Window Cleaning Prices: How to Price Window Cleaning Jobs for Profit

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If you’re new to window cleaning, figuring out how to price jobs can be frustrating. Some new business owners take too much time, over-complicate their quotes, and lose the bid.

Another common mistake is to give a low bid before seeing just how dirty the windows are, or forgetting to ask if the windows are easily accessible. Window cleaners who do this end up under-charging and spending several gruelling hours on a single, low-paying job.

The truth is, bidding window cleaning jobs is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. It’s yet another reason why starting a window cleaning business is such a great venture.

If you’re just starting out, our advice is to keep it simple. Use the window cleaning prices below as a starting off point. The more you bid, the more you’ll learn about the optimal pricing structure for your window cleaning business.

Residential Window Cleaning Prices

Most residential window cleaners do not charge by the hour; they charge by the pane. Charging by the pane is more straightforward and fair in the long run. You won’t be penalized for learning faster techniques, and clients won’t worry that you’re working slowly on purpose just to charge more.

A pane is each individual piece of glass in a window. Standard windows have 2-3 panes. Storm windows will have up to 4.

Average window cleaning costs per pane across the U.S. are:

  • $4-5 per pane (inside and out)
  • $3-4 per pane (outside only)
  • $2 per screen
  • $1-1.50 per French pane (inside and out)

French windows are large windows (often doors) that are divided into multiple, smaller panes. Charge just $1 for outside only, and $1.50 for inside and out.

If the panes are larger than 3-5 feet, count them as two panes and adjust the price accordingly.

Charging for sills and track is optional. Depending on the client’s request, you can offer a deep clean for another $2-4 per window (not pane), or offer a simple wipe-down for free.

Keep in mind that these prices are averages. Multiple factors can and will influence your window cleaning prices, including:

  • The number of and size of the panes
  • The number of screens
  • Sills and tracks
  • Accessibility to the windows inside and outside the house
  • The level of dirt (including mineral deposits and paint)
  • Demand and average prices in your region

If the windows are extremely dirty or hard to access, you can charge more, so long as it is within reason and you explain it well on the estimate.

Most homeowners have their windows cleaned twice per year. If a client requests a higher frequency, you can offer a volume discount and still be very profitable.

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Construction Window Cleaning Prices

Construction cleans are priced higher because of the amount of time you’ll need to remove paint and grime. You may also need to wear special safety equipment (hardhats, boots), invest in new window cleaning tools, and do more ladder work.

The average price for a construction clean is between $6-8 per pane.

As for even deeper cleans, such as removing mineral deposit stains, you may have to charge upwards of $15 per pane! Always visit the site and inspect the windows in person before giving an estimate.

Commercial Window Cleaning Prices

Bidding commercial jobs can feel like a whole different ball game.

Commercial window cleaning jobs, which include restaurants, car dealerships, storefronts, and office buildings, are generally more lucrative than residential window cleaning. That’s because they are more frequent (bi-weekly or monthly, vs semi-annually), the windows can be cleaned faster, and they provide work year-round, even in slow winter months.

All of this makes them more attractive—and more competitive.

To win commercial window cleaning bids, you’ll need to price competitively and have a solid window cleaning canvassing pitch.

The average price for commercial window cleaning is $2 per pane. This will increase depending on the level of dirt, frequency, size, and access.

Before bidding, scope out the job from your truck or van. Is there signage or furniture that needs to be moved? Can you tell that the windows haven’t been cleaned in a long time? Is the building located near sprinklers and likely to have hard water stains? Do a walk-around and bid accordingly.

It’s also worth noting that commercial window cleaning jobs are only profitable if they are recurring. Avoid accepting one-off commercial window cleaning jobs.

Tips for Bidding Window Cleaning Jobs

The prices above are general guidelines. As you get out into the field and start bidding, you’ll quickly learn how to price effectively and for profit.

Here are some final tips to help you win more window cleaning contracts:

  1. Keep it simple. Charge a standard rate for all windows, and give your clients 1-2 options, max.  You can always change your pricing as you grow, become more skilled, and build your reputation.
  2. Start small. Before you hire a whole production team, start by working in the field yourself. This will help you determine your capacity, overhead, labour costs, and the optimal pricing structure for your specific business.
  3. Provide professional estimates: Writing your bid in chicken scratch on a piece of paper or the back of a card can make you look unprofessional in clients eyes. Download a free quote template or use window cleaning software to give every single one of your prospects a professional, memorable estimate that will set you apart from your competitors.
  4. Get window cleaning insurance. Don’t clean a single window until you have window cleaning insurance. Even a small accident can put your business dreams to an end.
  5. Embrace the learning curve. The more you bid, the more you’ll learn. If you’re winning 100% of your bids, you’re probably bidding too low. If you’re losing bids, politely ask the client what the winning competitor offered. Stay confident and don’t be afraid to reach out to other window cleaners and service business owners for advice.

Up Next: Want to really level-up your cash flow? Make sure you understand the crucial difference between profit vs. revenue.

Image courtesy of SteveO the Window Cleaner.

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