Set a Timeframe
Generally, bids and quotes are only valid for a specified period, such as 30 days. This protects your business and creates a sense of urgency, encouraging the prospect to respond sooner rather than later.
Don’t underestimate the importance of branding. Ensure your bid includes your business’s name, address, contact information, and logo. By maintaining consistent branding across all customer touchpoints, you bolster your business’s reputation and earn your customers’ trust.
It’s All About Balance
Pricing window cleaning involves many variables, from the type and number of windows to the time of year. However, building a strategic and sustainable pricing system is essential to your business’s long-term success. Price your service too low, and you’ll be left with a deficit. Price it too high, and you risk losing prospects to your competition.
The key is striking a balance, giving your customers excellent value for their money while safeguarding the feasibility and longevity of your business. Do that, and you’ve got a win-win situation.