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      The Grime Scene Terms Of Service and Forum Rules   08/23/2007

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Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 03/20/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Unfortunately, there is no stain on the market I am aware of that will sustain the effects of chlorine on it combined with full sun UV any longer. A quick cleaning/neutralization and reapplication is all I can suggest at this point. Hopefully, others may lend their experiences. Consider though, my experiences with products is skewed by comparison due to the VOC regulations in our region over what you have access to purchase in yours. Rod
  2. 1 point
    Making the rails all one color is fairly standard and lowest in maintenance costs. The trim edge of the deck is typically stained the same as the verticals so running a tape along the decking would help to keep the solid off them. Edging with the semi-transparent is simple enough as well. The end result is a very nice manicured look and is not hard to take care of albeit you will need to touch up these edge tops every time you do the floor. Rod
  3. 1 point
    Yeah, I’d definitely mask and prep. Wasn’t going to skip that just wondered if all the time you put into masking and plastic sheeting etc is worth it. But I imagine hand brushing all the ballasters lattice etc is going to be worse than all the time spent taping and protecting. Thank you for all the advice. I know I’m full of questions, I just try to know as much as possible for any project I take on.
  4. 1 point
    Beth n Rod

    Late Start

    Yeah, we're all having the same drifting our way over here in the dc area. Rain, snow, cold, rain, cold, windy cold.....yeah....enough already Rod
  5. 1 point
    Any respirator with an OV cartridge. Personally I go full face and wouldn't use anything but. Get a north silicone full face...it's money well spent.
  6. 1 point
    Never really understood why anyone is done for season. If money is on the table go get it. Can understand if it is wood but anything just cleaning you need to go get it before they change there mind or something else comes up and they don’t do it.
  7. 1 point

    Closing Bids percentage for 2017

    What percentage of bids is everyone closing on? We were right at 80% for this year but I feel like we left a lot of money on the table! I don't want to close on all of them just wondering if that's about normal for some of you that have been in the business for several years?
  8. 1 point
    In December we completely stopped power washing to make room in our schedule for Christmas light installation. Kept us busy thru Christmas!
  9. 1 point
    New or return customers? If new customers, how did they hear about you? Referral? You'll likely have several different figures depending upon how they got your info. New customers who just found me online I'm about 40%, but that's only because I try and pre-qualify them before ever considering a site visit. I get a description from them over the phone or email, then I'll provide a brief explanation of the service I'm proposing as well as a price range. I let them know if the price range sounds reasonable to them, then we could meet to discuss & finalize the details. New customers who were referred to me from someone I've serviced in the past would be about 65%. Return customers about 90-95% When I first started my own biz in 1998, I thought I was killing it because I got most of the jobs I went and bid on. Come to find out it was only because I was offering my services way too cheap, (that's typically because many of us don't truly understand our total operating costs when starting a business). Although situations vary, I'd say that if you're closing % is much more than 50% from people who don't know you and just found your info online or in print, then you need to reevaluate your pricing.
  10. 1 point
    Concerning cash flow. We have built our customer base from word of mouth and reputation and as such have ourselves booked out months in advance with 1/3's either being held or deposited as the job gets closer in the que. We have jobs that pay the full amount upon completion ('One stop shops' we call them). And others that require 2 trips are on a 1/3 down plus balance upon completion if smaller in size. Others which may take even longer or require a full day on each phase of the 2 day process require a 2/3 payment upon completion of the first phase and balance upon the completion of the rest. You have an advantage where you already have a business in progress. I would use that to expand your customers' services while getting ready for the full time transition next year. Why not get that part going asap? You know your schedule and capabilities best and could use that to set up for future business with you current customers and not skip a beat really. If I was in your position, I would hire someone to continue the business you already have in place while you devote time to building the other. You keep the cash flow going and don't have to worry so much about dropping the net so to speak. You are fortunate in your position. Having two businesses is a great advantage plus it gives you the ability to utilize workers from both in the case you become shorthanded either way. As an employee, many enjoy the diversity. (breaks up the monotony). Plus, it allows you to be able to cross train people for both and cover in the event of shortages in help. Great opportunity I would say. As far as building up a customer base, go with what you know. That is the best place to start. If it worked before, apply it again. Web site is a great way to attract people to your business and since you are already established in one area, you gain some consumer confidence in that as well. Not a jack-of-all-trades mind you but enterprising is a better way to put it. Starting from scratch will take time and you may not be able to command what you want as a new entity. As a division of another, you will have better luck and results. Use it to your advantage. The rest is as I mentioned before. Anywhere you operate whether it be as a lawn mowing company or as a pressure washing company, use your presence in a neighborhood to put out flyers or door knob hangers letting others know what you offer. For each house you serve post a flyer/hanger on each side of that house and the 3 across the street. It takes 7-10 minutes to walk it or have someone do it while the final phase of your current job is happening to keep them busy. Also, target areas that are affluent and have the money more than those run down. You can get a better price and references from them than the alternatives plus less hassle for those wanting the champagne service on a beer budget! Rod
  11. 1 point
    Hello and welcome to The Grime Scene. #1 is a matter of demographics and preference. I will answer for the residential aspect as we found more problems in securing reliable cash flow from commercial due to many non-compliant companies always giving us 'their' schedule of when they cut checks etc. Got fed up with the hassle and concentrated specifically on residential. The only part the comes close to commercial is our relations with property managers which has been very successful and reliable. The details on how to charge vary on what you are washing and if you are going to offer any followup services for wood cleaning/restoration which involves some carpentry and sealant/stain applications. This part is highly weather dependent and I would not dive in until you have taken a certification course to help gain a basis of knowledge. I suggest PWNA for a start. The pricing has to do with YOUR business model and your pay structure. How long does it take you to wash 'X' and what does it cost you to wash: wages, insurance, fuel(s) including travel time and ass time for your crew, chemicals, payments for equipment and any rentals you may have to hire etc. You can price by sqft but you have some math to do. Figuring out what you need to stay afloat is a start combined with the previous paragraph will help guide you on your pricing. Rule of thumb: Raise your prices as the market will bear and only in relation to cost increases you have to pass on to your customers. Depending upon the job size we charge the customer a 1/3 to get started (upon booking) and balance upon completion. In cases where the job is very large and requires more than on trip, 2/3 upon completion of (specified phase of work completed ei; wash/stripping a deck) on the first trip. Balance upon completion of the rest. Some companies offer financing to those customers whose jobs exceed a certain dollar amount and allow payments over a period of time. That can work both ways positively and negatively on cash flow and making payroll if a number of customers are late on payments. #2. You already have a client base to start from and if you have some decent references from them the advantages save you the advertising. I would start by examining each customer you have and coming up with a sheet detailing the optional items you could wash: Patio, walkway, Siding, gutters, pool apron, wall(s), deck(s), fence etc. and how much sqft of each. Offer them the additional services at introductory rates while you are ramping up. At each customers location, pass out a flyer to each house next door and to all houses across the street as a rule. As you know, people talk to their neighbors and ask for feedback on the contractors they use. Great word of mouth. You just have to generate their attention. Landscapers/lawnmowers don't often get much attention but when a crew starts up a pressure washer, people become intrigued. Use that to draw attention to your services. #3. Consider a Sprinter van. They have up to 2 tons cargo capacity. I have a dual gun pressure washer installed at the back, a 200gal square supply tank just forward of it with a tool box on top (plywood table of sorts and a drawer/shelf system along side) and a 3 stack hose reel towards the front just behind the driver seat. Of course you will want a partition wall to protect the occupants in the event of an accident but the main point is all of what you need is on-board and enclosed from the weather and theft. #4. You will find many pressure washers and wood restoration companies won't get out of bed for less than $75.00/hr. Others are around 100-125. Depends on what your market will bear. Once you have done some research on other more established companies, you will find out what is competitive and what you can be profitable on. After 18 years in business, we are of the top highest priced contractors and with a good reputation and service can basically command your price. #5. Sounds reasonable to start if that is what you always book. In our experience, travel also plays a factor in how much you can get done. The jobs get more sporadic in locations as you may have guessed and this will factor into it. The size of the house(s), the type of surface you are washing, the landscape difficulties (plantings and such that get in the way, make access difficult to not possible), rinsing and diverting water to ground (gotta watch out for the water cops) [Clean water act] Plus you will have to check into local laws AHJ's (authorities having jurisdiction) as well. Another issue is water access and flow. Many homes don't always have water flow that can keep up with a pressure washer so that is another factor you will Have to consider in not only the equipment you purchase but if you may require a hydrant meter for tapping a water hydrant if the site doesn't have enough flow AND how to charge for that option as well. The size of the tank can be an issue if you have too many residents with low flow (<4gpm-Gal/per/minute). #6. Many of us 'Specialize' in a specific aspect and up-sell to other items as a rule. ie; we specialize in wood restoration and up-sell house washing and pressure washing services (detailed items according to what is present). We are aware of a number of people in your area that target specifically house washing, fence washing (species of wood specific too) etc. The rest are add-on services and it makes it easier for your crew to be able to sell them on the spot if you come up with a structured price list they can follow. I hope this helps provide some modicum of direction and sense of probability. Rod
  12. 1 point
    Looks like were still at it this week and into the week of the 11th..... [scrambling] Rod
  13. 1 point
    Think I did my last one yesterday! Now time for my body to recuperate until March.
  14. 1 point
    Done and getting ready for snow plowing. :(
  15. 1 point
    We been down a couple weeks ! Still scheduling a few for spring 2018
  16. 1 point
    We're getting close. Got a log home to blast on monday and a play lot to do some repairs on but that will probably end our season about the 2nd week of December. After that...indoors we go! Rod
  17. 1 point
    I don't bother to quote stripping that stuff anymore. It is cheaper to re-skin the deck. Consider that the wood has already gotten to a point that this is a last resort for anyone to consider using this....Crap! After having it on for a long enough period, the wood starts to rot because it is holding in moisture where ever it fails and allows water to collect beneath it where it flakes off. I have tried to strip it off only to find a turbo nozzle works the best and even then it never got rid of the stuff that goes into the cracks. For all the cost associated with trying to remove it, it is far cheaper to just replace the wood and then apply a sealer. fwiw. Rod