How do you figure out how much money to charge someone when you’re cleaning their home or business with pressure washing?
It’s not just about the square footage—there are several different factors that come into play, and you need to know what they are before setting your rate and sending out your estimate.
Pressure washing can be an effective way to clean concrete, brick and stucco surfaces that have been stained by dirt. Before you start power washing the exterior of your home or business, make sure you know how to estimate power washing jobs so you’re prepared to tackle all the work involved with preparing your surface and implementing the pressure washing process itself.
The power washing business can be lucrative, but it’s not something that you can just jump into without knowing how to do it correctly.
Here are 6 easy steps to help you estimate so that you can make sure you’re charging the right amount and taking on enough work to keep your business profitable and successful.
Measure the Space for pressure washing
To estimate the cost of a pressure washing job, you’ll need to measure the space. This can be done by measuring the square footage or linear footage of the area.
If possible, it’s always best to visit the property in person to get an accurate measurement. Pressure washing costs vary depending on the size and type of equipment used as well as the overhead expenses incurred during the cleaning process.
Once you have your measurements, use determine your direct cost of pressure washing a project as
Cost for Pressure Washing Project ($) = Cost per square foot x estimate area
For example, if you have 4,000 sq ft (sq ft) with a pressure washing cost of $4/sq ft., then your estimated pressure wash price is $16,000.
Estimating square footage or linear footage isn’t always easy. You need to make sure to ask what areas to include and what not to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Decide on a Pricing Strategy
The two most common pricing strategies are per square foot or linear foot, and per hour. Flat rate is also an option, but it’s less common. For structures and lots, pricing by square or liner foot is a recommended approach while pricing by hour let you get paid for every hour of work.
A typical home of about 1,200 square foot takes about 6 to 7 hours for pressure washing. For a driveway or a sidewalk, you may have to work for about 2 to 3 hours. Roof washing takes around 3 hours. Other areas like decks, porches, and patio may need 2 to 3 hours depending on the area.
Price Based on the Project
Every project is unique in various aspects. Be it a driveway, sidewalk, roof, exterior, or interior – the rates will vary based on the project requirements. If it’s a small job, you may be able to charge by the hour. For larger jobs, you may need to price based on the square footage or estimate a flat fee.
- The price for a house exterior is around $90-$300.
- Roof – $0.20 per square foot (different for steep pitches)
- Driveways and sidewalks – $60-$160 (or $0.08 ~ $0.14 per square foot)
- Fences – decks and siding – $0.20 ~0.30 per square foot
The national average for power washing jobs is around $183 to $380. However, the price will vary a lot as it depends a lot on the cleaning chemicals and agents that might be needed as per the size and the type of surface.
If the surface has some problems and stains like dirt, mold, and paint marks; the cleaning will take longer and is difficult. So, it is very important to visit the jobsite and evaluate the condition of surface to be cleaned before participating in bid or before offering a quote.
Estimate Materials and Overhead Costs
Before you can estimate the cost of a power washing job, you need to know how much it will cost you in materials and overhead. To do this, start by estimating the space you’ll be cleaning.
Then, calculate the cost of the materials you’ll need and the supplies like hot water units, electric motor, pressure-washers, trailer, nozzles, jet, etc. Finally, add in your overhead costs, such as insurance and rental costs. By doing this, you’ll have a clear idea of how much it will cost you to power wash a home or business.
Make sure to include a factor for contingencies
Every pressure washing job has some risks and hazards. That’s where you need to include a factor for contingencies and unforeseeable circumstances in your direct costs. This way, if something unexpected comes up, you won’t be caught off guard and end up losing money on the job.
As a general rule of thumb, you can add approximately 10% of the overall cost of power washing. Anyhow, you have to identify and show it separately in your quote for the client to clearly know the amount.
Here’s how we can summarize your steps to estimate a power washing job: Always factor in the time it will take to complete the power washing job when estimating. Make sure you include all materials and equipment needed in your estimate. Know your hourly rate and how long the job will take you to complete. Add a buffer for any unforeseen circumstances.
Time to call experts
Estimating a pressure washer job is not a simple and straightforward process. With so many variables and different nature of jobs; it is quite difficult to balance winning bids and profit margins. That’s where services of a reputable estimation and takeoff company like Real Estimate Service comes handy. We’re a team of highly talented estimators and we’ll help you in winning profitable bids.