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Thread: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    not sure if this should go in this forum. but I was wondering if any other people in the pool cleaning business could share how they price a pool job? I've heard that $145-$150 per month for once a week cleaning is bare minimum in order to cover chemical costs and labour.

    so how do you figure out a monthly rate?

    Thanks.
    status: gone fishing :p

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    I'm charging anywhere between $85-$120/month... and I'm getting outbid (underbid) in higher-end areas. The good news is that many of the customer's I'm getting are those that went cheap, had pools go yellow or forest green by "Net-and-Jet"ers - and realizing you get what you pay for.

    My costs aren't that high... Gas, ~$3-5 of chemicals per visit (4x month), and ~10-15 minutes per customer.

    Differentiation and quality of the service, plus outstanding relationship skills are key.
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I'm charging anywhere between $85-$120/month... and I'm getting outbid (underbid) in higher-end areas. The good news is that many of the customer's I'm getting are those that went cheap, had pools go yellow or forest green by "Net-and-Jet"ers - and realizing you get what you pay for.

    My costs aren't that high... Gas, ~$3-5 of chemicals per visit (4x month), and ~10-15 minutes per customer.

    Differentiation and quality of the service, plus outstanding relationship skills are key.
    I'm targeting the high-end...hence why I put on my truck and business cards weekly service stating from $145 per month.
    thats for a small pool. it must be hard with all the competition in other countries but thank goodness on the island here there is so much unprofessionalism and laziness!

    We got tons of those "net-and-jet'ers" here. I call them cowboys.

    I saw a need for professional and reliable pool service. I should do well. will take some time to build up clients.

    So I guess I should figure chemical costs and labour time. my truck doesn't burn much gas.

    One of my clients. when I was starting the business. said he didn't mind paying $40 a week for pool cleaning service. my client owns a 3 million dollar home on the ocean. I think I need to target that market.
    status: gone fishing :p

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    1,966

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Actually, one thing I've always been curious about.... with a once-a-week service, how do you maintain an adequate FC level? Seems like you'd have to boost it up pretty high in order to have it last until the next visit.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Actually, one thing I've always been curious about.... with a once-a-week service, how do you maintain an adequate FC level? Seems like you'd have to boost it up pretty high in order to have it last until the next visit.
    --paulr
    In the winter months (Oct-Apr), we do once a week. During the heat (May-Sept), we show up twice a week - one of those days is a test/chem only day. Costs are up, but where others net/jet once per week and measure using OTO, I use FAS-DPD and know each pool's behavior. I also require borate (at ~$150/200/pool) when we take over service.

    And my pools always look spectacular with zero complaints.

    And, generally speaking, most of the pools I get service from require at least $500 worth of something when I get them because they need a D&F (high CYA, or high Ca), T/A adjustment, and Super Chlorination because of prior poor care. This is the toughest part - getting customers to realize the value in having their water parameters correct (and the associated cost). I've had a few walk away and go with other services that will just drop a few tablets in the skimmer as they drive by.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    yeah chemicals cost money.

    I only remember servicing once a week but pool companies like a twice weekly service. the 7 day tabs last one week so once you set the chlorine level you only need 1 to 2 tabs a week. of course the leaves keep dropping.

    but once you balance a pool it will last 1 week easy. I remember this. I used to visit each pool once a week.
    status: gone fishing :p

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    I avoid tabs unless they are necessary (e.g., pool is in the 30 or lower ppm range for CYA). I monitor CYA at least every couple of months and never want to be over 50/60ppm.

    Borating pools has also helped a lot on cutting down on chem usage.
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I avoid tabs unless they are necessary (e.g., pool is in the 30 or lower ppm range for CYA). I monitor CYA at least every couple of months and never want to be over 50/60ppm.

    Borating pools has also helped a lot on cutting down on chem usage.

    The pools I've done i've used 1-2 7day tabs. it adds CYA and being in the tropics the sun burns the FC and water off so always need to add some water. CYA and FC seems to balance off. the tabs don't add too much and the sun eats FC and water. seems to work in the tropics. 1-2 tabs a week. once the pool is balanced all is ok.
    status: gone fishing :p

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I avoid tabs unless they are necessary (e.g., pool is in the 30 or lower ppm range for CYA). I monitor CYA at least every couple of months and never want to be over 50/60ppm.

    Borating pools has also helped a lot on cutting down on chem usage.

    The pools I've done i've used 1-2 7day tabs. it adds CYA and being in the tropics the sun burns the FC and water off so always need to add some water. CYA and FC seems to balance off. the tabs don't add too much and the sun eats FC and water. seems to work in the tropics. 1-2 tabs a week. once the pool is balanced all is ok.
    Unfortunately, as the water evaporates, the cya stays in and becomes more concentrated You've read Pool School, so are familiar with this. You need to find a way to 'balance' the use of cya in maintaining the pools you service!

    You need to figure out what niche in the market you are trying to fill - do you just want to undercut the other companies and do a 'so - so' job or do you want all the $3 mil jobs and make them wonder why they ever let anyone else touch their pool - or be somewhere in the middle? If, by better service and ~ no water issues, you can establish yourself as THE BEST, you can ask as much as you'd care to for your service
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I avoid tabs unless they are necessary (e.g., pool is in the 30 or lower ppm range for CYA). I monitor CYA at least every couple of months and never want to be over 50/60ppm.

    Borating pools has also helped a lot on cutting down on chem usage.

    The pools I've done i've used 1-2 7day tabs. it adds CYA and being in the tropics the sun burns the FC and water off so always need to add some water. CYA and FC seems to balance off. the tabs don't add too much and the sun eats FC and water. seems to work in the tropics. 1-2 tabs a week. once the pool is balanced all is ok.
    Unfortunately, as the water evaporates, the cya stays in and becomes more concentrated You've read Pool School, so are familiar with this. You need to find a way to 'balance' the use of cya in maintaining the pools you service!

    You need to figure out what niche in the market you are trying to fill - do you just want to undercut the other companies and do a 'so - so' job or do you want all the $3 mil jobs and make them wonder why they ever let anyone else touch their pool - or be somewhere in the middle? If, by better service and ~ no water issues, you can establish yourself as THE BEST, you can ask as much as you'd care to for your service
    Thanks. but if I add water to bring the water level up does the CYA get less concentrated?

    I really do need to get something to test for CYA. I will get the test strips in the morning. only thing they have here on the island.
    status: gone fishing :p

  11. Back To Top    #11
    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Thanks. but if I add water to bring the water level up does the CYA get less concentrated?
    That's right. So, as long as you're not adding MORE through stabilized shock, pucks or anything else containing cyanuric acid, the CYA ppm will be static... or even come down over time (through backwashing for DE and sand filters, splash out, rain overflow.)

    The same can't be said for calcium hardness, however. Evaporation followed by additions of make-up water from a source with more than 0 ppm Calcium Chloride will increase calcium hardness. (There's really nothing different about CYA and CH... except that fill water normally contains calcium chloride, while not containing any cyanuric acid.)
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Thanks. but if I add water to bring the water level up does the CYA get less concentrated?
    That's right. So, as long as you're not adding MORE through stabilized shock, pucks or anything else containing cyanuric acid, the CYA ppm will be static... or even come down over time (through backwashing for DE and sand filters, splash out, rain overflow.)

    The same can't be said for calcium hardness, however. Evaporation followed by additions of make-up water from a source with more than 0 ppm Calcium Chloride will increase calcium hardness. (There's really nothing different about CYA and CH... except that fill water normally contains calcium chloride, while not containing any cyanuric acid.)
    Thanks. I think I will be using more bleach from now on. do you use chlorine tabs or just bleach? don't know if bleach would work for me as I only clean the pools once a week. might need the 7 day tablets to keep the pools chlorinated.
    status: gone fishing :p

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Thanks. but if I add water to bring the water level up does the CYA get less concentrated?
    It depends on whether the missing water evaporated or splashed out.
    If it splashed out, it took CYA with it, so yes - you are diluting it.
    If it evaporated, then no - the CYA is still in the pool, as it does not leave with evaporating water.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I'm charging anywhere between $85-$120/month... and I'm getting outbid (underbid) in higher-end areas. The good news is that many of the customer's I'm getting are those that went cheap, had pools go yellow or forest green by "Net-and-Jet"ers - and realizing you get what you pay for.

    My costs aren't that high... Gas, ~$3-5 of chemicals per visit (4x month), and ~10-15 minutes per customer.

    Differentiation and quality of the service, plus outstanding relationship skills are key.
    I'm targeting the high-end...hence why I put on my truck and business cards weekly service stating from $145 per month.
    thats for a small pool. it must be hard with all the competition in other countries but thank goodness on the island here there is so much unprofessionalism and laziness!

    We got tons of those "net-and-jet'ers" here. I call them cowboys.

    I saw a need for professional and reliable pool service. I should do well. will take some time to build up clients.

    So I guess I should figure chemical costs and labour time. my truck doesn't burn much gas.

    One of my clients. when I was starting the business. said he didn't mind paying $40 a week for pool cleaning service. my client owns a 3 million dollar home on the ocean. I think I need to target that market.
    Do you have a website to promote your business?

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    I'm charging anywhere between $85-$120/month... and I'm getting outbid (underbid) in higher-end areas. The good news is that many of the customer's I'm getting are those that went cheap, had pools go yellow or forest green by "Net-and-Jet"ers - and realizing you get what you pay for.

    My costs aren't that high... Gas, ~$3-5 of chemicals per visit (4x month), and ~10-15 minutes per customer.

    Differentiation and quality of the service, plus outstanding relationship skills are key.
    I'm targeting the high-end...hence why I put on my truck and business cards weekly service stating from $145 per month.
    thats for a small pool. it must be hard with all the competition in other countries but thank goodness on the island here there is so much unprofessionalism and laziness!

    We got tons of those "net-and-jet'ers" here. I call them cowboys.

    I saw a need for professional and reliable pool service. I should do well. will take some time to build up clients.

    So I guess I should figure chemical costs and labour time. my truck doesn't burn much gas.

    One of my clients. when I was starting the business. said he didn't mind paying $40 a week for pool cleaning service. my client owns a 3 million dollar home on the ocean. I think I need to target that market.
    Do you have a website to promote your business?
    no. just my truck with logo, pricing and phone number. giving out business cards as well.
    status: gone fishing :p

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    no. just my truck with logo, pricing and phone number. giving out business cards as well.
    I would defintely thnk about getting a website. Now more than every people use the internet for everything. If you had a website on your business cards and truck, you may get more hits. You can put up pictures of your work. Pictures speak 1000 words.

    A lot of times when I am looking for something I search google first. Find what I need and send emails. I have found companies that respond in a timely fashion or usually your better companies. Now this is not going to work all the time, just a way I can get an idea of their means of communication.

    I sent you a PM.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    no. just my truck with logo, pricing and phone number. giving out business cards as well.
    I would defintely thnk about getting a website. Now more than every people use the internet for everything. If you had a website on your business cards and truck, you may get more hits. You can put up pictures of your work. Pictures speak 1000 words.

    A lot of times when I am looking for something I search google first. Find what I need and send emails. I have found companies that respond in a timely fashion or usually your better companies. Now this is not going to work all the time, just a way I can get an idea of their means of communication.

    I sent you a PM.
    I do have a Facebook page. I didn't get your PM.
    status: gone fishing :p

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Google is your friend - 50% of the business I get is because of google (another 20% Craigslist, but not sure you have that there...).

    For $4.95/month (or something close), you can get a web-page. I used Godaddy and had my site up in less than a day, and it's fairly easy to manage.

    It is a must.

    My $0.002.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
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    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    no. just my truck with logo, pricing and phone number. giving out business cards as well.
    I would defintely thnk about getting a website. Now more than every people use the internet for everything. If you had a website on your business cards and truck, you may get more hits. You can put up pictures of your work. Pictures speak 1000 words.

    A lot of times when I am looking for something I search google first. Find what I need and send emails. I have found companies that respond in a timely fashion or usually your better companies. Now this is not going to work all the time, just a way I can get an idea of their means of communication.

    I sent you a PM.
    I do have a Facebook page. I didn't get your PM.
    try now. seems someone has your same name almost

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Pricing pool cleaning jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondodo
    Google is your friend - 50% of the business I get is because of google (another 20% Craigslist, but not sure you have that there...).

    For $4.95/month (or something close), you can get a web-page. I used Godaddy and had my site up in less than a day, and it's fairly easy to manage.

    It is a must.

    My $0.002.

    - Jeff
    I think Starbucks is great as well. got my first client there. good place to network.

    I've added my business info to a few local directories as well.
    status: gone fishing :p

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