Housewash Estimate-Any Advice

Tim Smith

New Member
I've been called to give an estimate on a split level home with a detach two car garage - the home owner also wants the windows cleaned.

The siding is painted wood - being new to the business, this worries me more than for example brick or vinyl siding.


How would you bid it? $_ _ _ per linear foot or what? I know it depends on location and how bad the home needs clean - looking for a starting point.


What are some precautions when washing painted wood? What kind of pressure, chemicals, etc?


How would you bid windows?

I would appreciate any feedback.



New Member

When I clean painted wood siding houses I'm very careful... especially if there not going to repaint for awhile! Basicly
Be aware as you go. Use your low pressure nozzle and get your chemical on the siding. After your dwell time.. rinse lightly, you really dont need alot pressure for your rinse because your chem. has done all the work.

I usally bid it a little more than vinyl siding because that is the easiest to clean.

hope this helps

I would charge for a 2 story like this $225

Chemicals house wash. I use (it works for me) A mixture Bleach or pool Clorine and some kind of soap to make it stick to the surface


CSL Ent.

When I bid windows, I usually go between 6-7$ a window for standard windows. (not the old paned windows that are a pain in the rump, I ususally won't even do those at all). This includes inside and out, as well as wiping the sills. I add 1$ per screen if they want those cleaned too. A standard house has 20 windows at $7 a window, that's $140, plus screens, gets you $160 for about three hours work. However, if I am already doing work there, I usually knock it down a couple dollars a window.

For houses, if the people know the square footage of their house, just price it 10 cents a square foot.

Ex: 2,400 sq. ft. house X .10 = $240.00

If not, I usually do the linear footage of the base of their house X2 for two story houses. It usually ends up about the same.

These are just starting points, however, and once you get on the job, and get a few under your belt, you'll have a better idea of how to price things.

Good luck!


Mike Hughes

New Member
What is the house dirty with??

As was said above, wash with low pressure, and use a 40 degree nozzle.

As far as the windows, I clean exterior windows for $3.50 - $4 per window, exterior only......and they have to have the screens removed before I get there (I dont mess with taking screens out).........unless they are the type of screens that just slide up out of the way.

Let's not forget about the detached garage........I price them seperately.........that way, if they want, they can pick and choose what they want done...........give them choices. I also try to upsell on cleaning any patios, retaining walls, sidewalks, etc.


New Member

that everyone/most use diffrent things/ways to clean so that is what they can quote on a price
you need to figure what you should charge yourself. What i mean to say is you should make a brakedown of your costs ins,equipment costs,maint on truck,truck insurance,chems,advertising,bookkeeping,fuel,phone,stationary,truck payments,parts,
rent[if needed] 10% back into the biz for new equipment,ect...
then brake that down to the amount of days you wash per week,then all the way down to the cost per hour just to get in your truck and have a job.
i only wash 10 hours a week in the winter then 25 when its warmer and the days are longer.
i know what it costs me per hour do you? now if you knew this then you add what you want to pay yourself per hour+10% for error= your price to do the job.
i know you just wanted the easy answer but just because one guy charges $100 and the next guy $100 dose not mean they are MAKING the same money
i wish more people would ask "how much should i proffit from a job like this"?
once you know your costs per hour it will give you more confindance[spelling?]
when you quote people becaus, if you dont sell it at your price your not going to make it in any biz.
P.S. inspect the paint to be sure its sound[take pictures] if ANY of the paint is failing Quote this as a PAINT PREP. WASH and tell him the house needs to be washed for the new paint to stick but its prep. work. use TSP from home depot with some dawn and truck wash. Chems clean not pressure stay off of it and be carfull put some cascade in the rinse water use a x-jet and dont charge extra or do the insides[you should be bonded to work indoors] one day someone will lose a ring and you'll be the blame.
use some GUTTER ZAP to do the gutters and wash the front steps,walk,and curb.
i charge $350 but im high-since this is part time for me i get my $ or i dont do it
but i get 2 a week and now im getting referrals from people that just tell me to wash and send a bill[no quote,just do it]


$1 per linear foot single story, $2 for two story.
As for the windows, suggest they have the screens removed when you get there and throw them in at N/C.


New Member
for house wash use bleach (clorox) + liquid tide + new dawn dishwashing liquid (provides a surficant and foam to extend dwell time) + cascaqde liquid (reduces spotting on the windows). on tough places just keep, bathing the area with your wash, don't use too much pressure. you need sometype of long-distance chemical applicator.

good luck



New Member

in my opinion you should ditch the TIDE and use TSP
im my opinion theres not enuff cleaning power in laundry soap and it dries things out
never wash a painted surface with it.[you did read it was a painted wood surface?]
Evan if it was plastic siding i would use a good truck soap and ditch the tide
but whatever works for you i use tide if there are awnings involved
if you are going to use the tide put a beading wax in the mix makes the plastic look better
[shinny not dull/chalky] dont use the wax on wood

JR Wood

New Member
If they are NOT having the house painted after you clean it or plan to do so anytime soon,I would avoid using TSP.

Richard R.

New Member
I've used deep cleaning tide in my mix ever since I learned about it through JR. I can assure you it cleans very well without any problem.
I use 3 to 4 cups of deep cleaning tide, 3 store gallons of scented ultra clorox that has the sodium hydroxide in it, one good squeeze of cascade in my 15 gallon shurflo tank and it cleans everything to a bright beautiful look.
I have washed several homes, some having mold, mildew and dirt so bad the homes looked burned and the outcome is breath taking. Everything rolls off of the surface so fast you can hardly believe it.
I have some surface shot pictures of what this mix can do if you need them. I'm sure someone can show me how to post them.
TSP may work fine too, but it is definitely not a must must situation.
I rarely wash anything but painted surfaces around here. They seem to be the surfaces that pick up the most mold and mildew here. I have never noticed anything negative by using this type of mix.
I rinse with a warm or hot, low pressure spray.
I'm sure everyone has a method that works, but this is the easiest for me and you can get tide anywhere.

Take Care
Richard R.

JR Wood

New Member
Like Ron said,TSP is used for paint prep,and one of the reasons is it dulls the finish which aids in paint adhesion sort of takes the place of light sanding.In almost all my experiences cleaning painted or stained surfaces, a mild detergent and bleach for mildew seems to clean up nice and easy.
Also like Ron said(somewhere) chemicals do the work.

Sodium percarbonate might work as well.If there is a lot of mildew maybe a soak and rinse with a detergent and bleach mix, followed by a cleaning with sodium percarbonate.

Like Richard said I go with the old standby of bleach and clear rinse tide a squirt of cascade and maybe a little sodium metasilacate(added power) if the house is very dirty.
Dwell time and a good cleaner do it all!

With decks and houses the term should be "Power Rinsing" not "Power Washing!".
Last edited:


New Member
House wash estimate

Well hello guys its been a while since i have been on. Got a baby on the way and ive been busy. As for the house wash a good rule of thumb is .10 a square foot. As for the windows 4 dollars for the outside seems about right. If you know how to take the screens out it only takes a sec. If they are pinned screens then i would charge more for. And ofcoarse if they are old windows with wood in the middle then i charge alot. You should never use TSP when washing a house. Have you ever read the label? TSP will stain window glass. I know because i do alot of windows also. I dont know about you but if a house has alot of mold on it I use my airless sprayer and put one cup of bleach per gallon of warm water and lightly hit the problem areas first. Then i just use plain ol' Water. And they come out great. If your worried about taking paint off the house you should probably not be pressure washing the house. Practice on your own first before you do something you will regret.

Mark Poole

Richard R.

New Member
Don't take this wrong, but I'm not real sure why anyone would go to the extra time to caculate a home at .10 a sq. ft. when caculating at $1.00 per linear ft. would be so much faster and the outcome is almost exactly the same. I'm not knocking it, I just don't understand how other folks or able to do the square foot method as a real acurate method.
I start at one corner, big step the entire house line and multiply by three. If I step off 65 steps (times 3) I charge a base rate of $195.00 plus whatever I use in chemicals, gas miles etc...etc.... That's all there is to it. I'm through with figuring in have the time it takes for me to figure .10 sq. ft. If the house is pretty much square, I walk off one side times it by three and then by two sides and the same thing for each end. I then add the four sides to get my base rate. It's quick, it's easy and for simple minded folks like me. The only time I would use the sq. ft. method is if I have a big back porch ceiling or the flat work.
Another thing I don't understand is why you spray bleach directly on a bad surface mold and mildew area, when it comes off the same way when you put the bleach in your house wash mix.
This way, you don't give away you chemical secrets.
I have washed houses that look as if they had been burned really bad and the results are all the same. Don't ya'll have homes that bad there. Just Curious. If not, I have some pictures of some I will show you. In my case, I would have to spray the entire house down the way your talking about doing.
No offense though. I know you are very capable of doing a great job, I'm just curious as to whether I am over looking an easier way to do it.

By the way, congratulations on the expecting. I'd say you've been busy.

Take Care
Richard R
HP Mobile Wash

Mike Hughes

New Member
Originally posted by Richard R.
I start at one corner, big step the entire house line and multiply by three. If I step off 65 steps (times 3) ..............


When you have the means, go to Home Depot and invest in a measuring wheel..........mine has about a 12" wheel on it.......its great ...........goes over all types of terrain with ease.

Stepping it will be a thing of the past.

Bill B

New Member
I have a related question. Today I took measurements on doing some work on a three 2-story houses in a row. How do you bid cleaning vinyl when it is only on the top story of the house (brick on bottom)? I was thinking of $1.33 for second floor only, and $1.50 per foot in cases where I need to get on garage roof to get to side/gable of area on side of house above garage. Your thoughts?

How do you guys and gals discount when doing several houses at same time?

Regarding TSP, I also only use when doing paint prep. You'll find TSP in the paint department of HD, if that means anything.

Thanks, Bill B


New Member
well nice to hear from you..

The reason i use bleach that way is your not supposed to use it with your pressure washer. And i rarely use bleach just on a couple of jobs a year maybe. We are almost the same in measuring. When you the the square footage just walk to house length and width, and thats it pretty easy. So is yours. So how is your business doing this time of year?

Mark Poole

Richard R.

New Member
Hi Mark,
I'm doing pretty good. As for the business, well it's still a little early to tell. I don't have any contracts yet so I just depend on the once a year jobs, which is no way to run a business without a advertising on a regular basis.

Do you ever use a shurflo and tank to apply your chemicals?
I don't ever run bleach through my power washer. I suppose it would be ok since the rinse would clean the pump, but I don't feel comfortable with it. I get a better ratio using my shurflo method and it works like a charm.
Isn't width time the length a little hard on some of the structures.
I run into many homes that this wouldn't seem to work.
So you caculate on the living space and garage space not the actual surface you clean right?
My house is 2432 sq ft living space which would be $243.20 and the outside surface space is only about 2160 sq ft. without the over hangs and porch ceiling, which caculates to $216.00. When I use the linear foot method I walk it also, except it would be length and width times 2 equal linear ft.. It caculates to 212 linear foot plus chemicals and so on.
I guess it depends on what one would be most comfortable with huh? It all sounds like it's pretty much the same.

It's good hearing from you.

Richard R
HP Mobile Wash


New Member
Ive been thinking of your business and if you made it thru the winter ok. As for the type of pump i use, the only sprayer i use is a graco. My spraying is really geared for decks, and i really like the graco sprayers. I have never used your type. As for the house measurements. I get as close as i can. I have been doing it for some time i can pretty much eyeball it to within 30 bucks or so. Then i also take into consideration the terrain. Really 30 bucks wont hurt or help me. I just get a feel for what i would do the job for. No need to make it complicated. Hope you have a great season.

By the way i was wondering how much you plan on spending on advertising this year. This year im going to spend around 30,000 dollars. Hope its worth it. Seems like all the money i make goes right back in. For now anyway


Our Sponsors