Factors to Consider
When you are quoting any service, including roof cleaning, you need to make sure you charge your customers in a way that is competitive, but still covers not only your costs, but also the risk involved. With roof cleaning, there is a lot of risk. One thing to consider is that your insurance costs will be higher if your employees are going on to roofs. You'll also be using ladders, you're using stronger chemicals, etc. so there is significantly more liability in doing roof cleaning versus general house washing. When you quote, you need to take all of those factors into consideration.
Another consideration is that with a roof cleaning you will have a minimum of two technicians on a job. Whenever you have someone going up a ladder, you always want to have two people there. Safety first, always. Never put profits above the safety of your employees (or yourself!)
In our market area, we recommend $500 just to show up at your house for a roof clean. For the risk that it takes, having two employees on site, climbing ladders, safety spraying the roof with chemicals, the know-how to not over spray, the expertise to not kill the customer's landscaping, and to get the job done well, we feel like that is the minimum charge that is reasonable.
Packages versus Stand Alone Services
We recommend you offer roof cleaning only as part of a package, as opposed to offering it as a stand alone service. Chances are, if they need a roof cleaning, they also need a house wash, because if it's growing on the north side of their roof, their siding is also likely growing something on the north side of their house.
If you offer a package, in our market area instead of getting say $500 for a roof clean, now you're getting $500 + $250 for the house wash. We'll knock a little off of the house wash because it's a package, but we're already there. It doesn't take us a long time to go ahead and do the house wash, the hoses are already out, and you need to water everything down to keep the landscaping from dying anyway, so why not add another service, do a housewash, and make another $250 on top of the roof clean?
Another thing to consider is that if you don't offer packages, you're missing out on selling additional services. Let's say a customer calls you for a roof clean. If that's only offered as a stand alone service, and that's what they have their eye on, chances are that's all you're going to get out of them. But if you mention your different packages, there's a good chance they'll recognize something else you offer as something they could use, and you've just bumped up your sale.
When you are deciding on what packages to offer, we recommend having at least three to choose from, because the fact is that most customers are going to select the middle package. Very few people are going to want to pay the highest price for the top package, but very few are also going to want the "cheap" one either. Your average customer is going to go for the middle of the road and select one of your middle packages.
So Package #1 might be roof clean + house wash. Package #2 you could add another service, so roof clean + house wash + exterior window clean. Your last package you want to add another service, so maybe it's roof clean + house wash + exterior window clean + sidwalk clean. None of those add a huge amount of time to your job, you're already there with the hoses & equipment, why not add on additional services and provide them with an entirely clean exterior while putting some extra money in your pocket?
The number one consideration in pricing a roof clean is the size of the roof, and we primarily look at the square footage of the house. Like I mentioned earlier, we start at $500 in our market area, and this would be for a 1,000 sq ft ranch. We go up around $100 per 1,000 square feet, so a 2,000 sq ft ranch would be $600. But what if it's a 2,000 sq ft two story? That's less roof area, so do we charge less? No. In my opinion the additional risk of going up another story negates any savings you would have by charging less for a smaller roof area. That is why, generally speaking, we charge based on square footage, regardless of how many stories the house is.
The only difference would be if you have these large custom-built ranch homes, maybe 3500 sq ft or higher, we may up the cost a bit because of the quantity of chemicals we are having to use to cover the larger roof area. But those homes are the exception, not the rule, so we can use the square foot rule for the vast majority of our customers.
The nice thing about modern technology is we can pretty easily provide a quote without ever actually looking at the house. We usually start by googling the address and checking the listing on several different real estate sites (realtor.com, zillow.com, etc.). That should give you a good idea of the total square footage, how many stories, etc. Next, we check with the local county. Our county has a Property Valuation Administration that we can look up online and it will tell us not only the total square footage, but how big the deck is, the driveway, etc. So by putting that information together, double checking to make sure it matches itself, we'll know everything we need to know to make an accurate quote without ever stepping foot on the property.
As a business owner, you have to make sure you are charging enough to make it worth your time to provide the service, and there are a lot of factors to consider. You have chemicals, equipment, insurance, wages, gas & trucks to get there, taxes, the list goes on & on. If you're operating as a real business, which I hope you are, you have to take all of this into consideration when you price your services. Be competitive with your market area, but don't give it away. You're here to make money by providing a service, make sure you do.