Whether you’ve been in the window cleaning business for years or you’re just starting out, it’s never too late to re-examine your prices. Maybe you’re not sure how much to charge for window cleaning, or you want to make sure that your current window cleaning cost is fair for your client base.
We’ve put together a window cleaning price guide that will show you some of the national average prices for window cleaning services. We also help you determine how much to charge for window cleaning based on the size and type of the window you’re working with.
How Do Window Cleaners Charge?
Window cleaners use a variety of ways to decide how much to charge for a window cleaning, especially for residential window cleanings. Big buildings and offices are usually charged based on square footage. For most window cleaners, charging pane by pane or by the number of windows for larger buildings is not time efficient.
A smaller home is usually charged a flat rate per window because there typically aren’t enough windows to charge pane-by-pane. If the home is medium-sized, many cleaners will charge pane by pane, anywhere from $2-$7 for each one or more for bigger windows.
In large homes where counting pane by pane is too time-consuming or impractical, it’s not uncommon to charge an hourly rate. On average, a window cleaning cost per hour ranges from $40-$75.
Factors That Determine the Cost of A Window Cleaning
Not sure how much to charge for window cleaning? No matter how many window cleaning price guides you look at, there are specific factors that impact the cost of your window cleaning service.
Here are some common factors that will influence your custom window cleaning price list.
Consider Your Supply List
As you create your window cleaning price list, take your time and find what the best supplies are for and what you use most often. If you are in the early stages of starting a window cleaning business, you’re often better off investing in high-quality and more expensive equipment rather than the supplies and equipment you’ll have to replace often.
Investing in reliable and high-quality equipment means that you’re less likely to turn down jobs due to broken down equipment or waiting on a replacement.
Your most important piece of equipment is your washing implement, which can range from pressure washers to a simple bucket and squeegee approach. Both will get the job done, but the best method for you is going to depend on how much work you plan on taking on and how many people you can have working at once.
The frequency of how often your client needs their windows cleaned often depends on their location. If they live or work in a city where dirt and debris collects on the windows faster than in a rural area, you might recommend scheduling a window cleaning at least once a month.
For your clients, who live in suburban neighborhoods, recommend scheduled cleanings at least once every two months. While your customers may want to wash their windows in between their scheduled appointments, don’t encourage them to overwash them.
The chemicals used to clean them can corrode the glass if used too often. A broken, damaged window is not a washable window, which means less money for you.
Types of Windows
You can categorize the windows on a commercial building or a house based on their design: simple and complex. The type of window can help determine your window cleaning price list. Windows with a complex design will be harder to clean and will take longer, while simple windows are not as labor-intensive.
Windows with Simple Designs
Large windows with little to no panes are what you see on most commercial buildings and some homes. Due to their design, these types of windows are typically easier and less expensive to clean.
Some examples of these types of windows include:
- Picture windows
- Single or double-hung windows
Since there are many simple windows on commercial buildings and very few panes, you should avoid charging pane by pane; otherwise, you’ll end up undercharging for your services.
Single or no-pane windows are also common in residential homes, especially in rental homes, because they’re the most cost-effective and easy to maintain, but windows with two to four panes are the standard for residential areas.
Charging about $7 per pane will put you at $14-$28 per window.
Taking that into account, you could also develop a flat rate price per window. Instead of charging $14 going by the pane, you can round up to $15 for a two-paned window, and $30 for four panes.
The price increase might not seem like a lot, which is good for clients, but it does add up. In addition, rounding up your prices makes calculating your profit a little bit easier.
Windows with Complex Designs
Windows with complex designs are more common in residential areas or on historic buildings. Due to their design, these types of windows are harder to clean. A few examples of windows with a complex design include:
- Architectural shapes
Windows that have different architectural shapes may come in a variety of sizes, but they have numerous or oddly shaped panes.
While charging per pane on these windows looks like the most profitable option, if you choose to quote a price per pane, you could run your client about $350 for one window. It’s profitable for you, but you could lose a valuable client base. If you choose to charge by the pane, you may want to consider reducing your price per pane.
An easier way to charge for windows with architectural shapes or even stained glass is at a flat rate. Try not to go over $150 per window since most residential window cleaning for standard, simple windows doesn’t exceed $150 for the whole house.
While the location, type of building, style of windows, and the number of panes all play a key role in your pricing, there are other factors, like overhead costs, that some window cleaning services don’t always consider when coming up with their price list. Some include:
- Rent: Do you work out of a home base? Do you rent a garage for your vehicles?
- Equipment: Will you need to buy new equipment or more to meet the demands of your services?
- Employees: Do you work alone, have a small team of employees, or plan on hiring soon?
- Maintenance costs for equipment and vehicles
- Insurance costs for vehicles, business, and employees/self
- Advertising and marketing: DIY or hire professionals?
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Average Commercial Window Cleaning Prices
Commercial window cleaning prices vary from one cleaning service to the next, but the pricing is typically comparable.
Larger jobs, like apartment complexes and office buildings, can run you anywhere from $150 to $500. The costs increase with the frequency of window washing. For jobs like this, you can usually work out a cost per square foot rather than going by the pane.
Residential prices are usually lower, averaging at about $150 a home. That’s because a home is easier to clean overall; usually, you won’t need a big ladder or your massive load of crew and washing equipment to get the job done.
Though many cleaners charge per square foot of the window, there are many other ways you can do it. Instead of charging per square foot, you can come up with a flat rate price for each window.
You’re going to want to take into account how large each window is and how many of them there are to work out your rate. You should also estimate how long washing those windows will take you so that the amount you’re making comes out to a reasonable hourly rate.
Commercial window cleaning company prices are going to be a little less expensive than residential cleaning jobs, even if you choose to charge by the square foot.
Unless you’re charging incredibly high rates, you’ll find yourself on the lower end of the $40-$75 an hour scale. That’s why veteran window cleaners do not recommend charging hourly for commercial jobs; you’ll lose money.
When it comes to residential window cleanings, you have more options for pricing. You can charge by the pane, by the window, or by the hour, if that’s the most profitable option for you. Another option is creating a mix between the options; some windows are harder to clean, while others won’t be as labor-intensive. You can generate a price based on the number of simple and complex windows.
No matter what you choose to go with for pricing, you can expect to be able to turn more of a profit than with commercial window cleanings. You won’t need a massive crew and several pieces of industrial equipment to work on a home; usually, just one or two people will do.
Should You Charge More Seasonally?
Cleaning windows in the spring and summer is relatively easy. There’s no snow or leaves on the ground to get in your way. Depending on what part of the country you live in, the fall and winter months can become somewhat of an occupational hazard for some window cleaners.
Despite the weather, it’s still important to stay on schedule with your clients. If you need to do window cleaning when the temps are cooler, and there’s snow and ice on the ground, it’s reasonable to charge a little more for “seasonal pricing.”
Most window cleaning customers understand, and may even expect, a temporary rise during the winter. To offset the higher costs during the fall and winter, you may want to consider a seasonal deal or discount once warmer weather arrives. You could even consider offering a deal on cleaning interior windows.
Are You Overcharging?
As a business grows, it’s not uncommon to raise prices, and you might be no exception. Maybe you need to raise your prices to cover the cost of some new equipment, or because you are planning to hire more employees. Most clients aren’t negatively affected by a small price increase; if they are happy with your services, it’s likely that they’ll pay more.
It’s always a good idea to sit down every six months and look at the competitors near you. Compare their prices to your own and try to match them as best you can. Even the most loyal of clients can sometimes be persuaded by a lower price. Don’t hike up your prices frequently, and if you really need to, then you should do so in small increments over time to let people adjust.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Window Cleaning Pricing List
As a window cleaning service, it can be hard to figure out how much to charge and how to create a window cleaning price list.
Not only does creating or updating your price list help you make sure that all of your overhead costs are covered, but it can make quoting customers easier and help you build your client base more quickly.
If your current professional window cleaning price guide is outdated or you can’t figure out how much you should be charging, talk with your long-term clients. Involving them and asking for their opinions will make them feel like you care, and that you have their best interest at heart as well as their windows. Being professionally open with a simple, “What can I do better?” can go a long way for your business model and your clients alike.