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Hello from a newbie and a few questions???


Guest OCD Clean Windows

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Guest OCD Clean Windows

Hi folks, I've been trading as a mobile car valeter/ detailer since the beginning of April, and on the cusp of leaving my full-time bus driving job to go full time self-employed. (Can't help feeling it's like stepping off the edge of a cliff into the unknown)

 

After seeing the level of attention to detail and quality of work their car receives, some of my regular customers have enquired about having their windows cleaned, and after doing a little market research and number crunching, it seems like a good fit to run alongside my main business, with the year-round income being particularly appealing given the seasonal variance of valeting/detailing work.

 

So to my questions... and apologies if any of these have been asked before. For clarity, I intend a traditional cleaning method, and live in England (Nottinghamshire)

 

LADDERS: What size (length) ladder would you recommend? I see some state 'domestic' use and others mention 'trade' use, is there a real difference in the ladders?

 

INSURANCE: I'm already covered for liability, service liability and items worked upon for the vehicle detailing side of things, but need a separate policy for window cleaning. I've been quoted £78 for the year for £1m cover... does this sound about right?

 

CRB/DBS CHECK: I'm currently CRB checked by my employer for operating school bus runs. My ID states that the current check is valid until April next year. Is it mandatory/ necessary/ useful to be crb/dbs checked for window cleaning? Looking on the .gov website, it seems I can't crb/dbs check myself, I can only do a 'basic disclosure' check... is this any good/much point doing?

 

Any other tips or help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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Valeting and window cleaning would be a good combination for you. I dare say some on this forum have done both or still do. 

 

For ladders I'd recommend a set of lyte trade ladders. You can pick them up for around £100- £120 max. There 3 sections and you can take one section off and you'll reach nearly all standard houses with 2 sections.

 

Mines was around £172 for the full year and because I'm Scottish, we're required to be licensed. So make sure you get a licence if your local council requires it.

 

Best advice from someone still in my first year? Advertise on buy and sell pages from facebook. Gain a customer or two and canvious the area alot. Don't undersell yourself, stick to your guns and make what you want to make. Forget what other people make.

 

Good luck 

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Hi mate I started out as a mobile valeter and still technically do it but not done a valet for a couple of months as windows has taken over.

 

If you are a mobile valeter you must be carrying a tank in your van already?

 

If so that's ideal for you to start wfp. That's what I did. I filled my tank with pure water and used it for both. Pure is perfect for valeting as it means you don't have to do much manual drying.

 

Now I don't know how much you charge or can make valeting but I can tell you that window cleaning for me is more profitable, easier work and a more consistent income. Car valeting served a purpose for me until I built the windows up but now I try to avoid it where possible.

 

I wouldn't start trad, why would you ? It's less profitable, not as safe and harder work and if you have a tank already wfp is a no trainer you only need a few hundred quid worth of bits to get started.

 

You don't need to be CRB checked or NEED any insurance. Although public liability is advised.

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Guest OCD Clean Windows

Thanks for the replies so far.

Adam... yes I do have a tank, 500ltr baffled. I'd thought of going trad as, to my (uneducated) mind, I thought trad would result in a better finish. However, having never experienced WFP, I'm open to being converted.

Would you be able to give me ideas as to what I'd need to set up a WFP operation... equipment, and how to obtain or 'make' pure water. Links would be awesome if it's not too much trouble.

You mention WFP is safer, obviously down to not lugging my accident prone a$$ up a ladder... but also more profitable? How is this so, given the costs of getting or making pure water?

Regards my valeting/ Detailing... my aim has always been to try and keep the serious Detailing as something that I enjoy (I know, I'm wired) that I get paid for... I basically hoping the window cleaning plus some other bits I do with regular 'contract car-washes' will pay my bills and keep the Mrs in the lifestyle she's accustomed to, and leave the Detailing as gravy on the top of you will.

Thanks again

Tony.


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You need to find out the tds (total dissolved solids content) of your water

Go on window cleaning warehouse website or daqua and buy one for about 11 quid

That will determine whether you can use just di which is the thing you linked to or whether you need an ro to filter your water

If it is much over 100ppm you will need an ro or be buying a 75 quid bag of resin every few weeks

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1 hour ago, OCD Clean Windows said:

I take it this is what you mean

http://www.windowcleaningwarehouse.co.uk/filterplus-ro-system.html

Would I require this AND the DI I linked to above, or just this.

Sorry for the multitude of questions... this is all new to me and a bit like rocket science.


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At that price i wouldn't bother

Ro from collinswaterproducts on ebay 450 gallon per day £170

Di vessel full of resin for under £100

Will work perfectly

If you can get away with di only then 2 di vessels with resin is all that is needed

2 is better than 1 as you can save resin by using them correctly

Like this

https://youtu.be/pnb6QcUA5bg

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Ive just bought a set of lyte tripple trade ladders from selco. Shop about then go into your local branch. They price match. Very sturdy and safe!!


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Guest OCD Clean Windows

Ok, found the Collins 450G RO device... seems reasonable. If I'm honest I probably WILL need to RO, as I live in a very hard water area.

Am I getting this knotted around my head....

I'm thinking it's possible to draw water from my tank (via the pump to up the pressure) through the RO, through the DI and immediately through the hose to the brush head.

Is this correct, or would I need to filter water in advance and use it from there?

(This stuff is part of the reason for initially deciding to go trad rather than WFP, lol)


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26 minutes ago, OCD Clean Windows said:

Ok, found the Collins 450G RO device... seems reasonable. If I'm honest I probably WILL need to RO, as I live in a very hard water area.

Am I getting this knotted around my head....

I'm thinking it's possible to draw water from my tank (via the pump to up the pressure) through the RO, through the DI and immediately through the hose to the brush head.

Is this correct, or would I need to filter water in advance and use it from there?

(This stuff is part of the reason for initially deciding to go trad rather than WFP, lol)


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I've just been looking at that starter kit and there's a few issues with it: It's an aluminium pole which are very heavy and easily damaged. Heavy brush head. The resin would have very high running costs as it uses 6L resin bags at £35 each (inc. Vat) Basically its good for a homeowner to do their own windows or a trad windy who does occasional wfp.

As you mentioned a RO would be much cheaper in the long run. I use RO only with no resin as I'm getting very pure water through the ro anyway (1ppm) with a 450gpd RO it wouldn't produce water fast enough to use on the go- you would have to either filter it overnight into your van tank or ideally into a 1000L ibc tank (cheap, especially if used- got mine for £20) with a submersible pump (£20) and pump the water into your van tank when you need it.

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Where do you live? It would be easier for you to take a look at someone's setup rather than trying to explain as it sound more complicated than it is. In reality it's very simple to go wfp.

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Hello @OCD Clean Windows and welcome to the forum!

 

I don't live in the UK so please disregard if necessary, but why wouldn't it be feasible to do traditional and WFP? I use my WFP every chance I get because I don't like dragging ladders around on the mostly hillside properties in my area but sometimes traditional is just more efficient.

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1 hour ago, HBM said:

Hello @OCD Clean Windows and welcome to the forum!

 

I don't live in the UK so please disregard if necessary, but why wouldn't it be feasible to do traditional and WFP? I use my WFP every chance I get because I don't like dragging ladders around on the mostly hillside properties in my area but sometimes traditional is just more efficient.

you can, just most windys tend to do one or the other. Most work in UK is good for both, its personal preference. A few on here, including myself, do what they feel like doing when they get to a job, if I feel like tradding ill trad it, if not i wfp it.

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