The age old question. Really, the age old question for all services that a customer must invest in. How much is this going to cost? The answer to that question can either cause you to cringe in despair, or leap in delight (but of course you would never do that in front of the owner). With a service like window cleaning, I find that many people are in the dark as to how much it SHOULD cost. Now of course they recognize that there are those who will charge you peanuts, and butcher your job. And than of course most people are aware that there are also those who will charge you an extremely high amount, but not deliver for the price.
So, where is the balance? How can you be sure you’re not paying too much, but at the same time getting the best price, AND the best service? Well, I find that a little knowledge can go a long way. If you truly want to know how much a Las Vegas window cleaning should cost, especially here in Las Vegas, there is some foreknowledge that it would be good to have. What is that foreknowledge? What are the factors that are involved?
How Dirty Are the Windows?
This is a pretty obvious question. But why is this a factor that is included in the cost of a window cleaning in Las Vegas? Put simply, it’s because of time. It takes more time to clean a window that hasn’t been cleaned in 20 years, than it does to clean one that’s been cleaned within the last few years. This even more so in Las Vegas. Why? Because when a window sits directly in the sun, and is getting hard water on it from the irrigation here, the sun sets stains onto the window. And the water in Las Vegas is super hard, so it makes matters even worse. This can be very difficult, if not impossible at times to get off. The solution to this issue most times is to use steel wool. But this would increase the price. Why? Once again, time.
Let’s assume that it takes 60 seconds to clean one side of one window pane that’s a size 2 x 4. If it takes 60 seconds to wet it and than squeegee it, than you can imagine that it would take the same amount of time, if not more, to wet the window, and than scrub it with steel wool. So now instead of taking 60 seconds to clean the window, it’s taking 120 seconds, or two minutes. Wouldn’t this obviously cause an increase in price? It would if you want good quality. If these windows are not properly scrubbed, they can look bad after they’re cleaned. And of course, that is the last thing that you want! You’re paying for CLEAN windows. So if steel wool scrubbing is the way to achieve that, than it must be done. Right? But is there more?
Sometimes, there’s more than just hard water buildup on the windows. Sometimes there is debris that has gotten onto the window and stuck. Perhaps paint or just small particles of some other kind. At times, these can’t be removed with steel wool even. So the second option is to use a window scraper. A window scraper is completely safe to the window, and it will get off debris that the steel wool could not get off. But once again, this takes time. Usually one does not have to use a window scraper for the entire window. Typically it’s just a small part. But that small part can still add about 10-30 seconds.
So now think about this. If you have a one story home (we’ll go over two story later) that has 30 window panes, and it takes 60 seconds to clean one side of one window pane. But now each window must be scrubbed and scraped. It can now take about 130 seconds per window pane. Instead of it taking approximately thirty minutes to clean the outside of your home’s windows, it will now take approximately 84 minutes. Obviously, this would cost more.
But what about the window sills, tracks, and screens?
When a window is cleaned, the window sills, tracks, and screens should all be cleaned as well. It’s all really part of the window. The tracks should be brushed out and than cleaned with a rag. And the screens need to get the dust removed by washing them and scrubbing them with a brush. We use a product on the screens after they’ve been brushed that makes them shine and keeps them from getting dirty quickly. So once again, you can see, all of this will definitely take more time. The window sills don’t take too much longer, neither do the tracks. But the screens definitely do.
You can be looking at about 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes per bug screen to actually get clean. This doesn’t include the time it takes to take down and put up the screens. Here in Las Vegas though, it can take even more time, because the screens get so dirty. So obviously it would take more time to clean them. Now when you start talking about solar screens, than you can go anywhere up to 5 minutes per screen. Sometimes even more than that.
So how much time are we adding here? Well if you have 30 windows, with 15 screens, than you’re looking at about an extra 30-45 minutes of extra work. If you include taking the screens down and putting them back up again. If you’re talking about solar screens than we’re looking at an extra 45 minutes – 1.5 hrs of work at times. And really, these are just estimates. In some circumstances they’re less, but sometimes more. At times, the person who put the screens in did a horrendous job. The screens are super tightly put in, and it takes a ton of effort and time to get them out, and to get them in. Once again, more time!
Why get the screens cleaned?
Now if window screens take so much longer, why even include them with your Las Vegas window cleaning service? Well, if you clean just the windows and not the screens you’ll have a couple of issues:
- It just doesn’t look good. Beautiful windows with ugly screens just look bad. It’s like a really nice car with nasty looking tires. If you have solar screens, than from the outside you can’t even see the windows. So all you’ll see is dirty screens, and it will look like the windows were never even washed.
- When it rains, the rain will go through the screens, pick up the dust that’s on them, and than get that on the windows. So your windows will get dirty again quicker.
So as you can see, there are definite reasons why you would want your window screens cleaned. Realistically, a window washing isn’t really a window washing if the screens are not cleaned. That’s why we include it in every service. But wait one minute. All we’ve spoken of is for just one story. What about two or three stories?
Two story homes
Two story homes require more work. That’s a pretty obvious statement, right? They require ladders. And this definitely adds more time. It doesn’t add a whole lot more time for the window itself, or the tracks or sills. But where it really adds time is the screens. Why is that? Well here is a typical process of cleaning a window screen that is on the second story:
- Climb the ladder
- Take the window screen out (if this is a solar screen this can be much more difficult)
- Go down the ladder – If the window is over grass you can let the screen down from on the ladder
- Clean the window screen
- Climb the ladder, without the screen because there’s no where to put it. You need two hands to clean the windows best.
- Go back down the ladder and get the screen
- Climb the ladder again
- Put the screen back onto the window
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it?? Well that’s because it is!! Now, if you can take the screen out from within the home, than you can save time on this. But sometimes this is the way that it’s done. And obviously, this will take much longer. In Las Vegas, if the screens are taken out from within the home, they still have to be taken outside in order to clean them. Which takes time. So here’s a breakdown of how much EXTRA time things will take to clean a two story home because of screens.
- Bug screens (normal screens) – 1/2 hr -1 hrs extra
- Solar Screens – 1 hr – 1.5 hrs extra
Understand too though, cleaning windows on a second floor takes longer also because you have to move the ladder around. It’s also a little more difficult to clean windows on a ladder. So you’re looking at about another 30 minutes in order to clean second story windows. Now at times, a home has what I call “false ladder spots”. What’s a “false ladder spot”? It’s a place where you have to use a ladder to get onto the top of the first floor, but you can walk on the roof to clean the window. That makes it a little easier to clean, but it still most certainly adds time. I would say it adds about an extra minute to each window being cleaned. But what if you need to use ladders on the inside?
Ladders on the inside is to me the most uncomfortable part of window washing. You have to take this giant, clunky, and at times heavy piece of equipment, and move it around someone’s home. Not fun! Also, because a lot of people have wood flooring or tile, it can be somewhat dangerous even to have an extension ladder in the home. Because of this, the price does go up somewhat. But what about the size of the windows?
Size of the windows
Once again, this is a no-brainer. The larger a window is, than the more it’s for sure going to cost. If a window pane is 4 x 8, than it’s of course going to cost a little bit more. This is not a huge factor, but it is definitely one. This is more of a concern for people with very custom homes. I’ve been to homes where they have an entire back wall of GIGANTIC windows. Well of course I had to charge them more because it took way longer to clean them. However, sometimes for a home that has a lot of windows of different sizes, one price per window pane will be used because the time it takes to clean the larger window pane will be made up when cleaning the smaller ones.
How difficult is it to get to the windows?
This is another factor, however, it’s a small one. If a window is really tough to get to, for example, say there’s a tree really close to a second floor window and it’s really hard to get a ladder there. Or say there’s a ton of rose bushes in front of some windows that need to get cleaned. This isn’t a huge impact, but it does play a factor. Sometimes, a window can be so difficult to get to that it takes WAY longer to clean. This is why it’s a factor. But once again, often times this isn’t a huge factor. I would say 1 out of every 10 homes we actually charge more for because of difficulty reaching a window. The other ones have no price impact.
So How Does This Affect Pricing?
As you can see, there are many factors that influence the price of your window cleaning. This is what you need to take into consideration when getting your windows cleaned. If someone says that they’ll come by and clean your windows for way less than someone else, here are some things to think about:
- Are they REALLY cleaning the screens? Or are they just wetting them and than going? I’ve spoken with people who had someone who used to do their home for really cheap, and their window screens were horrible.
- Are they cleaning the tracks and the sills? – This really needs to be done. If you ever look at a window with clean tracks vs one without, you’ll always ask for the tracks to be cleaned.
- Are they scrubbing the windows when necessary?
- Are they doing a good job? Do they leave a lot of streaks?
- Do they actually have a license for doing business in Las Vegas?
- Are they insured in case they break something in your home?
With looking at this, I’m going to show you how it can be that someone will charge way less. For a one story home in Las Vegas with 32 window panes, inside and outside for a first time cleaning, here’s the approximate time it takes to clean each aspect:
- Windows without scrubbing – 1.5 hrs – approx. $75
- Windows with scrubbing every window – 2.5 hrs – approx. $125
- Scraping debris off the windows – 15 minutes – approx. $12
- Window screens – 45 minutes – approx. $37
- Tracks and sills – 15 minutes – approx. $12
- Final detail of the windows with steel wool (this final step is a walk around and a cleaning of any missed spots that really should be done) – 15 minutes – approx. $12
So if someone comes to you, and you have a house like the one spoken of above, and says, “I can clean this whole home inside and outside for $75”. He’s almost certainly just doing #ITEM 1 (windows without scrubbing). If someone comes to you and says, “This will cost $200”, he’s doing Items 2-6. As always, you get what you pay for! Remember, you want your windows to look good!
Now if you’re okay with just the first item, that’s completely up to you. But realize, that’s what you’re getting when you pay that. There’s no point in throwing out peanuts to get a job that’s sub par. It can be a little bit more pricey for a job well done, but in the end, it’s most definitely worth it. I have seen people who are disappointed with the work that someone else did for them. And no matter how much they paid, they are NOT happy. So always remember, “What you pay for, is what you get!”
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!