How to Compute Power Washing Rates

by Troy Pankey; Updated September 26, 2017
Calculations are everything in preparing a bid.

Knowing how to bid a pressure washing job can make the difference between profit or loss, between winning or losing jobs, between slave wages or a comfortable living. With careful calculations, you won't short-change yourself or charge too much. There are two common methods for figuring out how much to ask for when bidding on a pressure washing job.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape or wheel
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Calculator

Time & Materials

Step 1
Signed contracts avoid misunderstandings.

Have what exactly is expected of you clearly described to you. Have it put into writing by whomever is entering into an agreement with you or write it down and have him sign it.

Step 2
Write detailed notes.

Walk around the job site to get a feel for any difficulties, noting additional time added toward job completion. Annotate each step involved in completing the power washing job.

Step 3
Count time on the job.

Add up the amount of time the job will take, starting from arrival at the job site to departure from it. Include additional time away from the job site, which will be directly used for completion of the job.

Step 4
Figure in the cost of cleaning materials.

Annotate what cleaning materials are required for the job. Figure out your total materials costs, including cleaning solutions, chemicals and gas for the power washer.

Step 5
Your wages should be included in the bid.

Set your hourly rate or total cost of labor for the job. Combine the total cost for your labor and the total cost of the materials used on the job.

Square Footage

Step 1
Square footage is measured by multiplying width and length or height.

Measure the square footage of each surface that will get power washed. Do so by measuring length by width, or width by height.

Step 2
Add it all up.

Add together the measurements for like surfaces. Add the square footage together for all surfaces, both like and unalike. Annotate any difficulties to the pressure washing job that are beyond common difficulties.

Step 3
Note any unusual job difficulties.

Set a rate for each square foot pressure washed, and if necessary, for different types of surfaces or difficulties in reaching and pressure washing surfaces. Annotate any difficulties to the pressure washing job that are beyond common difficulties, and include an additional flat rate for completing such difficulties.

About the Author

Educated at the University of New Orleans, Troy Pankey started writing many years ago. His written material is quite varied, and includes, advertising copy, product reviews, restaurant menus, musician and business owner profiles and interviews, among many other writing forms. He currently lives near New York City, where he pursues freelance writing opportunities both in traditional print and on the Web.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images
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