Starting up a pressure washing business could be an extremely profitable and comfortable way of doing business if you like home improvement, freelance business, and not sticking to a certain sector altogether.
Even though pressure washing generally includes surfaces in houses like roofs, you could also do different things like a sidewalk or car cleaning.
Another addition is that there isn’t much pressure washing business around for people to work with.
In fact, according to Jobber, there are only 22,186 pressure washing businesses in the U.S currently. So now is a good time to dive into this business.
And that is why you could ask yourself how much it costs to start a pressure washing business, and that is what we will try to answer in this article.
Cost Of The Business
Now, with this business, there are several things that you have to consider, and the first and most important thing to start is the cost of the pressure washer.
This is going to be the core of your business, so this is probably going to be the costliest thing.
You can expect the pressure washer cost to be somewhere between $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the quality of the specific pressure washer you choose to buy.
And, you also need a truck to carry your equipment which could be expensive or cheap, somewhere between $20,000 to $50,000.
You need to buy other things for your pressure washers like water hoses, chemicals, and cleaners, and these things might cost around $800 to $1,000.
In total, Your cost will probably be around $50,000 to $60,000 if you go for the costliest equipment when you are first starting up.
Also Read: How To Find Pressure Washing Jobs?
Equipment You Need
We talked about the costs, but which equipment do you actually need and which ones are a must?
Even though the equipment you need might differ from person to person, there are must-haves like a pressure washer, a truck to carry around your equipment, cleaners, nozzles, cleaners, and chemicals.
If you want more pressure washers, you can buy more than one pressure washer and hire people to use it, and you can also rent out an office if you want to do it the right way.
All these are optional, but the first three things are a must to start your business.
Another part of your business is to advertise it, and even though you can do this for free in several ways, you tend to need to spend some money on the right advertising to get exclusive pressure washing leads on board.
This could be digital marketing or a flier type of traditional marketing. You can expect to spend around $500 to $5,000 depending on what you exactly want.
How Much Should I Charge For my Pressure Washing Business?
Here are different criteria based on which you should price your Pressure washing business:
Property SizeProperty size is the most important factor in determining pressure washing price. So using a measuring tape, calculate the area of the length and width of the property. The formula to calculate the square footage of an area is Property length x property width.
Add the different square footage of different areas that you are asked to clean to calculate the price later.
1. Select a Pricing Strategy
There are basically three types of pricing strategies that you can choose according to what fits your business best. Here are the different pricing strategies:
- Price per square foot: This strategy is based on properties where you are asked to clean multiple surfaces. You can charge between $0.10 – $0.50 per square foot as per the location and size of the property.
- Price per hour: This is another way in which you can charge for the total number of hours that you have spent on the job. You can charge between $25-$100 per hour depending on the nature of the job, location, etc.
- Flat rate: If you have good experience in pressure washing and know how much time and what all equipment you will need to use, then you can charge a flat rate between $90-$200 for the job.
2. Project-based price
If you do not want to charge in any of the above-mentioned methods, then you can also charge on the basis of the project. Here’s how much you can charge for pressure washing based on the project:
- $90 – $275 flat rate for an entire home
- $1.75 – $2.25 per linear foot (two-story home’s exterior)
- $0.75 – $1.25 per linear foot (single-story home’s exterior)
- $10 per linear foot: whole boat
- $5 per linear foot: bottom only
Driveways and Sidewalks
- $0.08 – $0.14 per square foot
- $60 – $150 flat price (depends on size)
- $100: single story
- $135: two floors
- $200: three floors
- Double or triple the fee for roofs with steep pitches
- $0.20 per square foot
Fences, Decks, and Siding
- $0.20 – $0.25 per square foot
Commercial Cleaning Solutions
- $75 for a standard dumpster and $150 for large
- $0.08 -$0.12 cents per square foot for basic surface cleaning
- $80 – $100 flat rate for a double wide (depends on condition)
- $50 – $85 flat rate for a mobile home (depends on condition)
Parking Lots, Garages, and Drive-Thrus
- $10 – $20 per parking space
- $0.05 – $0.25 per square foot for parking lots and garage floors (depends on condition)
3. Calculate Overhead & Materials Costs
Overhead cost refers to the ongoing expenses to run your business, such as:
- Electric pressure washers and other pressure-washing equipment
- Pressure-washing marketing costs
- Gas and vehicle maintenance
- Business insurance payments
- Pressure washing business software
Use this formula to calculate your overhead expenses:
Total monthly overhead costs ÷ # of billable hours per month
And for calculating hourly overhead costs, use this formula:
Hourly overhead costs ÷ # of hours the job will take to complete
Here’s an example of how much monthly expenses you will incur based on a 30-hour paid work week:
- Vehicle loan: $3.33/hour or $400
- Cleaning solution supplies: $3.33/hour or $400
- Car insurance: $1.04/hour or $125
- Equipment maintenance and fuel: $10/hour
- Gasoline: $4.17/hour or $500 per month
- Advertising: $5.00/hour or $600
- Phone and internet: $1.25/hour or $150
- Office rent: $9/hour or $900 a month (optional)
4. Calculate Your Profit Margin
Now you must calculate the profit margin by taking into account factors like material cost, overhead cost, etc. So, for example: if you want to keep a profit margin of 25%, then use this formula to determine the markup price for your Pressure washing business:
(Pressure washing service cost + material cost + overhead cost) x 0.25
How To Start a Pressure Washing Business?
To conclude, starting up a pressure washing business could have various costs depending on what you want and how quality you want your equipment to be.
If you go for the most quality ones with commercial options, you need to pay more, but overall, if you choose to go with average quality, you can expect to spend around $50,000 to $60,000 altogether with the must-have equipment to start your business.
However, you can always buy and spend more on advertising or on other things like renting out an office or quality equipment for better cleaning for your pressure washer.
Is it worth it to start a Pressure Washing business?
It might be worth it for you to start a pressure washing business as it does not require formal education and can be started with the knowledge of using pressure washing machines. Also, you can start this business for as low as $5000. However, because of these benefits, you may find a lot of competition in your area, and you will have to work on marketing a lot to attract customers.
How is pressure washing different from power washing?
The major difference between pressure washing and power washing is that the former uses cold water while the latter uses hot water to remove tougher stains such as mold, etc.
How to get clients for pressure washing business?
Here are strategies using which you can get more pressure-washing business customers:
- Digital Marketing
- Offer incentives
- Start Pressure washing website
- Opt for traditional marketing
- Create videos, etc.
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.