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Expansion of services.

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Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:52 am

Made up my mind to expand services for next year. This year has been CRAZY busy, and it's just now slowing down.

I have decided, in order to capture more dollars from clients, and to drive more business, I am expanding into doing power washing. Looking to expand into house washing, patios, decks, drive ways, etc.

I already have a smaller enclosed trailer that will be used for this. I'm just pinning down now, what equipment I'll be buying. Want to get this all set up this fall, so it's ready to go next spring. I'll give this a shot over next year. If this isn't a good fit for my company, I'll sell off the equipment in 2020.

I'm hoping this turns out for me though.

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by dp1 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:57 pm

Good for you James !
I have a friend that does power washing, he uses sapphire scientific 2500 HS, he said he can do 2000 psi power washing and still gets 180 degrees hot water Shocked
Find a good used one in the winter, you should be able to get one under 10 grand, my friend mounted his in an enclosed trailer, I would have to say in your area, driving a truck with a trailer should be okay, my area, no bueno, I don’t know how he does it. Even driving cargo van, if I have a dollar for every time someone cut me off on the road or freeway, I’d be rich by now laughing
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by milspec6 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:31 pm

I did some pressure washing a few years ago, but around here it was way too seasonal. In your area, why not? I would look at just getting a dedicated psi washer with emphasis on gpm. The gpm is what does all the work in psi washing rather than heat and psi...spend your money there.

I mainly did bank entrances and sidewalks downtown along the bar circuit. Paid pretty well actually, but was even more seasonal than carpet cleaning and thieves were always trying to steal it. I had it trailer mounted and seriously, thieves were always trying to take parts or all of it.
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:28 pm

I already have a unit picked out. 5.6 GPM unit. Honda powered.

I'm more gearing up for house/roof washing, decks, drives, and whatever needs done in residential. Not really looking for commercial work, as I will not be using a large tank to carry water, just a 50-65 gallon buffer tank.

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Diversification can be very profitable

Post by M56markovic@gmail.com on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:03 am

I'm using pressure for cleaning tile and grout inside homes. It's been great now that I'm nearly 60% up on revenue from adding service to my lineup. You just need to produce 2.2 gallons a minute

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:27 am

@dp1 wrote:Good for you James !
I have a friend that does power washing, he uses sapphire scientific 2500 HS, he said he can do 2000 psi power washing and still gets 180 degrees hot water Shocked
Find a good used one in the winter, you should be able to get one under 10 grand, my friend mounted his in an enclosed trailer, I would have to say in your area, driving a truck with a trailer should be okay, my area, no bueno, I don’t know how he does it. Even driving cargo van, if I have a dollar for every time someone cut me off on the road or freeway, I’d be rich by now laughing

For 10K, I could buy a power washing trailer, already set up and ready to go. Smile

I'll have under 3K into mine.

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:35 pm

Correction. I'm seriously thinking of buying another unit, still 5.5 GPM, but 20 HP Honda, rather than a 13 horse. This one would come with a separate gas tank and electric start.

I could buy an 8 GPM unit for a bit more, but I am not going to haul my water, and I would need a BIG water tank for the 8 GPM unit. The buffer I'll be using for the 5.5 GPM is a 65 gallon tank, and still needing to hook up to the customers water.

It sucks I have NO ONE within 2 hours drive of me that sells commercial power washing stuff. I can get the buffer tank locally, but everything else has to be shipped in. Ugg....

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by milspec6 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:46 am

IF running a cold water unit, I would still go for big gpm rating, if hot, then 4 gpm would work at around 3,000 psi. It really is the gpm that does the work so the more you have, the quicker the job gets done. I understand your desire to avoid adding a huge tank, but I don't see why you would need one. The average water service at the house through a 3/4 hose is still around 15 gpm so you should be able to just connect to the house or business with the larger pressure washer.

Nobody sells them withing 2 hours from you? Wow, around here, they are all over the place (Northern Tools, Hotsy, Dultmeir), seems odd that it isn't that way around you.

I enjoyed that work when I did it, lots of drive-thru concrete cleaning and house sidings, but it was just a 6 month season around here.
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:01 pm

15 GPM? LOL, we are doing good at 6-7 GPM around here. Average is about 50 seconds to fill a 5 gallon bucket.
That's why I run a pump on my WFP. We don't have enough pressure at most jobs to do second story work and have "squirt". More like a drizzle.

Nope, no one I can find, sells commercial power washers. It's hard to find a 4 GPM machine, impossible to find one belt drive. Want more flow than 4 GPM? You have to order it.

Not going to buy and 8 GPM machine at this point. Talked to guys in power washing, and they said a 5.5 GPM should work well for me. Plenty enough flush.
I won't buy a heated unit either. If I need heat, I'll just rent a unit in town, and tack on the price to the bill. Those cost way too much, and do not have the flow when you are using them cold.

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by milspec6 on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:23 pm

Wow, line pressure is that low out there? That would drive me nuts, we have strong psi in this area....sometimes too strong where I need to choke it down some to keep from damaging things. I wouldn't bother with heat either, it is not really needed for 90% of what you will be working on.

The one advice that I will offer is that if you plan on doing any siding washing, get really good at covering / sealing the power supply to the house, some of those chemicals will trigger a fire pretty quickly and then you are on the hook financially. I spent a lot of time doing that after seeing a local washer nearly burn down a house.
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:39 am

Burn down a house?! I'd be interested in knowing what he was using and what material he applied it to.

Was he applying hydrochloric acid to tin foil? Mad

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by dp1 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:26 pm

I know nothing about power washing so I can't comment on technical specs but it seems like you figured that out already.

Regarding electrical outlets, down here the outdoor ones MUST have covers attached to them, I've almost never seen one that is not covered, besides those outdoor outlets are pretty rare here.

I'm curious how do you charge for pressure washing, seems like easy enough work ?
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by milspec6 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:53 pm

Even something as simple as sodium hypochlorite will ignite...just have to be careful around those electical mains and outlets.
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:58 pm

@dp1 wrote:I know nothing about power washing so I can't comment on technical specs but it seems like you figured that out already.

Regarding electrical outlets, down here the outdoor ones MUST have covers attached to them, I've almost never seen one that is not covered, besides those outdoor outlets are pretty rare here.

I'm curious how do you charge for pressure washing, seems like easy enough work ?

Most all the homes here that have been built in the last 30 years, have at least one outlet outside. Many have 4+ outlets, outside. It's not unusual to see a water spigot and an outlet on all four sides of a house, 10 foot or so apart.

Pricing, it depends on what you are cleaning. Most guys who are serious, charge by the square foot. But like anything else, it comes down to time. I intend to target 150 an hour starting out, and move to 200 an hour by the end of season/beginning of next season.

I've heard of some guys getting 300 an hour, but I doubt many markets will support that. 150-200 an hour average seems common.

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Mo Yesterday at 7:19 am

You might have to quit yoir job if you get too busy Freemind. It would be a good problem to have though
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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by Freemind1 Yesterday at 7:52 am

That's what I'm hoping for Mo. I'd honestly like to build my company to the point I have employees doing the work, and I just take a salary every week, doing little actual work.

It was completely nuts this year, until now. I was so busy, I couldn't believe it.

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Re: Expansion of services.

Post by milspec6 Yesterday at 4:39 pm

Just to follow-up some, it isn't so much the standard outdoor outlets that are the problem, it is the electrical main that you need to seal off tightly.
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Re: Expansion of services.

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