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Showing most liked content since 03/01/2004 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    We still go door to door and hang door hangers. This is the first marketing we ever did and although we have grown from other sources we refuse to quit what work for us in the beginning. "Never forget where you come from" It is not easy but in my opinion it is a great source for new business! Internet is an excellent choice as well! We have NOT successful with EDDM, and for that reason have discontinued it. If you don't mind doing a little extra work take a look at sendjim, https://sendjim.io/home they have some great marketing ideas at affordable pricing.
  2. 4 points

    Cedar shake strip and stain pctures

    Just a couple of pics of a project I am working on, this was some really old shakes that needed two fat coats of amber. you can see on the front where i left off on the second coat.
  3. 4 points

    Ego vs. Giving Back

    Support local charities and help people in your community who need it. Keep it between you, them, and God.
  4. 4 points

    Ego vs. Giving Back

    There is no drawback from doing the right thing. The drawbacks come from when people want to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Personally I think it goes against what god wants people to do to brag about how you donate or help out a service organization and expect to get positive exposure or a tax credit. Do it because you want to and be done with it. If you recieve a donation letter from them so be it but don't go looking for it.
  5. 3 points

    Lessons Learned in 2018

    My only "guarantee" is to turn up & do my best (results as explained)
  6. 3 points
    Beth n Rod

    Lessons Learned in 2018

    I find that customers like you described are often ones that have been either taken by another contractor or were given unreasonable expectations. I have won these types over by setting the expectations and when possible over delivering. Then there are ones that just can't be pleased no matter what and they expect miracles. These often have conditions that can't be reversed and likely induced by either the homeowner/diyer or a hack. Some people are so difficult that I will intentionally bid it high to deter their acceptance but in the case they become desparate set a very low expectation. In the case of excessive questions, I find it that they are insecure and often a bit squirrelley to begin with. I try to be patient but sometimes find I have to control the narrative and leave them with either yes or no responses because they don't understand aspects about the project/scope/technology/chemistry etc. This helps them to find a path to a decision but I often have to leave a comfort line at the end, something to the effect of....if you have any further questions you can call me at... Guarantees. What is to guarantee in our line of work? That the dirt will come off? That the results will last 'X' years? I offer none where this is concerned even if I am the first one on the job because there are things I have no control over. I don't make the sealers, chemicals, stains etc. that are being applied. I didn't get the substrate dirty and have no idea of what it has been subject to and no way to tell until AFTER the work begins to reveal what was hidden or obstructed/disguised. What are your thoughts on Guarantees? Rod
  7. 3 points
    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.
  8. 3 points
    We use both M5 X-Jet for House washing and we use a 12 volt 7gpm Fatboy or Shureflow Pump for Roofcleaning. We like the X-jet because you can reach upwards of 3 stories. You can apply chemical without ladders and can also clean most vertical surfaces without ladders. The roof setup gets the right chemical on the roof surface at low pressure.
  9. 3 points
    mike movila

    Real Estate Agents

    I also have done quiet a bit of work for Real Estate agents in my area. What has worked for me personally is developing a good working relationship with those top sales agents and reward them with small gifts after a few jobs that goes a long way especially when you do excellent work.
  10. 3 points
    Beth n Rod

    Newbie question

    I will expound on what Guy was saying. There is a sliding scale that many contractor use towards pricing and it is representative of the time, labor and materials it takes to complete a job. Higher price/sqft for smaller jobs and a reductively lower price/sqft as the job gets bigger. ie; 1.00/sqft - up to 200 sqsft. .75/sqft - up to 500sqft. .50/sqft - up to 1000sqft.....etc. Find out what it takes to do jobs of various types and look into your costs. How much fuel does your machine consume in an hour? Factor that into the price. What is your travel distance and factor costs for ass time in the vehicle for each person and a service area radius to base your rates on. Compute for larger distances as an additional charge upon the regular area. What are your overhead costs you have to meet each month? Divide that total by the number of days you work to come up with a minimum per day you need to meet those expenses and learn to factor that into your hourly costs overall. Many companies here have stated that they have certain minimums they will need to make before accepting any job. That is another thing to consider but beware, it is also market driven and demographically sensitive. You can price yourself out of business if your area of business can't support your costs if they are too high. Let me know if you have any questions... Rod
  11. 3 points
    We used to do Ice Damn removal as well. Cold work and a bit treacherous in the snow of yards you have not been on before and are trying to find good footing for ladders. God I hate getting snow down the back of my jacket... Rod
  12. 3 points
    Thad, Nonsense. You and many others not mentioned in my post deserve credit. Going back in time, if I can remember, Mark Smith, Ken Fenner, Greg R., Jim B., Diamond Jim Foley, and others used this website and the old Delco board to get the wood restoration business recognised by the general public. It helped my small business and many others. So take a bow!
  13. 3 points
    Beth n Rod

    Show off your summer deck!

    Okay I have a few.....
  14. 3 points

    For those who do staining in Virginia

    Va is actually very fair about the issue. On contracting work when they pull a permit for a job they put your contractors licence number in the system and if it pops as inactive,completely fraudulent, or registered to someone else they make the contractor obtain a valid licence before they will sign off on the work.
  15. 3 points
    Mike Hughes

    Hi there

    The big 4-0 was this past September. I spent the morning of my 40th birthday in the Emergency Room with a kidney stone. That went away after some convincing, and all is well. My boys are 14 and 9 now........which is hard to believe. I stopped pressure washing in 2005 and switched to the HVAC business. I am in sales of residential HVAC and doing very well. For a couple of years I was a technician as well, but I enjoy sales more. Jim, I recognize your photo.......I hope all is well with you.
  16. 3 points
    Doing it for nothing is something I won't do. You are performing on someone else's property and if you aren't charging for it and it is not disclosed in a proposal, bid or estimate, you are liable for any and all damages that result. Hourly rates are for employee's and lawyers. Even plumbers and electricians don't give hourly anymore. They charge by the service. We don't give out an 'hourly' rate either. Due to the varying factors many projects will have, there is no way to really put an hourly rate on it considering there is so much more that go into costs. Rod
  17. 3 points
    Tim , I take care of a lot of furniture . Teak , cedar , pt, redwood, something that begins with a J. All furniture that ends up with people like us has gotten out of control and sticky . Over application of product is the biggest issue. So knowing what you put on and how to care for the finish is the biggest issue with outdoor furniture and when to start over again. Last year I did about 20 pieces of teak at the end of the year as a trial for he next 20 pieces in spring ( I think more). The tables could not be extended and the chairs couldn't be sat on when the temps hit 90. What a freaking mess but they new it . It went beyond there painter, local hardware store , paint store, handy man, advice from the product they put on,. The estate manager went to a dinner at one of my clients and ate / sat on the furniture I have cared for the last ten years. What a great new client I have and estate to work on . All because of something that couldn't be sat on ! Who wood of thunk ? With furniture less is best.... What ever is used don't over apply . Wipe off anything that doesn't sink in in 30 minutes . Don't allow much on the undersides at all . Just enhance the wood. With furniture the first finish and when to do the second finish is the trickiest . You cannot treat outside furniture like inside furniture.
  18. 3 points
    Beth n Rod

    Rock Solid and Restore

    If the coating is not permeable.....RUN. Beth
  19. 3 points
    I like forums better because there is much less politics and more networking and civil discussion by contrast. Rod
  20. 3 points
    Douglas Hicks

    Ego vs. Giving Back

    I have done work at a reduced rate for the Salvation Army, a women's shelter, and a Food Bank. Neither group cares who you are or what you do. Their only concern is if you need help. But if I am told that I owe a freebie, if they tell me I can take a tax deduction, if they pull the guilt trip, we are done. The other thing, is I do not help for free advertising or other b/s. I help because I like the org or their goals.
  21. 3 points
    The fishing part is not important. The being together is the important part. Just as important, is his little friends who do not have a good father figure in their lives. You have a chance to make a real difference in some kids life. Don't screw it up.
  22. 3 points
    Someone hook me up with a frubal, thanks.
  23. 3 points
    Frubals Have you ever heard the phrase 'instant karma'? Frubals (sometimes known as 'reputation') are are a very close equivalent. Let's say, for example, you see a post that you really like. You can validate that person by clicking on the little square green icon (if using The Grime Scene skin) or the scale icon (if using TGS Lite skin) that appears in that post. (It's toward the right-hand side, up top). A pop-up message will come up, asking what you thought of the post and will have a blank space where you can write your thoughts on that post. The other member will have it noted in their "User CP" that someone thought that that post was worth "frubals", and if you enclosed a note, that will appear next to the notation. Sending Frubals with a note is also a nice way to say thank you to someone who helped you. In your posts you will notice little squares under your user name. Mouse over them, and it will give you a message based upon your number of frubals. This changes as you get to new levels. There are many terms used on the forums that denote giving someone frubals. Among them are "frubaling a post," "frubalizing someone," and "fruballed." Here are some configuration numbers for you: Register Date Factor: For every 365 number of days, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power. Post Count Factor: For every 100 number of posts, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power. Reputation Point Factor: For every 100 points of reputation, users gain 1 point of reputation-altering power. Minimum Post Count: How many posts must a user have before his reputation hits count on others? 10 Minimum Reputation Count: How much reputation must a user have before his reputation hits count on others? 10 Daily Reputation Clicks Limit: How many reputation clicks can a user give over each 24 hour period? Administrators are exempt from this limit. 15 Reputation User Spread: How many different users must you give reputation to before you can hit the same person again? (Administrators are exempt from this limit.) 5
  24. 2 points
    Hi all New to the forum I joined specifically because of COVID 19. I am building a 120k furniture warehouse in nor cal, I am looking for tips to keep my crew members safe. Currently we are staggering shifts so everyone is not in our job trailer at the same time and in our warehouse we are practicing social distancing. We are spraying bleach on all tools, gang boxes, entrances etc. I am reaching out to the cleaning pros for any helpful tips and ideas. Thanks in advance. Steve
  25. 2 points

    Downstream nozzle has pressure?

    So got the new injector installed and it works great! So I looked at the old injector and somehow the screw in orfice? was missing. I didn’t realize it when I took it apart because I’ve never had one before. Thank you for the help
  26. 2 points
    Well I'm 51 going on 20 at 6:00 A.M. And 51 going on intention at 6:00 P.M. Lol Feel it in the hands and knees these days but otherwise no to bad.
  27. 2 points


    I built my own as well and learned some SEO. It's starting to get some organic traffic.
  28. 2 points
    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
  29. 2 points
    Graco recently released a new line of Fine Finish Low Pressure Tips, which allow you to spray at about half the pressure as the old Fine Finish Tips. I thought this might be useful info for those who've stayed away from using an airless to apply stains & sealers due to excess overspray, as well as for those airless users looking for an improvement. I've used their old fine finish tips for years to apply stain, and I'd agree that even with a small tip and the pressure turned up just enough to create a good spray pattern, that overspray was often an issue. Since it's been steady rain here in Portland, OR for most of the spring so far, I've only done 2 stain jobs, but on both occasions I've had the chance to use the new Fine Finish Low Pressure Tips, and the difference is amazing. I'd definitely look into them if you're using an airless. Here's a link for those interested. Graco Fine Finish Low Pressure Tips
  30. 2 points

    One residential machine??

    Hey Dave a matter of fact you can clean both with 12v but run one tank for your roof mix an a seperate tank house wash doing only residential ! Just doing roofs your leaving a lot of cash on the table! It's a pain in the but using 2 tanks but depends on your cash! A small investment in a pressure washer an DS is the way to go .But for roof cleaning you would still need a tank an designated pump.Not to knock Xjeting. Do a little research on this forum an you decide whats best for you.
  31. 2 points
    Thanks for the reply. Also just want to say thanks to you and Beth for creating this community and wealth of knowledge. And to all the contributors. Was reading through this post of cold weather hints and point #2 made me realize we're missing the bypass line when running antifreeze. We just use a funnel and pour until we see antifreeze come out of the whip. Now I'll have to make sure to put a gun or a valve on to get it into the bypass. That's one headache I now won't have. I've got limited experience as a contract cleaner so far (5 years, but really only started learning in the last 2), but I am a techy guy so hopefully that's where I can help provide some knowledge. I'll start a new topic in the next little while and see if there is any interest.
  32. 2 points
    Sorry about the delay in getting these pics uploaded. Couldn't do it with the van loaded from helping Roger and Celeste finish their log home. The first is of the 2-gun unit at the rear of the van. The second is a view into the side door showing the tank, accessory drawer, hose reel stack and tool box. Third is of the winterization port between the tank and the pw'er. Rod
  33. 2 points
    Our season tapers off around ThanksGiving. December is not as busy. Jan-Feb are too cold. Start up in March. Rod
  34. 2 points
    I guess it depends on your area, but Elemonator is basically all we use in our house wash. I've seen Totally Awesome at Dollar General, but never used it. We use F13 from Pressure Tek for gutter stripes & to boost bleach strength when needed. Adding more surfactant (soap) also means more time rinsing.....for sure a fine line.
  35. 2 points

    Cedar shake strip and stain pctures

    Big house. Lots of windows and dormers. It is a shame to put a solid stain on decent lap cedar. I'd charge an extra 20% on labor just to put up with the sacrilege.
  36. 2 points
    A couple more red flags 1. How much is material cost and how much is labor cost? 2. Give me the material list. I will get the material and that will save you time. 3. What is that chemical and where do you get it? 4. How much can I save if my son helps you? The answer is "Thank you for your interest in my company helping you with your service needs. I do not think we are a good match for your needs. Good by."
  37. 2 points
    Having a license actually puts contractors in a better position over the others in this region. People are actively looking for credibility. Rod
  38. 2 points
    mick m

    Whip Lines

    Mosmatic swivels arrived yesterday. Tried it out this am......man, what a difference! I am as promised, 1 happy camper!!
  39. 2 points

    I'mmmm Back

    Hello everyone, remember me? It's been a while since I.ve been by to say hello. No, I haven't been cheating on you with another website. I thought I finally learned everything there is to know about everything and I didn't need to stop by anymore. Guess I was wrong. ;) I've been very busy in the business, everything is going very well. Missed you guys. Actually a friend from Florida is in the painting business and he called tonight to ask me about roof cleaning. I told him all I knew (which only took a few moments) and advised him to join TGS. Then I remembered that it's been a very long time since I logged in. Thats about it. Business is good and the family is fine. Taking a trip to the Domician Republic tomorrow for I little vacation. Bye for now, Ricky.
  40. 2 points
    When we first were getting set up back in 1998 before our launch in '99 we scoured the net for any information we could find on process, chemicals and anything that would help us to the job better without going through the mistakes and errors the hard way and having to fix them. There was no one sharing anything. Everyone was tight lipped about their chems, their methods all of it. Wasn't until we found the PWNA and joined that we started to find some people willing to help and that happened at our first convention we went to in Baltimore MD. I learned a great deal in the classes and round tables and met some great people. They helped me and I benefitted. My attitude is to return the favor in kind to those who are serious about building a solid business and are looking for advice and information. Beth lead the way with wanting to create a BBS where we could provide that networking and archival platform for others to use for their business. We chose to give back to the industry. To help it grow and become filled with better educated people in the field they chose to pursue. Rod
  41. 2 points
    This can also go into the residential. Set your machinery up where you can do commercial/residential work with high volume soap/rinsing!! To make max money in most cases is do you have the proper machinery to do the job and then do you have the will/gumption to do what it takes to get it done if your doing it or you employees are. Also build your setup to have heat in it. I learned this from my good pal David Olson who since passed away and was a previous org treasurer as I was, set yourself up to handle almost any job that comes your way. So are you setup for that?
  42. 2 points
    Yes , we are now set up to do anything .
  43. 2 points
    Beth n Rod

    Would appreciate some opinions

    Matthew, Don't take it personally. This is actually good advice considering the poster has been through much as have the rest of us. You are here asking for advice and the one side is you may get some you didn't expect. In trying to be helpful, certain questions lead to other questions which make us respond accordingly. Being in business means thinking about things you woulnd't normally. Trust me in this....there are people out there who are good at trying to exploit new contractors. They know you are hungry and haven't developed your client base or reputation. The forums are here to help. Some may help in other ways. That's all. Rod
  44. 2 points

    stripping acrylics and solids

    I've started adding butyl my tough strip mixes it works great!
  45. 2 points

    X-Jet and 8.25 household bleach

    Have u ever tried an injector? They r amazing and u can get a long range nozzle to reach the high parts. Just my two cents.
  46. 2 points
    Beth n Rod

    Words of wisdom for any morning.

    One day closer to spring? Beth
  47. 2 points
    Douglas Hicks

    Gas Can Explosions

    Static electricity is more common on cold, clear days. Possible factor? I think the cause is most likely the explosive language used because the code-compliant fuel cans leak fuel all over the equipment.
  48. 2 points

    Ego vs. Giving Back

    Ideally, people will just give back out of the goodness of their hearts. And if the press picks it up, all the better. But, I guess even if you're only doing the good thing for the free publicity, at least something good is being done for someone else -- which is better than nothing being done at all.
  49. 2 points
    As far as gutter whitening, I would like to see product comparisons. Gutter Grenade, Gutter zap, super clean..etc etc. Maybe in different temps too. With clean outs, I would like to see how people are doing the job. I use the old fashioned bucket and rubber glove method. Then I run a hose down the downspouts. Works every time. I've heard of people using vacuum systems on them. I would like to see the effectiveness of that.
  50. 2 points
    ...didn't say cover to what.