Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?

 
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
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Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


I've been throwing around the idea of buying a trailer mounted rig for a while now. I just got laid-off again from my Carpenter job, and it's just not even worth it to bid on Framing jobs around here anymore.


I'm thinking good money could be made in my area in Concrete Flat Work and Tile Roofs alone. So obviously, hot water and a surface cleaner is an absolute must.

I found a few set-ups on Craigslist, unfortunately i might only have about $3,500 in invest right now.

As money is tight, i can't buy a legitimate tow vehicle either. My tow rig for now will be my 1995 Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0L straight 6 and an automatic.

With that said, this is kinda what i'm thinking, and out of my price range...

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/for/1967482263.html


And what might be in my budget, but maybe too heavy for my Jeep?

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bfs/1994921431.html

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/for/1972192337.html


Another option might just be to build my trailer?


I would really like some opinions on this, and a few links on getting familiarized with the Closed Loop/Capture System would be awesome!
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Yielding a quick return on your investment is tough this time of year for this type of business.

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Old 11-13-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


We all wish that we could just buy some tools then have business come calling. Unfortunately, life just doesn't work that way. Getting the tools is the easy part, getting a regular stream of business is tough. The once or twice a week jobs just doesn't pay the bills even if they do provide a really good hourly rate. Unless you know how to stack up those jobs for days, weeks, then months on end, it becomes a hobby with occasional money, not a living.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Okay, I'll be the optomist. Go for it. Just do your legwork first. Of course there are no guarantees. But I bet you know quite a few people in the construction business already. Also, for some fill in work, how about car lots?

Man, if I had a nickel for all the people that said I couldn't do it, I'd have alot of nickels!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Start small and work your way up. get a nice 4000psi washer, 300+ gallon tank, and go from there.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #6
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


To supplement your income you could also look into doing mobile car washes.. There seem to be lots of the businesses popping up then maybe between the two you would be able to fill your weeks. Just an idea
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Especially during the winter. Who wants to wash their car in the winter? I rather pay lol!
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:21 AM   #8
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Just got it last night!

We still need to buy insurance and a few other things still, otherwise we're operational. And we're already "in" with most of our window cleaning accounts!










Let the fun begin...
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:41 AM   #9
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thom View Post
We all wish that we could just buy some tools then have business come calling. Unfortunately, life just doesn't work that way. Getting the tools is the easy part, getting a regular stream of business is tough. The once or twice a week jobs just doesn't pay the bills even if they do provide a really good hourly rate. Unless you know how to stack up those jobs for days, weeks, then months on end, it becomes a hobby with occasional money, not a living.
Hey, thanks professor!

I actually have 20+ years of accumulated carpentry tools from my previous "hobby" if you're interested...
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Looks like a great setup to get you going... Good Luck!
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:09 PM   #11
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Looks good. Get a good cleaning solution and wand extention!
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Not to hi-jack you post but im in about the same position, carpentry and painting are slow, im wanting to expand on the pressurewashing but more in the commercial area. Is there a average rate commercial establishments are used to seeing, i know the time old saying is labor +material+ operating cost etc etc etc but is there a rate- example like mechanic shops have a average rate of 60-90+ "shop time"an hour for anything.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:45 PM   #13
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


The reason why people don't share pricing info is because from business to business, no one has the same overhead, experience, profit margin, etc. You want to know what to charge? Write it down and figure it out.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:37 AM   #14
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


With an open trailer you must not get freezing tempertures?

I would want to know why the decal has been burnt. Knowing the quality of Lande, that seems odd.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:57 PM   #15
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by delhamas View Post
The reason why people don't share pricing info is because from business to business, no one has the same overhead, experience, profit margin, etc. You want to know what to charge? Write it down and figure it out.
i get that, i wasn't trying to be rude or arrogant, i apologize. just new to this market, i will figure it out
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:52 AM   #16
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thom View Post
We all wish that we could just buy some tools then have business come calling. Unfortunately, life just doesn't work that way. Getting the tools is the easy part, getting a regular stream of business is tough. The once or twice a week jobs just doesn't pay the bills even if they do provide a really good hourly rate. Unless you know how to stack up those jobs for days, weeks, then months on end, it becomes a hobby with occasional money, not a living.

I have been in the pressure washing business since 1978.
I started here in Charlotte County Florida in 1989.
At that time there were 3 of us in the local yellow pages.
Now, there are 3 yellow pages books, with 3 or more pages of guys advertising to be Pressure Washers!
Pressure Washing businesses come and go a LOT.
Trouble is, new guys start out cheap to get some work and before they go out of business, they influence pricing in one neighborhood after another locally.
Next thing you know, you go look at a 3000 sq ft tile roof job and price it at $450 - $500.00 [depending on many things] and the homeowner says "There's a guy who did my sister's house down the street for $200.00 last year"
I say, "why don't you have him do yours?"
They say "He's out of business"
I say "That's because he was way under priced and inexperienced"
STILL- that thought of "It should be somewhere around $200" persists.
I got more $ in the year 2000 for roof cleaning and pressure washing, than I could ever get today! Every male school teacher on vacation, off duty fireman and guy that just got laid off, runs to Home Depot, buys a pressure washer for $999.00 and thinks he's in business!
So, before you invest $, I would find out what local guys are getting for work and see how much competition there is online and in the yellow pages in your area.
That's some advice at least?
Chuck
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #17
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bhrsllc View Post
Not to hi-jack you post but im in about the same position, carpentry and painting are slow, im wanting to expand on the pressurewashing but more in the commercial area. Is there a average rate commercial establishments are used to seeing, i know the time old saying is labor +material+ operating cost etc etc etc but is there a rate- example like mechanic shops have a average rate of 60-90+ "shop time"an hour for anything.

Hopefully, you're not trying to set-up shop around the Houston Area!!!


Well, to answer your question...

For concrete cleaning, i try to shoot for about $125 per hour. Approximately 1/3 of that number goes right back into the machine for fuel and maintenance.

That's probably a good average for any kind of washing that you might want to do.

There's alot of really great threads for hours of reading over at PressureWashingInstitue.com

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:54 PM   #18
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy View Post
With an open trailer you must not get freezing tempertures?

I would want to know why the decal has been burnt. Knowing the quality of Lande, that seems odd.
No freezing temperatures around here, Man!

It seems the stickers got burned off before i bought it, because of bad insulation...
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:01 PM   #19
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WallMonkey View Post
Hopefully, you're not trying to set-up shop around the Houston Area!!!


Well, to answer your question...

For concrete cleaning, i try to shoot for about $125 per hour. Approximately 1/3 of that number goes right back into the machine for fuel and maintenance.

That's probably a good average for any kind of washing that you might want to do.

There's alot of really great threads for hours of reading over at PressureWashingInstitue.com

Hope this helps!
$125.00 an hour is a reasonable rate in all aspects of pressure washing, except roofs, they run more like $175.00 an hour.
Of course, every state or city can vary greatly, along with the amount of expertise you have.
Personally, I am speaking from 21 years of being in this business.
Chuck

Last edited by 5282jt; 05-26-2011 at 09:15 PM. Reason: add
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:57 PM   #20
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Re: Starting Mobile Pressure Washing Business?


I think it is very difficult for someone else to tell you what a "good" average rate per hour.

Does this $??? per hour include travel time or on the job time?

What may make one company a nice wage could bankrupt another.

I can wash a typical 2000sqft and smaller house in under an hour... should I charge less than the guy that it takes 4 hours and does not do as good of a job?

I also would discourage you from putting specific prices on the internet. A homeowner could come on here and see that you are charging $??? per hour! Then take it out of context by not taking in to account all the other expenses of running a business.

I think that specific prices on an open forum is a bad idea.(and I think is bordering on not allowed here)

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