Commercial or Residential?

What should I focus on, residential or commercial jobs? I have been getting numerous residential cleanings and some commercial cleanings. I am currently getting insurance which should open the doors to more commercial cleaning. I have a very high relationship with the business community that I have built in the past year and a half, which has been hard because I am only 16 and my partner is only 15. We have had verbal commitments from a large number of companies that use us for residential cleanings saying that if we obtain insurance(which we are) that they would use us. My question is what we should focus on, commercial jobs or residential jobs? I am leaning more to commercial just because of the larger profit margin, but need your thoughts. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks alot.

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
I would Focus, But I have never done Residential ever Except New construction and My own Customers and Freind's


New member
You can do both, but also keep in mind a few things

Residential typically pays quicker(atleast how I had things go), so if you can't wait 30-60 days for money be careful how much commercial you take on or else you will sink.

Residential you can typically get away with less power full equipment and without heat, and use their water. Commercial to make money you need gpm and heat most times. They sometimes will have water, but you have a better chance of running into jobs where you have to bring it with you.

You break something accidentally in residential you run to home depot, you break something in commercial you pray you have enough insurance.

Looking at your ages, focus on residential, but take commercial if or when it comes your way and you are confident in your knowledge and equipment. The money looks great, but if you can get the residential side going well you will be well ahead of those your age flipping burgers for the summer.

AZ PowerWash Pros

New member
I agree with what has already been said. But I don't turn down any work. I do it all still. I have a residential day crew and night crews for commercial. I never turn down money or leave it on the table.

Only work I turn away are two story pitched roofs and gutter cleanings. But other then that I will do it.


New member
I do all residential with a little light commercial here and mentioned above you need larger equipment with more water flow for commercial and the heat haha....I have neither. I run a small commercial grade washer with decent GPMs and all works well with residential housing. There isnt much I cant handle on that side....I also dont carry water. Thats why I say light in the commercial property that has water and isnt a far reach lol

AZ PowerWash Pros

New member

Use the commercial accounts as the backbone of your business and use the residential accounts as the cash flow while you wait for your backbone checks to come through the mail. Also, offer a 15% discount to any residential client that gives you 3 names and numbers to other residential or commercial clients.

Mark 8262

Residential and Commercial Pressure Washing Specia
Residential = Day Work
Commercial = A Lot Of Night Work
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New member
Residential is less leg work too. They like your company and the price, they buy.

Commercial takes time to build the relationship and constantly cater to their needs (which are far bigger than residential)

Unless you have a knack (fleetwashing) I'd stick with residential starting out.

House Bright

New member
I have a 4 story large hotel (Marriott, Fairfield Inn) to bid on. I have had insurance since I started my business last year, it has been residential up to this point. I have my bidding skills pretty finely tuned for residential, but know nothing about commercial. I know its higher but have no clue what to base it on and how much.


New member
Unless you already know, you should check your policy and see if it covers 4 stories. Mine is only good for 3.


Terry Mc Kenna

New member
If you have the equipment to do it correctly & safely is the first thing.
After that look at the job and break it down to smaller areas.
and bid it to make a good profit for your time, equipment, materials labor etc...
If you bid too high not bad thing learn from it for the next time and go back and find out what the bid went for.
If you bid it too low you don't make a profit, the cost of the job may effect your ability to float other work. Also if you bid it too low and they then expect other work to be done at this same low bid.
You charge enough to cover if you have to go back and fix something if it wrong and you still are able to make a profit. If you do not have to go back then you make a little extra.
Main advice:
1: Add your signature
2: Call some one you know in your area or out of it and either hand it off to them to learn both costing and doing a commercial job (it is different)
Call them and see if they will work with you on it and split the profit in whatever way you agree.
Call and ask them advice.
But remember add your signature then people know who is asking the question.
Good luck with the bid...

dave mac

New member
me I like the hours I can keep when washing residential, and easy work of washing vinyl. Luckily my area can support it, I do not think many areas can support only house washing, you have to mix in some multi family and commercial to get the numbers up