Pressure washing or power washing has become an increasingly popular service as it is such an easy way to clean household surfaces. The high demand for pressure washing services has seen more and more local contractors offering this service.
If you are one of those contractors who has added this service to your business, you may be wondering what to charge your customers.
There are several ways you can choose to charge customers for your pressure washing services. You can choose to charge your service based on the size and nature of the job, considering size, duration, material, location and overheads. Alternatively, you can opt to charge a standard rate per hour or per square metre.
As you can tell, there are plenty of factors you should consider before pricing your pressure washing services. Luckily, this article is going to lay it all out for you. We’ll give you recommendations on what to charge and how to decide on a quote for a power washing job.
Keep on reading for our simple pressure washing quoting guide.
What Affects the Price of Power Washing?
Factors to consider when pricing power washing services are the size of the job, duration, surface area, additional services and overhead expenses. Of course, the ultimate decision is yours and you may choose to offer a premium or competitive price based on your business model and expertise.
We’ve delved deeper into these influencing factors below:
- Size of the job
It is very common for power washing providers to estimate the cost of a job based on the size of the job, usually measured in square metres. The size of the area being cleaned, combined with the type of surface, should determine the bulk of the cost.
Some providers will often decide to provide a flat rate for ease and convenience to the customer. This is always not recommended, however, as you can often face losses for larger, more time-consuming jobs. Larger jobs can require more staff or subcontractors, so be sure to consider how your costs will scale.
- Type of pressure
Power washing does not always involve using high pressure to clean materials. Different surfaces will require different pressure based on their properties. For example, surfaces such as wood, metal and asphalt can be damaged by intense pressure. Therefore, these materials typically undergo soft power washing, which should be a cheaper service than high-pressure washing.
To distinguish this price difference, consider offering soft power washing as a separate service.
Time will be a major influencing factor when you are pricing your pressure washing services. When you are undertaking a detailed or heavy-duty job, account for extra time and quote the service accordingly.
Depending on the scope of the job, power washing services can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete, so you’ll want to ensure your labour costs are covered for the full duration.
Like most services, the price of power washing will differ depending on your exact location in Australia. Often, your prices will need to reflect the level of competition in your service area. If you’re servicing a remote location with little to no competition, you will be able to set your costs higher than more competitive neighbourhoods.
The most affordable pressure cleaning services are usually found in Queensland and Western Australia, where they average approximately $40 to $50 per hour. If you are servicing NSW or Victoria, pressure cleaning prices are higher on average, at approximately $50 to $55 an hour.
So remember to assess your local area and competitors before pricing your pressure washing jobs.
- Cost of your overheads
To start a pressure washing business from scratch, you will need to invest in the right equipment. Different jobs will require different tools and attachments, so it’s likely you will have to invest in an assortment of equipment so you can take on a range of jobs.
Your business operation overhead costs will also need to be taken into consideration. These costs can relate to vehicle loans, car insurance, fuel, advertising, equipment maintenance, and office rent. If you’re operating as part of a franchise system, you’ll also need to consider franchise fees when setting your prices.
You’ll want to consider the pros and cons of a callout fee – while some businesses do use this to cover their overheads, it’s not always the best pricing model.
- What needs to be cleaned
Another important aspect to consider when pricing your service is the type of item or surface you will be cleaning. For instance, the most common power washing surface is driveways. Obviously, these vary in size, but they can be quite large, particular for commercial properties, so prices can range up to $350 or more.
However, a customer may just want a barbeque cleaned. Here, this surface is much smaller and easier to clean, so can be priced lower at approximately $80 to $150.
- Additional services provided
When you are pricing your power washing service, don’t focus on the power washing alone. This kind of service has great opportunities for add ons or sometimes unexpected additions.
Remember that your service may include some kind of repair or remedial services, such as the application of protective coatings on surfaces, sealing holes, bore stain removal, and more, depending on the services your business can offer.
- Competition for leads
Many lead generation platforms in Australia require services to bid for the lowest price, keeping margins to a minimum. This can have a significant impact on your usual pricing strategies. However, using an exclusive lead platform like Bizza means you can avoid steep price competition, letting you quote a premium price for a job well done.
Should I Charge Per Hour or Per Metre for Power Washing?
The best pricing method for power washing services will depend on your competition, demand, and quoting process. Charging per hour is more consistent, tying the client cost to your labour hours. Charging per square metre is more common, however, as it allows you to bid on different sized and shaped areas.
Benefits of Charging Per Hour
Pricing per hour is the most common pricing method for residential and domestic pressure washing services. This is because there are usually only one or two cleaners in a small power washing business, and the quantity of work will differ every week. This also makes it easier to hire subcontractors for sole traders and other small businesses.
This also ensures that every second of labour is compensated. This is handy for pressure washing jobs where you can get caught off guard with hard-to-clean surfaces that may take more time to finish than expected.
Benefits of Charging Per Square Metre
Charging power washing services per square metre is more common for commercial and non-residential jobs. This method allows service businesses to bid on different sized establishments, lots and structures.
Most customers with sizable areas to clean will prefer this method, as it is more predictable and upfront. It’s also simpler for your business to consistently quote with a typical square-metre rate.
What is a Good Hourly Rate for Pressure Washing?
The average cost of pressure washing is around $50 per hour Australia-wide, though regional variations can be between $40 to $65 per hour or higher. We always suggest looking at your local pressure washing companies and using those figures to establish your price per hour.
Charging per hour is a great way to make sure you are and your employees are getting paid for all the time you work. You will need to take the initiative and research your competitors and weigh up your overhead costs to conclude the price per hour you want to charge.
How Much Should I Charge per Square Metre For Pressure Washing?
The average cost per square metre for pressure cleaning is between $2 and $6 per square metre. Some tradies will choose to offer a minimum charge amount, often between $100-$150 for around 30-50 square metres, to make sure they are getting jobs worth their time.
Again, location will play a big factor in what you should charge! You can also choose to offer discounts and cheaper rates for larger areas.
Of course, many businesses may choose to offer premium services and charge more than this. A great option for new pressure washing businesses may be to offer your services on the lower side of this scale but focus on promoting your ‘add-on’ services to increase your profit.
Should I Charge More to Power Wash a Roof?
Pressure washing a roof comes with the added complexity of working with heights and steep angles. How much you should charge for a roof wash will depend on factors such as the complexity, steepness of the roof, and whether special equipment is required for the job.
With so many variables at play, it is difficult to come up with a standard price to charge for pressure washing a roof. Somewhere between $100 to $600 can be a suitable price to charge depending on the size of the roof and the following factors:
- Roof Material – Not all roofs are made equal, some are more expensive to clean than others because of their surface and material. Roofs made of metal and concrete are much easier and cheaper to clean than terracotta tiles, which require more time and care.
- Roof Size & Shape – A simple, single-storey roof with a relatively less pronounced slope will cost less to clean than a complex roof with steep slopes. Those with multiple slopes will also take longer and, as a result, be more expensive to clean.
- Roof Condition – Of course, the time needed to clean a roof will depend on how dirty or damaged it is. Those that are not too dirty and are kept relatively clean will cost far less than those which have moss, algae, or even ground-in dirt to clean off.
How Much Do I Charge for Commercial Power Washing?
Commercial power washing jobs are usually large and offered contractually, meaning you will get repeat work from a business. If you are working an ongoing contract with a business, you may opt to offer your services at a discounted price.
If a commercial office requires your services monthly, or annually, you might choose to charge a lower rate if they lock in your services via a contract. Commercial quoting is often a competitive process, so setting your prices will depend more heavily on competition.
The rates amongst commercial pressure washers will differ depending on a range of factors, mainly the size of the job.
If you are offered a commercial pressure washing job, be sure to check the following before finalising your price:
- Size of the job
- Interior or exterior cleaning
- If repairs are needed
- Is graffiti removal required
- If it will be an ongoing contract.
The answer to these points will impact how you charge your commercial client. The key factor will be your decision to charge either per hour or per square metre. The equipment used by the contractors will also affect the pricing — those who are better equipped will generally charge higher.
Is A Power Washing Business Profitable?
Yes. A power washing business is considered to be very profitable due to the fact that the startup costs are much lower when compared to a lot of other service-based businesses. In addition, the average profit margins for power washing businesses in Australia are high.
Is Power Washing Bad For Siding?
This depends on a few factors. Although it is known that power washers can ruin vinyl siding in a very short amount of time because of the intense pressure dealt by the stream of water, knowing which pressure level and nozzle to use can prevent this damage. It is a good idea to start power washing vinyl siding at 1,000 psi. If you see that your siding is holding up well, you may incrementally increase the pressure.