Jump to content
Chris34

1st Job Done... 150ltrs and 3 hours : )



Recommended Posts

Chris34

So thought I'd share some feedback from a newbie.  I practised once on my parents house last week, which is an extended 4 bed semi.  Yesterday I did my first job for a friend of the family (word of mouth job), it was also an extended 4 bed semi but different layout and hence different windows / problems...

 

The job took me 3 hours and I ended up using 150 litres.  I was using the pure freedom nano trolley with the SLX22 with the recommended medium brush  with 2 pencil jets.

 

Quite why it took me so long I really don't understand, the time just seemed to fly.  I wasn't in a rush but when it got to 1 hour I was thinking I need to hurry up because it'll be dark before I'm finished at this rate.

 

The downstairs windows weren't too bad as the owner has been cleaning them, the frames had all cobwebs and bits which is to be expected and it did take a while to get rid of all the bits, particularly the sills at the back between the sill and the window and also underneath the sills being full of cobwebs, it was difficult trying to turn the brush upside down to do this.  The upstairs frames and windows were fairly bad, some of the sills had green algae that I did manage to remove.

 

I started off with the flow rate at 40 but about an hour in and I turned it up to 50, I found that there were so many bits that just seems to be never ending washing out of the sills so I turned the flow up to try and get rid of them quicker.  At one particularly bad sill I turned it up to 100 and after about 1 minute I just gave up, the bits just kept on coming.  

 

I only took 100 litres with me so I had to go back to my parents around the corner and produce another 50 litres so this didn't help time wise.  

 

I found my neck was hurting that much that it made me feel physically sick for the rest of the day.  My shoulders were hurting early on, something I guess will get better the more I get used to it.

 

I wore a thermal vest and was surprised how hot I was, there was snow / ice on the ground and I was absolutely boiling, if I was out any longer I would have had to take my coat off otherwise I would have passed out.  My feet were a little bit cold though so maybe need some thermal socks.

 

At the back of the house it was extended out on the ground level so the windows above were set back.  I had to fully extend the SLX22 and only just managed to get the brush on the glass, luckily the windows and frames were not that bad so I only lightly washed them but had they had green algae then I think I would have struggled as I was on my tip toes and holding onto the very end of the pole, really hard on the arms especially after 2 hours in as my arms were already tired.

 

There were plant pots that were over on their sides, when the lady that lives there came home (she was out) I had just finished.  The first thing she said is 'thank you that looks great' the second thing was 'oh, what's happened to the plants', now obviously I explained that they were like that when I arrived, basically it's winter and people will not look at their gardens as often so won't notice things like that where the wind has blown them over weeks ago, because she knew me she believed me but I can see how easily it would be to get accused of breaking things by people who you have only just met and then it's just your word and whether they believe you.

 

I am absolutely skint and have less than £100 cash now and the bills coming in at the end of February will mean I'm about £300 short.  I do office cleaning and house cleaning but have now dropped about 60% of work to allow me time to do the window cleaning.  I am not panicking about it as I see as the situation only getting better now that I have done the first one.  Basically I'm pretty much up and running, it doesn't really matter to me that it takes a long time to do the job as I know that speed comes with experience.  I'm sure if I did the job again I'd do it in 2 hours.

 

I didn't quote the job, my father was the word of mouth and the friend just said well if he wants to practise he can do mine for £20.  I accepted that even though it was on the low side as I needed the cash and also want somebody else's property to practise on.  I would have quoted £25 for the first clean.  It's the type of house that you guys on here would do in 25 to 30 mins for a first clean.  Once done the owner said how much and I just said call it £20 as that's what I understood was the offer, anyway he gave £25 so it's the price I would have quoted for.

 

I was very happy with the results for my first job, the windows did look a lot better and the white plastics were all clean.  I'd still find it hard to price the jobs but straight away I'm seeing that a bay window is harder than a normal window. a pvc porch has a lot of pvc that needs cleaning, the hose snags on anything and I need a univalve, having to keep going back to the machine to turn it off when re-adjusting position is a pain.

 

Strangely even though it was cold outside and ice on the ground and took a long time I'm looking forward to getting back out there on my next job.  I'm taking my time with things as I don't want to try and run before I can walk but once I start to get the hand of it I will then start to chase after the work, up till that point it's a case of doing friends and friend of friends and getting organised and ironing out any issues with the set-up.

 

Thanks for all the advice guys, it's made it a lot easier reading on here about everybody's problems and recommendations that's made it possible for me to get going with very little mistakes on the way, if any really.

 

 

Chris. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Pjj

Well done with starting we have all been there you will get quicker as you get more experience, without pictures it’s difficult to say how long it should take but guessing probably no more than an hour maximum,, a first clean will always take longer as well using a trolley or backpack as you have to keep filling it up . With regards to the physical side of the job again you are using different muscles to normal again you will get used to it , when I started off I could only do 3 ,3 storey windows and couldn’t hold my arms up any more now I can do 100 no problem at all , using cold water at this time of the year will also make you slower , just keep plugging away it will get easier the more you do 

Share this post


Link to post
Cleanteam South west

Again well done on your first job

 

Points to note when pricing, charge more for the first clean as this can take a lot more time and water, you will find the next time you clean it , you will do it in 30 mins. the problem with doing friends and family is they expect you to clean at the price you have already quoted for. for a four bed semi that should be at least £30-40, I know when you start out you are just happy to get jobs come in but another thing to think about is in the future while you are doing this job cheap you could be doing a better paid one instead. We do not do one off cleans for the very reason its hard work. if the customer don't want regular cycles then We don't want that job. Don't sell yourself cheap, your worth more than that.

Share this post


Link to post


Iron Giant

Nice one, you obviously took plenty of time to ensure the job was 100%, just to clarify a standard 4 bed on a first clean might take me 45 minutes or more depending on how bad they are as I promise a 100% job so charge double on a first clean set your stall out as you mean to go on, Also swap those 2mm pencil jets in your Gardiners brush for https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-pack-of-5-1-0mm-welding-tips they give a more powerful rinse which means you can turn down the flow rate on your controller and reduce water usage by around  a 1/3 

Share this post


Link to post
RWCleaning

Well done @Chris34 you’ll that down to 2&half hours in no time!! 

Na seriously though, sounds like you did a ace job. You’ll get the right customers very quickly. Technique first. Speed later. 

Share this post


Link to post
Chris34
17 minutes ago, Cleanteam South west said:

Again well done on your first job

 

Points to note when pricing, charge more for the first clean as this can take a lot more time and water, you will find the next time you clean it , you will do it in 30 mins. the problem with doing friends and family is they expect you to clean at the price you have already quoted for. for a four bed semi that should be at least £30-40, I know when you start out you are just happy to get jobs come in but another thing to think about is in the future while you are doing this job cheap you could be doing a better paid one instead. We do not do one off cleans for the very reason its hard work. if the customer don't want regular cycles then We don't want that job. Don't sell yourself cheap, your worth more than that.

 

Yeah I'm very aware of that and definitely don't want to be cheap.  I've set my target at £35 to £40 per hour which is a hell of a lot more than the minimum wage I get at some of the work I do at the moment.  

 

With regard to the first clean, well I was thinking about it last night, this house would have to be about a £20 house for a 30 minute 4 week clean, my first clean price would have been quoted at £25.  If I had charged £40 maybe £50 for the first clean then I really don't think they would have agreed a clean.  I'm thinking that the first clean needs to be discounted in order to get them on board and then it would be a case of you win some you lose some.  

 

If the regular clean price would be £20 what would everybody else charge for the first clean price?  It is a hell of a lot of work compared to say cleaning it again in 4 weeks, I can see it's a bit of a ball ache .  I can imagine the regular cleaning being a lot faster, I'm going to clean my parents again to see how it compares.

 

 

Thanks again for the advice guys, now it's back out to the low paid stuff, hopefully not for too much longer  : )

Share this post


Link to post
Iron Giant

@Chris34 I think for some a premium charge for a first clean is a personal hurdle I know a guy local to me whos rounds are jam-packed and he doesn't charge extra for a first clean and he is happy with that as he said he makes it up moving forward as he bangs the work out fast, admittedly I know I haven't got jobs because of the double charge but used to charge 50% more in the past and never got turned down on price.

Share this post


Link to post
RWCleaning

Yeh first clean is tricky price wise. I’m personally happy to ‘bite the bullet’ so to speak if it only takes slightly longer, then I won’t charge extra. But the odd job where where the frames are green etc, say if it was a well priced ongoing £25 house, I’d say £35-40 for the first clean knowing that it’ll take a little longer than it’s worth 1st time, but ongoing it’s good.

 

Once I said double (£36 for a £18 regular) which wasn’t that dirty at all, but don’t think I’d get away with it every time.

 

Its your business do what you’re happy with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Pjj
5 hours ago, Chris34 said:

 

Yeah I'm very aware of that and definitely don't want to be cheap.  I've set my target at £35 to £40 per hour which is a hell of a lot more than the minimum wage I get at some of the work I do at the moment.  

 

With regard to the first clean, well I was thinking about it last night, this house would have to be about a £20 house for a 30 minute 4 week clean, my first clean price would have been quoted at £25.  If I had charged £40 maybe £50 for the first clean then I really don't think they would have agreed a clean.  I'm thinking that the first clean needs to be discounted in order to get them on board and then it would be a case of you win some you lose some.  

 

If the regular clean price would be £20 what would everybody else charge for the first clean price?  It is a hell of a lot of work compared to say cleaning it again in 4 weeks, I can see it's a bit of a ball ache .  I can imagine the regular cleaning being a lot faster, I'm going to clean my parents again to see how it compares.

 

 

Thanks again for the advice guys, now it's back out to the low paid stuff, hopefully not for too much longer  : )

 

 

Pricing a first clean if it’s really dirty and or I think the person is claiming they want a regular clean but I don’t trust them then its-double the regular price so if a regular clean is £25 first clean will be £50 , if I know the person or they are a friend of an existing customer if it’s an ongoing job I will do it for the regular clean price and probebly charge a pound more than I would usually price the job at . You will get ones claim they want a regular clean then when you have done it they will say I’ll give you a ring when I want them done again , been had like this to many times , they might be renting and the tenancy is uo and moving out , or the house is going up for sale , or they just want the windows cleaned once a year , don’t get caught out 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Stevieboy

Well done mate. Always use the outside tap first on a first clean if customer has one. Flush the little bits out with tap water. Never waste pure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Minty

I think most people expect the first clean to take longer, especially if they’re minging. 

Most people will expect to pay more fore the first clean. 

 

The danager you have with a normal price first clean is people people who have lived with filthy windows are over the moon when you’ve spent twice the time cleaning them and natural light floods back in.

4 or 8 weeks on they still consider them clean and knock you back. You then feel cheated because of the time you spent on the first clean. 

 

Talk to the punter, ask them if they want you to keep them clean with a monthly clean or whether they want you to make a difference every 8 or 12 weeks. Price accordingly and always charge more for the first clean 

if you don’t value your time, the customer never will

 

good luck

Share this post


Link to post


cloudnine
On 02/02/2019 at 10:07, Stevieboy said:

Well done mate. Always use the outside tap first on a first clean if customer has one. Flush the little bits out with tap water. Never waste pure. 

 

This.  Get the connectors for hooking your pole up to a garden hose.  You have way more pressure and cleaning power to flush away all the **** around the frames.

Also have a read up of using Virosol... will also knock loads of time off a first clean and give a better result especially on upvc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Doddy111

Well done on your first job pal. It reminded me of when I first started a couple of months ago first cleans were taking me an age to do now I’m a lot quicker but I still like to take my time on a first clean for a few reasons- 

 

1. It makes a good first impression the customer comes home the windows are sparkling, the frames are all white and all scuff marks are removed from the doors etc. They then refer you cos you’ve done such a good job.

 

2. Neighbours are likely to be watching, they see you doing a great job so you may get a few walk ups or a call later on. I always make sure I clean garage doors and lower fascia boards little extras that their current window cleaner may not do. Make sure you send your customer a text explaining you’ve done their garage door for free and you can continue doing it for an extra £X amount a month. 

 

3. It makes life easier for you going forward because you’ve got all the **** out of the vents and from under the sills etc. 

 

4. By charging extra for a first clean you generally avoid the messers that just want a one-off. When I first started I did a first clean for the monthly price she then dumped me a few days later I still get p!ssed off when I drive past her house 😡

 

5. You actually have time when first starting out so just enjoy it because once you start getting full days it can become stressful. 

 

When starting out just concentrate on doing the best job you can and take your time, speed will come with experience. It’s pretty grim at first because it’s all just first clean after first clean for the first month but once you start getting onto the maintenance cleans it’s a breeze. 

 

As for the aches and pains I’m still trying to figure out how to manage them I’m going to start stretching every morning to see if that helps. 

 

I’m still a newbie myself so some of what I’ve mentioned above maybe considered wrong by some of the more experienced guys but I’ve found it’s all worked for me.

 

Enjoy it pal and keep plugging away.  

 

 

2 hours ago, cloudnine said:

 

This.  Get the connectors for hooking your pole up to a garden hose.  You have way more pressure and cleaning power to flush away all the **** around the frames.

Also have a read up of using Virosol... will also knock loads of time off a first clean and give a better result especially on upvc.

 

 

Agree with above I’ve got this works a treat- 

 

XHose The Official Water Jet Attachment Connects to Standard Garden Hose, Blue https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JAXSTW4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PnUvCbMSMY06A

Share this post


Link to post
cloudnine

Or just get one of these, cut a small length of  6mm hose,  use the hose plug on one end and put an EZ snap fitting on the other end which connects to your pole hose.  You can connect up to any garden hose then.

 

https://gardinerpolesystems.co.uk/all-products/pump-hose/hose-fittings-adapters/garden-hose-couplings/quick-release-anti-snag-pole-hose-plug-to-8mm-6mm-barb.html

 

 

Edited by cloudnine

Share this post


Link to post
cloudnine

Also these are really ace for just a few quid for getting into the gaps between the frame and sill to get the bits out on ground floor windows

 

Muc off claw brush

 

Edited by cloudnine

Share this post


Link to post
Chris34
19 minutes ago, cloudnine said:

Also these are really ace for just a few quid for getting into the gaps between the frame and sill to get the bits out on ground floor windows

 

Muc off claw brush

 

 

Yeah I was thinking about using a little hand brush or something similar for the sills.  I think I had it in my head that you use the pole and brush for everything but on reflection after doing my first job I was thinking that there is no need, it's a case of whatever is the fastest and easiest method.  

 

I think having 2 pencil jets in towards the centre of the brush is a bit of a pain.  I noticed that you have to move the brush further to the left and right to ensure that you rinse the edge of the glass, this seems like a waste of time and energy.  Surely 2 on the edges and 1 in the middle would be more efficient?  I haven't looked at the options for jets yet and know that you can get 5 jets but my early impression is that the position of the jets means that I will have to move my arms left to right a lot more and I don't understand why it has been designed like this.

 

I'm still undecided on the first clean price.  On one hand it's good to get the customer, on the other hand I fully understand that the customers are pretty clueless when it comes to cleaning, I can see that if I spent 1.5 hours maybe even 1 hour and made them look amazing then came back 4 weeks later to clean what they would perceive as being 'clean' windows for the same or near the same price then they will think they are being cheated.  At least with a double first price they can see a difference in the price reflecting how dirty their windows are, it also allows to up the price if they skip a clean.  So it could be £50 first clean then £25 per month, if they skip a clean then the next one would be £35 and if they skip 2 cleans then the price would be £50.  I guess whatever method I use it will never be perfect and it will be a balance between getting new customers and not having people take the ****.  

Share this post


Link to post
Iron Giant
4 hours ago, Chris34 said:

 

Yeah I was thinking about using a little hand brush or something similar for the sills.  I think I had it in my head that you use the pole and brush for everything but on reflection after doing my first job I was thinking that there is no need, it's a case of whatever is the fastest and easiest method.  

 

I think having 2 pencil jets in towards the centre of the brush is a bit of a pain.  I noticed that you have to move the brush further to the left and right to ensure that you rinse the edge of the glass, this seems like a waste of time and energy.  Surely 2 on the edges and 1 in the middle would be more efficient?  I haven't looked at the options for jets yet and know that you can get 5 jets but my early impression is that the position of the jets means that I will have to move my arms left to right a lot more and I don't understand why it has been designed like this.

 

I'm still undecided on the first clean price.  On one hand it's good to get the customer, on the other hand I fully understand that the customers are pretty clueless when it comes to cleaning, I can see that if I spent 1.5 hours maybe even 1 hour and made them look amazing then came back 4 weeks later to clean what they would perceive as being 'clean' windows for the same or near the same price then they will think they are being cheated.  At least with a double first price they can see a difference in the price reflecting how dirty their windows are, it also allows to up the price if they skip a clean.  So it could be £50 first clean then £25 per month, if they skip a clean then the next one would be £35 and if they skip 2 cleans then the price would be £50.  I guess whatever method I use it will never be perfect and it will be a balance between getting new customers and not having people take the ****.  

 

 

Your jets should in the outside holes not close to the socket if you are only using 2 jets as that's the norm for the vast majority of us and works very well, get those jets/welding tips I mentioned and you will see what a difference they really make more so flushing trapped dirt and crud from out of the sills

Share this post


Link to post
wezza13
On 01/02/2019 at 16:05, Iron Giant said:

Nice one, you obviously took plenty of time to ensure the job was 100%, just to clarify a standard 4 bed on a first clean might take me 45 minutes or more depending on how bad they are as I promise a 100% job so charge double on a first clean set your stall out as you mean to go on, Also swap those 2mm pencil jets in your Gardiners brush for https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-pack-of-5-1-0mm-welding-tips they give a more powerful rinse which means you can turn down the flow rate on your controller and reduce water usage by around  a 1/3 

 

Do you simply swap out the pencil jets on the Gardiner brush with these welding tips - like for like? Or do you have to make any more modifications? I'm interested in the more powerful rinsing aspect 👍

Share this post


Link to post
THL4KEL

You might have to run a drill bit through the hole to widen it possibly.. Sometimes they will just slot in.

Share this post


Link to post


Iron Giant

@wezza13  I found mine have always been an easy swap you will need a hammer and small screwdriver or an old drill bit to tap out the Gardiners ones and when fitting hose to the new jets you will need to dip the hose in hot water then push just over the thread on the tips otherwise they can leak a little 

Share this post


Link to post
J and S

Last first clean I did took 2 hours and charged £65 on a 3 bed semi.

Backpack with Ubik and brush with spray jets....spray top floor windows then scrub with brush then garden hose for a good rinse off...used ladder to get up and get hose jet under gap between frame and sill....repeat for rest of house....then did sills by hand with pink stuff...packed away and then cleaned glass with pure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
steve garwood

I honestly think people make to much of a big deal on first cleans.

In the 11 years that I’ve been using WFP, I’ve just told the customer that there might be the odd speck here and there on the first clean.

I charge them double and clean them twice without using any chemicals, ladders, customers tap etc etc.

Never had a single issue 

Share this post


Link to post
wezza13
12 hours ago, steve garwood said:

I honestly think people make to much of a big deal on first cleans.

In the 11 years that I’ve been using WFP, I’ve just told the customer that there might be the odd speck here and there on the first clean.

I charge them double and clean them twice without using any chemicals, ladders, customers tap etc etc.

Never had a single issue 

 

Totally agree.

 

Double the price for a first clean. Only ever had one customer question the price, so knocked a tenner off for her and she was happy.

 

I'd always recommend charging double. It takes you at least double the time and the customers will judge how good you are (and whether they would like you to continue) on that first clean, so make every effort to leave it in the best condition that you can.

 

Double the price (usually) covers this.

Share this post


Link to post
Stevieboy
12 hours ago, steve garwood said:

I honestly think people make to much of a big deal on first cleans.

In the 11 years that I’ve been using WFP, I’ve just told the customer that there might be the odd speck here and there on the first clean.

I charge them double and clean them twice without using any chemicals, ladders, customers tap etc etc.

Never had a single issue 

I nearly totally agree. Apart from always use the tap if there is one  why waste pure if you don’t have to???

Share this post


Link to post
Chris34

I've just been doing a cash flow forecast for the next 6 months.  For the first 3 months the majority of the money comes from first cleans, after that then the regular clean income exceeds the first clean income.  So to keep my head above the water I haven't got the luxury of giving a regular price for the first clean, they have to be double or nearly double to make it viable.  After 6 months then the picture looks a lot more rosy but to begin with it's a real eye opener / wake up call.

 

I've set my drop off rate at 10% per month (1 in 10 cancel) does this sound ok?

 

  

Share this post


Link to post




Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.