Selling Your Home? Clean Your Windows!

Selling Your Home? What to do…paint? Update the kitchen or bathroom?

First, clean your windows!

Finding the Right Agent is Very Important

Step #1: Find the Right Agent!

Ok, the actual first thing to do is to find the right Real Estate Agent.

We work closely with hundreds of wonderful agents and brokers and they each have different personalities, specialties and capabilities.  The key is to find the right agent that you “click” with, and who instills confidence that they can – and will – sell your home fast and for top dollar!

One thing that every agent agrees on:

Your need to prepare your home for sale.

Preparing Your Home For Sale

In most cases, your agent will offer suggestions to prepare, or “stage” your home to be more inviting for prospective buyers.  It’s pretty simple: Buyers need to see themselves living in your home.  You need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, given your home is filled with your furniture, personal belongings and style choices.

Your agent may also suggest working with a professional home staging company to maximize your home’s value.  We also work with dozens of professional staging companies and they really know what’s required to increase the “curb appeal” and value of your home.  Most staging companies offer a reasonably priced “initial assessment”.  Ask your agent if they can recommend one.

Top three priorities for preparing you home: M. B. Lynch, REMAX Realtor

  1. Window Cleaning
  2. Carpet Cleaning
  3. Maid Services

Keep in mind: The moment a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, they’ll notice the windows first.

First impressions matter…What does yours say?

Top 5 Reasons Clean Windows Are Important

Preparing your home for sale can be daunting.

My advise: focus on issues that give the “most bang for your buck“.

Clean your windows.Feng Shui

And the Experts agree.  Here are their top 5 reasons:

Reason #5 –  “A bright, alive atmosphere is encouraged in Feng Shui and the home’s windows are an important aspect of this. Large, clean windows are important. They allow pure, bright light to flood the living areas in the home, bringing good energy… Clean windows and natural sunshine are important ingredients to a healthy, happy home.” – FENG SHUI

Reason #4 –  “ More than 75% of people who first view property on the internet will drive by BEFORE contacting an agent.” – CHRISTINE RAE, AUTHOR, HOMESTAGING FOR DUMMIES

Reason #3 – ” Curb appeal sells 49% of all houses.” – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Money ManazineReason #2 – “ A good first appearance of a home can add 5% to 10% to the value of the home.” – JOHN AUST, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS

Reason #1 – “According to 2000 real estate agents surveyed, the number one improvement that generates the best return on investment is window cleaning, and the ROI on window cleaning alone was determined to be 768%” – MONEY MAGAZINE

Clean Windows Make You Smile

My wife Cynthia and I have spoken with hundreds of our customers and they’ve taught us an important lesson: Sparkling windows brighten your day.  

Even if you are not selling your home, take a moment to clean your windows.

Then, take a deep breath, have a look and you’ll then see that A Clear View Through Clean Windows will definitely make you smile!

Have a great weekend!

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

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Jaime Clean A Screen With Soap & Water

How Often Should I Replace My Window Screens?

Many home owners regularly clean their windows but pay little attention to their window screens.

Screens Are My Business – But I Don’t Like Them  

One big reason my wife Cynthia and I got into the window cleaning business is because everyone loves clean windows.

One big reason we almost didn’t get into this business is because of window screens.

Screens are Not John's Favorite Subject

Screens are Not John's Favorite Subject

Working with residential window screens is a basic, necessary part of our jobs as window cleaners.   We work with them every day and have become quite adept at dealing with them.  We even smile and maintain a professional demeanor while cleaning and handling them.

But we don’t have to like window screens.

Window screens are often neglected and replaced infrequently and become brittle over time.  Once the neglected screen is touched and/or removed to clean the window, many fall apart right in your hands.

And whose hand is touching the screen?

The window cleaner’s.

Welcome to my world.

When Was the Last Time You Noticed Your Screens? 

Do Your Screens Look Like This?

Do Your Screens Look Like This?

One of my first blog posts was “How Often Should I Clean My Windows? (Dec 2011)” because it is my customers’ most frequently asked question.

I followed it with “How Often Should I Clean My Awnings? (Jan 2012)” because it’s the #2 question I hear most.

The #3 most frequently asked question, and today’s topic, is about one of my least favorite subjects, window screens.

When we clean residential windows we always remove, clean and replace the screens.  It’s an important element of professional window cleaning and just part of the package.

It’s easy to notice homeowners that pay attention to their windows and screens because every window works and the screens are all in pretty good shape.

Old, Torn and Corroded Screens

Or Do they Look Like This?

Do we wish all customers were like this?  Yes.

Is this what we see in the real world?  No.

Quite often, the only time homeowners even notice their screens is when they finally get around to cleaning their windows.

Infrequent window cleaning is one thing, dealing with neglected and corroded screens is rarely done before they break.

Herein lies my issue with screens.

How Often Should I Replace My Window Screens? 

Different Screens Types and Elements

Each screen is exposed to different elements, and therefore lasts longer or shorter

As with most things in life… it depends.

There are a number of structural and environmental factors that determine how often you should replace your window screens.

Here are some factors that will affect your screen’s longevity:

  • Structure – Is it well-built or kind of flimsy?
  • Screen mesh type – Steel, aluminum, fiberglass, other
  • Frame type – Steel or aluminum
  • Corner type – Plastic or mitered
  • Usage – How often is the screen moved or handled?
  • Water damage – Sprinklers and/or continually damp area
  • Little Ones – Dog and Cats and Children can punish screens
  • Environment – Sun Exposure, severe weather, proximity to the ocean
New and Maintained Screens Make Us All Happy

Add 5 -10 years by maintaining your screens regularly!

So, no one answer will fit every screen.  It depends.

OK, so how long should a screen last?

A normal screen that is primarily in shade, remains relatively dry, gets cleaned semi-regularly and is not subject to lots of handling (except at window cleaning time) should last you 10 to 15 years before it begins to break down and need replacement.

With regular maintenance and care, you can add 5 to 10 additional years to your screen’s life.

Maintain Screens And They Will Last Longer 

Here are 8 screen maintenance tips to increase the life of your screens:

  1. Drew Performs Maintenance on a Window Screen

    Drew Performs Maintenance on a Window Screen

    Wipe the frames regularly (every 3-6 months) and check for corrosion

  2. Keep the window track free of water and dirt
  3. Check plastic corners.  If they look faded, the plastic is getting ready to break.  Replace.
  4. Inspect the screen mesh for holes and replace if you find some
  5. If the screen mesh looks shiny, this means it’s getting old and needs to be re-screened
  6. Inspect the spline to see if it’s coming out of the frame, use a spline tool to press it back in.
  7. If the spline continually slips from the frame, it may be dry and needs to be replaced
  8. Make sure the screen mesh is taut within the frame, re-screen if necessary

In most cases, maintenance costs are less than replacement costs.  You can do most of these tasks yourself and save money while keeping your screens in working order.

One note: When we surveyed our customers, we found that cost is not generally the reason for infrequent maintenance.  It’s the time and hassle.

If you are not a Do-It-Yourself type of person, your local hardware store can inspect and maintain your screens for you. You just have to bring the screens into their store.

Also, there are also many excellent on-site screen companies that will come to your home and maintain them on the spot.  These companies tend to be a little more expensive, but they really reduce the time and hassle factors for you.

Whatever method you choose, regular maintenance increases the life of your screens.

An Ounce Of Prevention = A Pound of Cure 

This is what a screen graveyard looks like

Screen Graveyard

Over the last couple of years, we’ve unfortunately had dozens of situations where a 20+ year old screen falls apart in my cleaner’s hands and the customer, rightly so, asks what we are going to do about it.

Yep.  We touched it without noting it first, and we now own it.

And, as a professional service provider, we replace it for the customer free of charge.

Here’s a helpful tip to prevent customer/service provider issues before they happen.

Quick Tip: The next time you have your windows cleaned, talk with your window cleaner before they start, and ask them to inspect the screens and indicate those they recommend maintaining or replacing.  You both can then determine how to handle any repairs and/or replacement.

This up-front communication saves a lot of headaches and reduces the possibility of “after-the-fact” situations.

Be safe and have a great weekend!

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.


Selling Your Home? Clean Your Windows!

Selling Your Home? What to do…paint? Update the kitchen or bathroom?

First, clean your windows!

Finding the Right Agent is Very Important

Step #1: Find the Right Agent!

Ok, the actual first thing to do is to find the right Real Estate Agent.

We work closely with hundreds of wonderful agents and brokers and they each have different personalities, specialties and capabilities.  The key is to find the right agent that you “click” with, and who instills confidence that they can – and will – sell your home fast and for top dollar!

One thing that every agent agrees on:

Your need to prepare your home for sale.

Preparing Your Home For Sale

In most cases, your agent will offer suggestions to prepare, or “stage” your home to be more inviting for prospective buyers.  It’s pretty simple: Buyers need to see themselves living in your home.  You need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, given your home is filled with your furniture, personal belongings and style choices.

Your agent may also suggest working with a professional home staging company to maximize your home’s value.  We also work with dozens of professional staging companies and they really know what’s required to increase the “curb appeal” and value of your home.  Most staging companies offer a reasonably priced “initial assessment”.  Ask your agent if they can recommend one.

Top three priorities for preparing you home: M. B. Lynch, REMAX Realtor

  1. Window Cleaning
  2. Carpet Cleaning
  3. Maid Services

Keep in mind: The moment a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, they’ll notice the windows first.

First impressions matter…What does yours say?

Top 5 Reasons Clean Windows Are Important

Preparing your home for sale can be daunting.

My advise: focus on issues that give the “most bang for your buck“.

Clean your windows.Feng Shui

And the Experts agree.  Here are their top 5 reasons:

Reason #5 –  “A bright, alive atmosphere is encouraged in Feng Shui and the home’s windows are an important aspect of this. Large, clean windows are important. They allow pure, bright light to flood the living areas in the home, bringing good energy… Clean windows and natural sunshine are important ingredients to a healthy, happy home.” – FENG SHUI

Reason #4 –  “ More than 75% of people who first view property on the internet will drive by BEFORE contacting an agent.” – CHRISTINE RAE, AUTHOR, HOMESTAGING FOR DUMMIES

Reason #3 – ” Curb appeal sells 49% of all houses.” – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Money ManazineReason #2 – “ A good first appearance of a home can add 5% to 10% to the value of the home.” – JOHN AUST, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS

Reason #1 – “According to 2000 real estate agents surveyed, the number one improvement that generates the best return on investment is window cleaning, and the ROI on window cleaning alone was determined to be 768%” – MONEY MAGAZINE

Clean Windows Make You Smile

My wife Cynthia and I have spoken with hundreds of our customers and they’ve taught us an important lesson: Sparkling windows brighten your day.  

Even if you are not selling your home, take a moment to clean your windows.

Then, take a deep breath, have a look and you’ll then see that A Clear View Through Clean Windows will definitely make you smile!

Have a great weekend!

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

Happy New Year!

Thank You All for a Wonderful 2011!

We are so fortunate to have so many great Friends, Family, Customers and Colleagues in our life – we are truly blessed.

You enrich our souls, share our successes and provide sympathetic hugs when times are tough. Thank you all, you are the best!

My wife Cynthia and I wish you all Love, Health, Happiness and Success in 2012 and beyond!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Cynthia & John

3 New Year’s “Thoughts” to Ring in 2012!

Happy New Year! 2012

Happy New Year! 2012

Sydney Smith
Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.

Benjamin Franklin
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.

F. M. Knowles, A Cheerful Year Book
He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool.

How Often Should I Clean My Windows?

Well… it depends.

I know, not the answer you were looking for but it’s a very personal question and there are many factors to consider…especially personal preference.

Some people want their windows to sparkle – 100% clean and free of any spot, dirt and debris. Always!

Others prefer to wait until they can no longer see through the glass (or maybe they just like it to seem foggy all the time).

Most people fall in between.

Residential Windows

High and Low Residential Windows

Frequency Depends on Preference and Environment

We recommend cleaning your residential windows at least twice per year.  Bi-annual cleaning keeps build-up in check and also allows the window cleaner to inspect your windows frequently enough to identify potential concerns (broken window seals, chipped glass, hard water spots from the sprinklers, etc.) before they become actual issues.

If you live near the ocean or in windy, high-pollen areas you should consider cleaning your windows every 8 weeks or at least quarterly.

Ocean salt build-up is quite corrosive, makes the windows spotty and shortens the lifespan of your windows.

Pollen, beep poop (those little orange/yellowish spots on your car and windows) and other particulates like wildfire debris can be highly acidic and ultimately abrasive.

Cleaning your windows regularly will remove or reduce these corrosive elements and help lengthen the lifespan, and look, of your windows.

Remember: Window Cleaning frequency depends on your personal preference though you should consider your environment’s affect on your windows too.

Commercial Windows

Businesses Need Clean Windows

Sparkling Windows = Good First Impression

Customers pay attention to a business’ appearance and in these economic times, it’s more crucial than ever to send a message of strength, vitality and optimism.

When approaching a business, what do customers see first?  The sign, the windows and the glass door.

Therefore, commercial window cleaning frequency depends on the type business, the budget, and the type of image the business needs to project for their customers.

Restaurants serve food – If the window are dirty, what does that say about the kitchen?  Would you rather shop at a shiny, well-kept store or one with cobwebs, finger prints and dust on the sills?  If your Dentist’s windows are filthy, do you want to “open wide?”

Regularly scheduled cleanings, based upon the type of business, keeps their windows clean, enables proper budgeting and keeps their image appropriate for their customers.

Remember: Businesses only get one chance to make a “first Impression”.  Make it a good one!

So…How often should you clean your windows?

Here are my Recommendations:

Residential Windows: 2 – 4 times per year.
Restaurants: Every 1 or 2 Weeks
Retail Stores (High Traffic): Every 2 or 4 weeks.
Office / Retail Stores (Low Traffic): Every 4 or 8 weeks.
Office Building Lobbies: Every 4 or 8 weeks.
Entire Office Buildings: 1 – 2 times per year

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.