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A new man


Jimroot

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hi guys.

 

I'm jim. I have been reading through the forum with interest the last month before saying hello, trying to learn as much as possible.

 

My story is, I'm being made redundant from a healthcare service based job and I have looked at my options and decided I'd rather invest my modest money into a gutter/window start up. Keeping fit outdoors sounds good to me.

 

My conclusion from reading the forum extensively is that water fed pole is a great option, though fiddly and costly to start, the rewards are worth it... Also traditional seems to be more an art to be learned over time?

 

What I haven't been able to work out is how people are powering their gutter vacs and water fed pole systems in operation? Do you have a mobile generator or are customers ok with plugging into their supply? I do have lots of other questions, such as are ladders absolutely essential if using a wfp and gutter vac, or will some jobs still require them? Costs of a start up spiral when adding a van, ladders etc...

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Hi & welcome @Jimroot :thumbsup:

 

I use mostly customer’s power to run a guttervac or hire one in if need be for very large jobs.

Wfp systems are powered by a 12 volt leisure battery so don't need to run off customer’s power.

I find ladders are still essential to have on the van no matter what services & methods I use.

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Hey smurf...

 

Thanks for your reply. I have read your ladder posts on recommended ladders. If I hadn't read them, I would possibly have bought some useless ladders already! I was hoping there would be a recommended telescopic ladder for gutter work, as currently I have a car and I'd rather avoid getting a van for now as I wouldn't have enough cash without taking a loan for a van. My car is a three door hatchback

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Hey smurf...

 

Thanks for your reply. I have read your ladder posts on recommended ladders. If I hadn't read them, I would possibly have bought some useless ladders already! I was hoping there would be a recommended telescopic ladder for gutter work, as currently I have a car and I'd rather avoid getting a van for now as I wouldn't have enough cash without taking a loan for a van. My car is a three door hatchback

 

Welcome @Jimroot. You can get a trolley for WFP that would probably fit in your boot. Regarding the gutter vac, don't buy one unless you have a van. You will knacker your car up and would struggle to get it all in a 3 door hatch. Buy a ladder and these http://progutter.co.uk along with a Harris pole from B&Q.

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Hey Tuffers

 

Thanks for the advice... I am looking into a cheap van as I think it would be much easier to do that way if I'm to have a serious go at the business. The car isn't worth much unfortunately so can't just swap.

 

Proper ladders I would struggle too much to get on the car I think as it isn't designed for roof bars and it's too small, so again, van either way, Vac or pole/ladder. Vac seems the quicker safer option.

 

Will keep reading the forum and looking on the net and put some questions in the other areas of the forum.

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Welcome to the forum Jim.

 

Sorry to hear about the redundancy.

 

It’s good your keeping cost in mind at the start, as cash flow is the life blood of any business. If the start up money wont stretch to both types of work, it might be prudent to choose one, either gutter work or window cleaning to begin with. Make a list of what you need and do a basic plan with a time line.

 

I would recommend just window cleaning to begin with, as it is repeat business and could be started for a few hundred pounds with trad method, keeping cost very low while you build a customer base. Then you can change over to wfp.

 

Maybe someone on here can go into more detail about the gutter work to help you decide which would be better suited for you.

 

You will always have more questions than answer, especially when starting a business; you’re just going to have to make some decisions before you can fully understand some answer anyway.

 

Good luck.

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ive always been in the cleaning business.just over 2 years ago I lost a massive cleaning contract 2 mitie cleaning,which id been doing for 13 years.it was game over.what did I do?i had being doing trad b4 this,never gave up the bit of window cleaning I had.like you i thought about wfp.its all about hard work.if you want it youll get it.

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Guest boarcity

if was you id invest what money you have into marketing your new biz + buy ladders to go on your car . equipment wise if you go the trad route you would have some change from £200 if you buy all new / well under £100 if you buy secondhand

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the trouble is its not like years ago,you had 2 get up ladders if you wanted some dosh.theres guys around me who clean wfp, couldn't clean a window trad 2 save there life never mind getting up a ladder.cleanining trad is a skill.

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Cleaning either way is a skill

23 years trad which is why i am so fast and good (don't like to blow my own trumpet )

But for a couple hundred quid you can be set up trad and it don't take 5 minutes to learn to clean a window to a passable level and if you struggle with fancy techniques just do it the basic way and practice when custys not around

Wfp can come later when you have a customer base

For an extra 100 you can get a microlite off fleabay and get on the gutters too

 

Oh and welcome fella

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the trouble is its not like years ago,you had 2 get up ladders if you wanted some dosh.theres guys around me who clean wfp, couldn't clean a window trad 2 save there life never mind getting up a ladder.cleanining trad is a skill.

 

Trad is a skill, and very satisfying when you can do it. When I collect my money of an evening and see how nice the windows look, I feel very proud of it.

 

Regarding gutter cleaning. I've been window cleaning on and off for over forty years, and if you put all the gutter cleans I've done together, it probably wouldn't fill a month up, so don't bank too much on doing that.

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Hey, thanks for all the replies!

 

I got into the idea of gutter cleaning a few months ago from looking into damp. My damp issue turned out to be condensation, solved by venting, but it got me noticing all the dodgy gutters in my local areas, of which there are thousands of houses in each area... A good percentage with clods of grass in!

 

I prefer the idea of doing two or three jobs per day at single locations, as per smurfs business model, cleaning as much as possible per location... I think it would be easier for me to keep track of clients, money, costs, less marketing hassle.

 

But I value the low-fi recommendations and the idea gutters maybe neglected by homeowners and a non starter for a solo business model.

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Guest boarcity

working solo doing gutters on ladders is hi risk, overreaching is common even if youv a pole

 

its only recently iv been promoting gutter clear out and only cos iv got a crew, to lessen the risk

gutter cleaning is quite good money but id think itd be a struggle to fill your diary with it-

 

tho go for it , market it like youre obsessed and prove me wrong!

 

one service im often getting asked for in recent times but im not set up to do so turn it down flat ,is washing the whole house outside surfaces . i bleve theres a real demand but nobody doing it

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Hey boarcity,

I prob should have said, due to other commitments, I'm looking to work 10 to 20 hours per week max for the time being, so it might be possible to book five To ten gutters per week perhaps.

 

To me, looking from out of the industry, it would be easier to sell gutter clean as the main product, then offer cleaning the windows, sofits, etc as the extra, because gutter maintenance is the essential, and windows are the inessential? Unless I'm missing something.

 

In my houses, damp and drips have been much more concerning than dirty windows, so I'd be much more likely to pay, say, 80 a year to been shown a load of crap hoovered out of my gutters, maybe with a few sections neatened up too and the drain emptied, especially if I didn't like getting my hands dirty

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Give it a go mate

Smurf does well from it

I am doing ok as getting quite a bit of gutter/fascia work but i am actively advertising it

Window work is more reliable and is bread and butter work

Why not target bigger and more out the way houses for decent quality window work?

The only downside is if you lose a custy it makes a bigger impact

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If your going to offer a proffesional gutter clearing service then it is a must to have the right kit to do it as safely as you can as it's very dangerous work.

 

You don't have to spend thousands either as my first van was a chepo tidy berlingo van and alot of stuff you can pickup nearly new in good condition from the likes of fleebay if you are lucky.

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