Now that the Chicagoland blizzard season has come to an end, our office phones are ringing off the hook with homeowners seeking out estimates for both residential window and gutter cleanings. One such customer, who works from an office downtown, requested that he provide us with a window count and give him an estimate via email. I then proceeded to explain to him that this is not only something we cannot do in good faith, but that also by doing an in-person estimate for his window cleaning that we can potentially help cut costs on his façade maintenance by not accidently over charging him. The conversation left me thinking about many different situations that homeowners should look for when seeking out residential cleaning estimates, not only to cut costs, but to also ensure the job is done professionally, honestly and with peace of mind.
When looking for an estimate in any service industry you need to first and foremost make sure that the business you are seeking out provides you with an in-person estimate. Some individuals, much like the gentleman who called our office looking for a non-personal window cleaning estimate, are not aware of the dishonesty that is all too prevalent in any sales position. By asking for a estimate via email, you are giving permission to potential vendors to look your home up on Google Maps and count your windows based on particular angles provided only through Google. When you are overwhelmed by the below average price that was quoted for your window or gutter cleaning, you will soon be very discouraged when they try to upcharge you for windows or downspouts they couldn’t see online. This is both immoral and unethical to our mission and to ensure you prevent future headaches, make sure your vendor provides their estimates personally.
My second tip to ensuring a promising relationship with your potential residential cleaning service is to make sure whichever company you use has both liability insurance and certification through whichever city they work. I have been told horror stories about both commercial and residential window washing companies in the Chicagoland area paying non-professional window cleaners, who are not employed by their business, in an attempt to cut costs for their company. This means they are contracting out work to complete strangers, not running background checks, and not vetting their employees of drugs or alcohol abuse. These may not be the individuals you want on your property, let alone inside of your home.
My final advice to seeking out a proper business for your façade maintenance is to make sure your estimate is both detailed and accurate. Beware of the flat rate pricing, as this can be both misleading and cause confusion when it comes to completing the job. Who knows your residence better then you? Certainly not a stranger who is servicing your home for the first time. By receiving a flat rated price, you know they did not take the time to examine the aspects of your home to the fullest. No two houses or gutters are the same, and by assuming they are only gives more power to dishonesty and mistrust. This is a staple of New Outlook, as all of our estimates include itemized pricing for each type, size or elevation of each window, but also allows you to gain a full understanding of what costs what and why it is so.
By following these tips when searching for any service estimate you can avoid the frustration that come with dishonesty. In-person estimates allow you to put eyes on the company’s entity before you allow then in your home and to view their manner of professionalism before seeing their quality of work. Ensuring that companies are both liable and credible will remove any doubt or fear of items being broken, damaged or stolen from your home. Seeking out detailed itemizations on your estimate will keep you both aware and knowledgeable of the reasoning of your costs and allow you to understand your costs as opposed to flat rate pricing. There are many things you can seek out, both before and after your estimate, to ensure the best services possible. Not all salesmen are sleazy, dishonest vultures seeking all of your hard-earned money. Like most aspects in life, you just need to surround yourself with good people. We at New Outlook Window Cleaning pride ourselves on fairness and honestly throughout the Chicagoland area, and we hope you find the same in whichever company you decide to hire.