How to Compute Power Washing Rates

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Calculations are everything in preparing a bid.
Calculations are everything in preparing a bid. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape or wheel
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Calculator

Time & Materials

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.

Signed contracts avoid misunderstandings.
Signed contracts avoid misunderstandings. (Image: NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

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.

Write detailed notes.
Write detailed notes. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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.

Count time on the job.
Count time on the job. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

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.

Figure in the cost of cleaning materials.
Figure in the cost of cleaning materials. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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.

Your wages should be included in the bid.
Your wages should be included in the bid. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Square Footage

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

Square footage is measured by multiplying width and length or height.
Square footage is measured by multiplying width and length or height. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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.

Add it all up.
Add it all up. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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.

Note any unusual job difficulties.
Note any unusual job difficulties. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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