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New to WFP looking for advice


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So I have never cleaned windows using trad or WFP. I got the idea to set-up when a window cleaner came to our house and just seemed so unprofessional and the job was not so good either. I don't mean to bash on them as they are just earning a living, but it really made me consider setting up myself. I have two young children and cannot for the life of me find any form of work that I can fit around them so this seems like a good option.

Now, I have researched heavily for a couple of weeks and I believe I will need an R/O system to purify my water as I get a TDS reading of around 280. I haven't got a van but I do have a small car. I have a budget of around £700 and just want to start up by building a round as local to me as possible and progress from there. 

I am really struggling to grasp what equipment I will need to start up. I have looked into poles, backpacks, R/O and DI systems, but I still feel very unsure of what I actually need! Could anyone offer me any input & advice? It would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

Edited by LPJY
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Welcome @LPJY

A Gardiner Backpack along with a CLX27 or better an SLX27. I would opt for a stiff brush, an Ultimate flocked and an Ultimate Dupont and Tapertec brushes. (Brushes are a difficult thing to recommend as everyone will have their own preference.) The stiff is good for dirty frames, the Tapertec/Dupont for maintenance cleans and the flocked for leaded windows.

A small r/o from Daqua. (There are cheaper r/o's advertised on Ebay but they use cheaper Chinese membranes that dont last as long and are also not as efficient imho.) When you start off you will not use much water, but I would still opt for a 300 to 450gpd r/o. You will also need a small di vessel with resin (6 litres for example). You will need a couple of water butts to store processed water into from garden centres and you will need some 20 litre plastic containers to carry water in from Ebay. Some suggest your local car wash for used plastic containers you will have to flush out.

Just to get r/o specs in context, the gpd is gallons per day. Gallons are the American gallon of 4 litres. A day is 24 hours, and these measurements supplied by the manufacturer are in perfect conditions such as water temperature and pressure. In real life, they perform at around 25 to 30% of the claims. (Using a 450GPD r/o it would take me some 30 hours plus to fill a 1000 litre IBC tank in summer and nearly 40 hours in winter as water processing slows in proportion to the colder the input water is.

 

Edited by spruce
  • Like 3
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How you build a round is another discussion.

Us old timers did it the way sales back then dictated. We knocked on doors. In our neck of the woods we didn't find leaflet drops very successful.

These days younger people believe and seem to make internet advertising work for them; ie, Facebook, etc. However, others tell us that Facebook enquiries are usually those looking for cheap jobs, one off jobs and those who mess them around. I guess it depends on the area.

We found the best was to ask each customer you if they knew/know of any of their family and friends who need the services of an honest, reliable window cleaner. Ask each of your happy customers for a referral. But you also need to understand that working this way means you join a network of friends and relatives. Let one down and the whole pack of cards could come tumbling down. Most of our loyal customers are the ones that came from referrals started 17 years ago which has grown. (The kids grow up and leave home to start their own families. If they know you and trust you, you will usually be first on their list to ask if you will clean their windows. We also got/get a bit of work from middle age couples asking us to clean their parents' windows).

Looking professional is also important. If you have tattoos everywhere then try to cover them up and look smartish. Whilst Tattoos are becoming more acceptable older ones still judge people on their appearance.

When you get your backpack, practice cleaning your own windows, even if you clean then 10 times a day. It will help you get comfortable with an extended pole and help your cleaning technique.

I would always recommend looking at some YouTube videos made by trusted wfpers, not ones seeking YouTube fame.

 

Edited by spruce
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11 hours ago, LPJY said:

So I have never cleaned windows using trad or WFP. I got the idea to set-up when a window cleaner came to our house and just seemed so unprofessional and the job was not so good either. I don't mean to bash on them as they are just earning a living, but it really made me consider setting up myself. I have two young children and cannot for the life of me find any form of work that I can fit around them so this seems like a good option.

Now, I have researched heavily for a couple of weeks and I believe I will need an R/O system to purify my water as I get a TDS reading of around 280. I haven't got a van but I do have a small car. I have a budget of around £700 and just want to start up by building a round as local to me as possible and progress from there. 

I am really struggling to grasp what equipment I will need to start up. I have looked into poles, backpacks, R/O and DI systems, but I still feel very unsure of what I actually need! Could anyone offer me any input & advice? It would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

As spruce says ,a Gardiner backpack, clx or SLX pole n a couple of brushes and a few barrels. Re water, have you had a look if you have a spotless water filling point, or the likes of near you. Or a local window cleaner who may sell you some pure. To get started.

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11 minutes ago, spruce said:

How you build a round is another discussion.

Us old timers did it the way sales back then dictated. We knocked on doors. In our neck of the woods we didn't find leaflet drops very successful.

These days younger people believe and seem to make internet advertising work for them; ie, Facebook, etc. However, others tell us that Facebook enquiries are usually those looking for cheap jobs, one off jobs and those who mess them around. I guess it depends on the area.

We found the best was to ask each customer you if they knew/know of any of their family and friends who need the services of an honest, reliable window cleaner. Ask each of your happy customers for a referral. But you also need to understand that working this way means you join a network of friends and relatives. Let one down and the whole pack of cards could come tumbling down. Most of our loyal customers are the ones that came from referrals started 17 years ago which has grown. (The kids grow up and leave home to start their own families. If they know you and trust you, you will usually be first on their list to ask if you will clean their windows. We also got/get a bit of work from middle age couples asking us to clean their parents' windows).

Looking professional is also important. If you have tattoos everywhere then try to cover them up and look smartish. Whilst Tattoos are becoming more acceptable older ones still judge people on their appearance.

When you get your backpack, practice cleaning your own windows, even if you clean then 10 times a day. It will help you get comfortable with an extended pole and help your cleaning technique.

I would always recommend looking at some YouTube videos made by trusted wfpers, not ones seeking YouTube fame.

 

Brilliant advice. This is something I am currently considering and this is certainly helpful.

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3 minutes ago, Ian Docksey said:

As spruce says ,a Gardiner backpack, clx or SLX pole n a couple of brushes and a few barrels. Re water, have you had a look if you have a spotless water filling point, or the likes of near you. Or a local window cleaner who may sell you some pure. To get started.

Hey Ian. To be honest I hadn't looked into any filling stations near by as it never crossed my mind. Although, I do not believe there are any close by. I also don't really know any window cleaners personally but I may enquire with some local ones and ask if they would be willing to sell me some pure to get started, great idea!

Thank you.

  • Like 1
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If you can afford the slx, then go for that. I bought a Clx and found it very bendy. However you may be a big strong boy and handle the clx 27 with ease  ? 

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44 minutes ago, Jonny 67 said:

If you can afford the slx, then go for that. I bought a Clx and found it very bendy. However you may be a big strong boy and handle the clx 27 with ease  ? 

Cheers Jonny. I think I will most likely go with the SLX. Did a home removal yesterday and I'm feeling it today so definitely on the weaker side lately!

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As above, but I would just get one brush to start with. 
In fact I only use one brush on everything?and have no problems. 
 

  • Like 2
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Due to my budget I will probably be limited to one brush anyway for the time being.  Cheers for your input.

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Read everything on this forum that you can. It is the friendliest and most helpful forum out there. There is so much info on here if you use the search box - top right you will probably find the info you need. 

Look at people like ae macintosh and squeeky clean Dave on YouTube. Americans do things differently as most process water at customers and don't do regular. 

After over a year reading and shielding I started 3 weeks ago. When you get your kit practice on your own Windows as much as you can, do them from different angles and distances. So far it's all good. 

Good luck

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I have been reading a lot of the posts on the forum and you are right about it being very friendly and full of information. I have also been watching some of the YouTube videos you suggested too. I feel like I am about ready to take the plunge, get the equipment and go, but I want to make sure I have a sound idea of what I'm getting into before hand. 

Thanks for the advice Ched.

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3 hours ago, LPJY said:

I have been reading a lot of the posts on the forum and you are right about it being very friendly and full of information. I have also been watching some of the YouTube videos you suggested too. I feel like I am about ready to take the plunge, get the equipment and go, but I want to make sure I have a sound idea of what I'm getting into before hand. 

Thanks for the advice Ched.

Without sounding boring, when you are ready to start working on customers homes make sure you get suitable public liability insurance, it's an expense that needs to be accounted for in your expenses budget

 

 

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I found Gardiner’s water fed pad an excellent addition to my kit as it works very well on first cleans of exceptionally dirty frames. It also works well on facia boards should you get any to clean. 

  • Like 2
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