Commercial window cleaning presents some unique challenges, with every job being unique in its own way.
In this article we speak with Ben Louden of Off Your Walla commercial window cleaning business based in Melbourne, and ask him how window cleaning jobs are calculated and what body corporate managers need to take into account when seeking quotes.
Estimating associated costs
Every client has unique cleaning requirements and in order to provide you with an accurate and competitive quote for your high-rise window cleaning job, we would need to consider several factors such as your building type, façade structure, accessibility, the weather, height of the structure and actual window designs.
The main contributing factor to determine costs are manpower hours. For safety reasons, crews must work in pairs, so a minimum of two people would be working at any given time on a typical daily rate of approximately $85 per person. We would usually allocate three crews to a high rise building so per day this would equate to approximately $1,200 for the day.
What affects the costs of window cleaning?
Type of Building
It can be reasonable to expect that the rates for a twenty-story building will be more expensive than a three-story office block. The simple explanation for this rate variance would be due to additional safety processes and work involved. A general rule would be, the higher the building, the higher the rate becomes.
When cleaning windows, we always work from the top-down so that previously cleaned windows are not left dirty. Weather affects how we work as we need to strategically consider forecasts of rain, high winds or wind direction which determines which face of the building we work on, and in which direction. Time to complete the job does represent a cost, and preparation takes time, especially when having to rig up and move around the building safely.
The time it takes to do this type of job efficiently and safely is a cost seldom considered. When working at heights we simply cannot rush a job. It’s essential that we take our time and methodically ensure all tie downs and anchor points are secure, equipment is secure, and no one is at risk of injury. It takes time to descend and move all equipment to the next level which forms part of the days hours.
If the job is less than seven hours, we do have a minimum charge of two men for three hours at $90 per hour, every hour thereafter is billed at $85 per worker.
How we formulate a quote.
A visual inspection is always necessary before being able to provide an accurate and competitive quote. Every building is unique as are our clients’ needs, so we do not have a fixed rate pricing structure for high rise window cleaning.
The initial inspection allows us to assess general access, the number of anchor points and ensuring all anchor points have been tested and certified and equipment required to efficiently and safely complete the job. Thereafter we evaluate the actual job requirements and work out a pricing estimation and offer payment terms which are usually seven days upon completion of the work.
As an example, a simple quotation breakdown may look like this, approximately five minutes to clean two windows on every floor factoring in things like the number of windows, how many levels, and roughly how much can physically be accomplished in a day. Then we simply multiply that by how many days it would take to clean. Unlikely but occasionally there may be jobs that cost more due to special circumstances, for example, we may be requested to perform a job at night because there’s too much pedestrian traffic or busy cafes below and working above during peak hours may represent a potential risk or hazard to the public.
If you are interested in our high-rise window cleaning services give us a call and we’ll come out and assess your specific building in order to provide you with a free quote.
Maintenance vs Once off cleaning
Well-maintained buildings require less work which means costs are always minimised due to reduced labour hours required.
We recommend a maintenance plan where the windows are cleaned every 6 months. This means fewer man-hours required to keep the building in the same clean and manageable state which can reduce the rates considerably. Neglected buildings require a lot of work and considerably more time spent on scrubbing to achieve the same results of a well-maintained façade.
Another factor to note on a maintenance schedule is that once we have visited your building we are already familiar with the building itself, the access and anchor points, it’s a much easier transition or familiarity process to commence the work and one that we’ll be able to get through more efficiently.