How to Price a Power Washing Job Estimate
If you have a small power washing company, it's important to price your services correctly. Writing precise estimates plays a critical role in your business's success. You need to charge enough to make a healthy profit but not so much that you seem overpriced.
When you create an estimate for your business, there are quite a few things you need to consider. It can be hard to know exactly how much you should charge for your expenses and what markup you should charge for your services.
This guide will show you how to make estimates for each power wash that your company completes that adequately charge for your services. We'll also go over how you can calculate reasonable prices and everything that's involved in the process. Skynova has the software products to make running your business easier, including an estimate template. Let us help you take care of your accounting. Unless you love administration, there are probably other things you'd rather do — like growing your professional power washing company.
What Is the Average Cost and Hourly Rate for Power Washing?
Power washing prices can vary a great deal, depending on several factors. According to HomeAdvisor, the average power washing cost is between $0.15 and $0.75 per square foot. Some factors that can affect the cost of a power washing job include:
- The size of the job
- The location of the job
- The materials needed
- The extra labor needed
What Is the Difference Between Pressure Washing and Power Washing?
Both pressure washing companies and power washing cleaning services use high-pressure, high gallons-per-minute (GPM) water pressure to clean. However, while the professional pressure processes are similar, power washing requires the use of hot water. This makes power washing more effective for removing things like grime or mildew buildup and stains, but it can be damaging to surfaces like brick and stonework.
A pressure washer can use cold water. It can be used to clean siding, houses, or concrete. While pressure washing services can damage surfaces, it's often a cheaper alternative to power washing — costing $0.10 to $0.50 per square foot compared to $0.15 to $0.75 for power washing. However, pressure washing is less powerful and takes more time than power washing. Homeowners may also be more likely to do DIY pressure washing jobs with tools like a garden hose.
How Do You Estimate a Power Washing Job?
So, how do you estimate your power washing job? The next few sections will go over tips for creating a great estimate you can share with your customers. Your services should be fairly priced, but you should also charge enough to make sure you're compensated for your work and experience.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips for making the best estimates for your power washing business.
Use an Estimate Template
If you made your own estimates in the past, you know it can be frustrating. There's no doubt that you can make better use of your time than meticulously typing your information into a Microsoft Word or Excel document. That's why an estimate template can be so beneficial.
Skynova's free estimate template lets you simply fill in the blanks. You'll save valuable time not having to create your estimates from scratch. Our template also has a professional appearance that can be customized with your business logo to impress potential customers. Even better, it automatically does the math for you.
Figure Out Your Pricing Strategy
There are a few ways you can price your power washing services. You can charge by the hour to make sure you get paid for all the time you put in. You can also charge by the square foot, which gives you flexibility in bidding on different projects.
If you have significant experience or expertise, you can charge a flat rate for a job. If you go this route, you'll have to be savvy enough to figure out the time and effort that certain projects will require.
There are also a few tactics you can use to get more customers. If you're just starting, you might want to keep your prices low before raising them later on. You can also give discounts to new customers or a money-back guarantee to homeowners to put them at ease.
Another strategy is to charge higher or premium prices. Some customers may assume that a higher cost means higher quality. If you choose this, you'll have to tailor your marketing strategy to find customers who are willing to pay more for home improvement work, like landscaping.
Measure Each Square Foot
Before you price a job, you'll need to measure the area of your project. The best way to measure sq. ft. is with a laser distance measure. It will help you quickly find the length and width of your project and automatically calculate the square footage. The jobs you'll measure by square footage include:
- Parking lots (drive-thrus and garages are included)
- Commercial cleaning with a special detergent
- Garage floors
Some projects only require you to measure by linear feet, which is simpler. To measure the linear footage of a structure, all you have to do is measure height. Generally, linear footage is charged at a higher rate than square footage. Some examples of jobs where you'll charge by linear feet include:
When you're taking your measurements at a property, you should also be on the lookout for any conditions or situations that will cost more money to get the job done. For example, when you wash a house, vinyl siding is less sturdy than other siding made from materials like stucco. It's easy to ruin it if you're not careful. Also, stains on concrete driveways may require special chemicals like citric acid, which you'll have to charge for.
Estimate the Cost of Each Type of Power Washing Service
Now that you've decided on the pricing strategy, and you know how and when to measure square footage and linear footage, it's time to figure out the cost of your services. It's obviously up to you if you want to charge at the lower end of the price spectrum or the high end. Here's a list of national average prices. These average rates will help you decide on a ballpark for pricing your services.
- Driveway or walkway: $0.20 to $0.40 per square foot
- Gutter: $50 to $300 per linear foot
- Roof cleaning: $0.50 to $1 per square foot
- Fence: $150 to $300
- Deck or patio: $250 to $400
- Siding: $150 to $400
- Single-story home: $150 to $750
- Two-story home: $400 to $1,400
- Three-story home: $700 to $1,800
Estimate Material and Overhead Power Washing Costs
Before you decide how much you need to charge for a power washing job, you must estimate your overhead and material costs. These are general costs for keeping your business running. You'll have to cover these costs monthly, and they'll affect how much you end up charging.
You'll want to figure out how much each of these cost per hour. To do that, you'll multiply the number of hours you work in a week by four (to see how many hours you work in a month), and then you'll divide the monthly cost by that number. For example, if you spend $1,000 on advertising a month, and you work 40 hours a week, the hourly cost will be $6.25
1,000 / (40 *4) = $6.25
Here are some examples of overhead and material costs you might have to pay for:
- Vehicle payments
- Vehicle insurance
- Supplies and cleaning solutions
- Internet and phone service providers
- Gas for equipment car travel
- Equipment maintenance
- Costs for cleanup for any debris or loose particles
- Possible office
You'll also have to put some money back into your business for things like replacing equipment and other unexpected costs.
If you don't have employees, you could spend a good amount of time doing administration, which lowers how many hours you can spend working. The fewer hours you spend in the field, the higher your hourly costs will be. Skynova can help. We make accounting quicker and easier so that you can focus on running your business.
Estimate the Cost of Power Washer Labor
You also need to account for any subcontractors or laborers who you hire to help you finish your job. Hiring help is a trade-off. It increases your costs, but it also decreases the time it takes you to complete a job. Be sure to pay your laborers fairly but not so much that you can't make an adequate profit.
Let's say you hire two extra workers at $10 an hour each. You wash three two-story houses in six hours. You make a total of $600. Your hourly earnings are reduced by $20, so instead of $100 a house, you make $80 a house before other expenses. However, if you were alone, the jobs would have taken you triple the time (18 hours), and you'd only make $33.33 an hour.
With two workers: (600 / 6) - (10 * 2) = $80/hour
Alone: 600 / 18 = $33.33/hour
Calculate the Power Washing Total With Markup
After you've factored in all your costs, it's time to worry about making a profit. You'll need to add up all the costs listed above and make sure you include any markups and taxes, if applicable. For example, as a small business owner, you may have to pay self-employment taxes or payroll taxes if you have any full-time employees. There are also state taxes you'll need to consider.
Including a markup in your power washing cost estimate is important because you don't want your potential customer to be surprised when they receive the final invoice. It'll also guarantee that there's money left over when all expenses are taken care of.
Use Skynova's Software to Help Manage Your Power Washing Business
If you want to have a successful power washing business, it's crucial that you know how to price your services. If you charge too much, customers may not be able to afford your services and look to your competitors for their needs. But if you price yourself too low, you'll constantly be spinning your wheels for a lousy profit.
While the quality of your work is important, your small business lives and dies by your price points. Accurate estimates can attract the right customers and make sure you get a healthy payback.
Now that we've discussed the importance of making estimates, we want to make sure you spend as little time making them as humanly possible. Skynova offers various business templates that can streamline your paperwork and help you get paid faster, including an estimate template that can automatically be converted to an invoice once the customer accepts. You can also take advantage of our all-in-one invoicing and accounting program, which was made for small businesses. See how our software products can help your power washing business thrive.