We use our own personnel and have better control over the job. Whoever power washes is also responsible for looking for problem areas that need to be addressed before painting and they know what the painters want. Also if it's high work we will have the manlifts already on site, which some power washing companys don't own. My experience with subs is that they are in to big of a hurry to get done and do a half a$$ed job. Unless you hold up payment it's unlikely they will come back and do it right.
ECS, just thinking about your question. Is this a market survey? No offense intended.
Other main reason for us doing the work is profit. Any pro that really knows his numbers realizes that power washing is one of the most profitable profit centers he has. Our return on washing is 2 to 3 times higher than normal work.
There are a couple of points about the p.washing I can make ECS.
When I 1st started my business, one of the key items for me to buy was a gas motor power washer (2000psi, 5.5 hp honda). Well worth the investment for the money I payed out.
For someone like myself, the profit for power washing is excellent for the simple fact that I work alone. Yet there are a couple of larger painters who will sub me out for power washing, because it costs them less to sub me, then 1099 me at the end of the year rather than paying one of their own hourly.
For alot of the larger businesses, every hour counts for employees. They have to worry about matching income taxes, insurance, and worker's comp.
In the state of Michigan, worker's comp insurance rates are based off of hourly work. For painter's, worker's comp runs 14% per hour, or 1.40 per hour for a 10.00 an hour employee.
But I dont feel too bad about. A good friend of mine owns a sewer cleaning business. His worker's comp rates are at 41%. (ouch)
I would highly recommend investing in a powerwasher. Just like crank said, the profit is excellent. But by your power washer from the right place. Before I ever started painting, I made a living selling industrial power washers and equipment washing machines.
Dont buy a power washer from any of the national chains (HD, Lowes, Sherm Will).
Find a actual power wash dealer in your area. If you can find a Hotsy or a Landa dealer, thats where you should go. I highly recommend buying a unit with a Honda motor on it. I used to go into the shop where I sold power washers, where they did the warranty work. Most of the engine problems that the mechanic work on were with Kohlers and Briggs & strat. Rarely did a unit with a Honda come in for engine repairs. Also try to find a unit with a "Cat Pump" on it. They are garenteed for life.
So now that I babbled on about this, I hope I gave you some useful info.
I rarely do any exterior, but if I do and it requires power washing, I usually rent a unit and do it myself. Costs $40 a day for the rental, and I charge $300 per man per day. It makes money, but like I said, I prefer to stay indoors and not fight Mother Nature to keep my schedule on schedule. :cheesygri
Crankshaft-No offense taken, yes communicating on the web isn't it wonderful and emotionless! LOL
Anyway I was aking the question because I have been debating contacting some of the larger painting companies in my area. When our slow periods hit I wanted to have something in place to keep busy. So I was thinking about working out a contract with a large painting contractor. Currently we help some guys when they are behind or their pressure washer takes a nap(ya know needs maintenance). So I wanted to know the general attitude towards the pressure cleaning side.
Josh-thanks for the info! We have been in business for a few years already. We are a pressure cleaning & sealing service. Just trying to branch out and try some new avenues.
Our Roofing & Painting division is all commercial work and that is why I answered the way I did. It's usually a scheduling issue when we can power wash. Plus it is a high profit center. My Management Services division is residential, but only for my projects. E mail me direct and I'll suggest some areas you can conpete in or can consider.
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