Thinking of starting

Discussion in 'Chit Chat & Introductions' started by Mdrake, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to the UK Window Cleaning Forums.
    Starting or own a window cleaning business? We're a network of window cleaners sharing advice, tips & experience. Rounds for sale & more. Join us today!

  1. Mdrake

    Mdrake Guest

    Hi guys

    I'm thinking of starting in the new year in the Gloucestershire area. I was thinking domestic, am I barking up the wrong tree when I say the following:

    Small van partner or sim
    Wpf, what size? Where should I get this from?
    Assorted bits and bots, ladders etc
    Then look for work!
  2. Masons

    Masons Guru

    Oct 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    The problem with paying for all those things THEN looking for work is you may run out of cash before you have enough work to sustain you. Be careful when starting up a business. Budget like mad.
  3. Mdrake

    Mdrake Guest

    Ive got another job which I can rely upon so I'm not without money, hence the ability to purchase

    The idea is to build it up and then make it my income. So hence the question.
  4. laddergarder


    Nov 29, 2011
    Likes Received:
    To be honest buddy, no offence but it doesn't sound like you have really did your homework. When I started the first thing I did was spend about £30 on some trad gear from homebase, then practised, practised, practised . I work out how long it was taking me after a good few weeks of practice, I then came up with a pricing structure based on how long it took me. Then I went out and started canvassing, going door to door.

    Everyone is different, and you may have some more cash set aside that I did when I started, so can make some descent investments in equipement straight away, but my advice would be to spend a major portion of you time and money on building up your customer base. You can look at some other less important stuff later on.

    One thing to consider is buying an estate version of a panel van like a renault kangoo, or Citroen berlingo, as the insurance is cheaper on the estate models, that with panel vans, and you can just remove the rear seats if you need the space for a WFP setup.

    We usually do a comparison with simply business for public and employers liability insurance which is quite a good website, we are currently insured via Zurich.

    There is loads of equipement that you could buy, but for trad I would advice the following items as the bare essentials, we dont use WFP's, so someone else will be able to advice you better on what you would need for that, one website I would look at for WFP though would be pure freedom, they do some pretty good budget systems.

    Basic trad gear: -
    Ladders, 20ft set about £80 -
    Ladder clamps, usually on offer when you buy ladders from about website
    Go to a local timber merchant, and but some posts to cut some wedges for levelling ladders, handy to have to pin open close doors etc as well.
    For trad gear I would use 'window cleaning warehouse'
    you will need: -
    12" or 14" squeegee
    14" applicator
    bucket on a belt
    shoe covers for working in doors

    Its not essential but if you have some money spare, some t-shirts will a logo on it can greatly improve your results when canvassing as you will gain peoples trust easier. I would recommend,
    They will do the printing and embroidery for you as well.

    Hope that helps.
  5. full diy wfp system with 250 litre tank with gardiner 27ft clx pole for around £1300 be careful what type of van you get as with this set up for two men you'll need a payload of at least 800kg's
  6. badbusdriver

    badbusdriver Guest

    Good on you for thinking along the right lines, wfp that is!. Yes there is still a place for trad, and it can certainly come in handy to have some ability with trad methods, but in your particular situation, wfp is the way to go. If you read some of the mis-informed nonsense on this forum, you could be forgiven for thinking wfp is the work of the devil!. Getting an estate car for wfp is not a good idea. 1st off, the estate version of something like a kangoo or partner is going to have the lowest payload, 2nd, an estate wont have a bulkhead, which is a highly desirable extra safeguard when carrying a large vessel of water!, 3rd, a wfp system really needs to be fixed for the obvious safety reasons, and in a small fwd van, the tank needs to be as far forward as possible, so you wouldnt be able to use the rear seats anyway. Not sure what Col is thinking about, but with a 250l system, you could easily get away with a 600kg payload unless you are carrying heaps and heaps of other stuff!. I use a diy wfp 500l system in my ford transit connect 230, it has a 900KG payload. 500kg for the water, the tank itself weighs about 30kg, the metal frame my tank sits in is about 50kg, the rest of my stuff including pump, di vessel, hose reel (100 metres) and various other stuff would be, at most, another 150kg (but probably less than 100kg), and finally me, at 90kg (yes, remember, a vans stated payload is simply the gvw-the dry weight, the driver comes out of the payload!), that comes to 820kg. I use a pump controller and consider it essential for water consumption, but one of the other benefits is that you can wire it directly to your van battery, so no faffing about with leasure batteries!. One other thing, my connect is the lwb version, and i can fit my 36ft pole inside. If you plan to get a partner or kangoo sized van, you probably wont get a big pole inside it, that may not be an issue, but just so you know. As for your system, diy is def the way to go, there is nothing complicated at all, a pump, a water tank, and some hose, simples!. Just decide how you want to purify your water, di or ro, get a pole or 2, and you're sorted. Good luck :)
  7. ricoclay

    ricoclay Guest

    If you are thinking of starting up and still are in employment, I would honestly say that you would be better off waiting til around March time before you make the leap.

    As laddergarder says, start off small. Very little point spending thousands of pounds on gear/van etc to start with coz you will need your savings to live off of for a while (unless you can work and pick up around 30-40 new customers a week).

    I would suggest though, that rather than going the whole hog and buying a van and kitting it out, get yourself a trolley system and work from the back of an estate car while you are finding your feet


    Jul 25, 2011
    Likes Received:
    i have a van but i also have a garden business so needed one for clearance work ect.

    its a berlingo van great on fuel.i wanted a transit connect but these mothers hold there cash lol.

    if i was just to do window cleaning in the futer i would prob just buy my self a astra estate or something like trad tho so all i need is a roof rack and abit of space.

    i could do it out of a fiesta to be fair but need more room as i have two big dogs lol.
  9. All good points above.

    I would start with a practise first with some trad gear. Get out there in the cold at the moment (window clean ur friends houses and urs n do sum canvassing) and seriously think is this what you want to do....if u can cope with that then you'll be fine with the other less harsh months.

    Lots of options for gear, tools etc....

    If you have any questions or would like a chat with someone about anything window cleaning related just give me a call 0788 7777 252

    Ps check out my website for uniform, logo design, web design n kit And I can sort you out :)

    All the best, Jeremy
  10. maximus

    maximus Guest


    Domestic is definitely a good place to start! It's good bread and butter work.

    I've had particular success recently with canvassing. When you call keep it brief and ask if they want a window cleaner. If they have one don't waste your time undercutting move on!

    Price is normally pound per window and add couple of pound on, obviously looking at access, size of windows, type of windows etc.

    I've never found being the cheapest matters, people care about customer service and having someone they trust!

    I would start canvassing as you build and arrange your system. I set up my own, so if you need any help i'll message you where to find me.

    Small van would be fine, I have a transit connect which is great small van. For insurance purposes check the payload on the van and don't go over it! Make sure the tank is secure in the van also, or have a low lying tank made (expensive).

    You can get insurance for window cleaners, which covers your van and contents with companies like allied and i believe gleaming. My insurance is just for the van.

    WFP wise, I use alluminium they are heavier but tend to be a little more durable. Carbon fibre you have to really look after. Brodex do good deals. Think about how high you need to go. A friend has made poles out of fishing rods. Not sure about that myself!

    I purify the water in my van, and this works great. If you want more info on that, no problem.

    Any other questions I'm happy to help. Ill send you my details.