"Many people are lucky enough to know from an early age with what they want to do as a career, I didn’t and now I work as an independent window cleaner in Chester."
The extra mile to keep your property looking its best all year round.
For most people, this would be viewed as a nightmare scenario, but you'd be wrong and I am happy to explain why becoming a window cleaner has empowered me and given me a life to be proud of.
I learned from an early age in my hometown of Lancaster that finding a job to love was going nowhere. This was back in the early years of the internet and I was lucky enough to see its potential early on. Making a long story short, I had fifteen successful years as a web designer that brought me into this beautiful city of Chester.
However, fate has changed the course of my life and now I'm working as a window cleaner.
This came about because my web-based business was devastated with changes in government policies towards solar panels and I had to find a new revenue source quickly as my baby boy was born shortly afterwards.
A window cleaner friend of mine back in Lancaster showed me the ropes and helped me get my pioneering window washing equipment set up and working.
Being a progressive type of person, I not only wanted to improve on what others were already doing, but I wanted to change my window cleaning service to more modern standards.
This I feel I have done in spades.
Using digital technology to improve customer service has been the kingpin of what House Proud is about. I recognised very early in the business that people (most) don't want a monthly clean, but are happy to have a window cleaner arriving bi-monthly instead.
Using modern technology to it's maximum, I do not harass my customers looking for payments in the evening time when my customers are spending valuable time with their families.
As I have always strived to do my best whether in paid employment or within my own projects, I feel it is important to note that I have brought this highest level of self-scrutiny to my window cleaning business too.
As an example, I change the filters in my modern 'high-reach' cleaning system, well before is due to make sure each and every customer gets the 'perfect' clean and finish.
What is most surprising within this window cleaning adventure is my own personal well-being from spending fifteen years web developing in front of my laptop, which was beginning to take its toll on my physical health and mental well-being.
There is no doubt that being a window cleaner is hard physical work. In the early days, I used to ache continuously after each and every day, but this was down to my low personal fitness levels from years of inaction.
They say that mind and body are connected and I personally found this to be true as my fitness through hard physical work began to build me up both physically and mentally.
Luckily, my head for heights is genetic as my war hero grandfather was in the parachute regiment during the war. I have done parachuting and rock climbing, so I was certainly good to go as a gutter cleaner.
The joy of working outside and in some of the city's most beautiful gardens is a simple perk of the job that I didn't expect. Seasons come and go, but for most of the year, I'm lucky enough to be able to avoid the rain clouds and work in one of the country's most beautiful cities and outskirts of Chester.
Being a window cleaner has allowed me to spend extra time with my son and it's this that I appreciate the most. During this period of readjustment, I have learned to appreciate my life in ways that I took for granted in my previous career and employment choices.
I would like to thank all my customers who I believe are awesome. I believe in cleaning more than what the customer expected and it's this that has led me to be Chester's most recommended gutter and window cleaner.
My customers get their whole external features cleaned, a better level of cleanliness in their home and I hope I make them feel special as a customer, because anyone who employs me to keep their home looking its best, I believe is special - period.
Unexpectedly, becoming an external cleaner has shaped me mentally and physically in ways I never dreamed possible. My life in Chester took an unexpected right turn, but also unexpected I now love my new life and will continue to grow in myself and my business.
Welcome to House Proud.
Have you ever wondered why I personally add a smiley sun to your bill on the most dreary of days. It's a small reminder that with each window clean, you are helping not only to support me and my son, but help continue the Heat my Home project that is helping create a better world and solar-powered future.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
I have noticed a local window cleaning competitor have begun offering 'full external cleans' were before I began they didn't. Where most window cleaners only clean the glass, my innovative service, makes sure your whole house is looking its best. This is important if you are proud of your home.
Still the original and still the best.
It has been a year since I first set-up my solar-powered window cleaning business and what a year it has been.
I remember my first day with a bag full of freshly printed business cards and nothing but a belly full of anticipation and determination in equal measures. I set-off on my bike to find as many houses with dirty windows as I could, unfortunately I finished that day; weary, deflated and wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
The van was prepared, the state-of-the-art equipment was installed and although it had a few leaks in the system, I had already invested all I had into the embryonic House Proud.
With a fast growing baby Brandon getting bigger by the day, I stuck my cards everywhere and anywhere while using my web site skills to fashion together a web presence. I knew getting my website into Google's good books would take a bit of time, so I worked on it evenings and got out and about to find those crucial first customers during the daytime.
One thing I remember vividly was that one new customer seemed to lead to another, almost like following a trail of breadcrumbs. With many recommendations under my belt, my confidence began to grow and something unexpected began to happen. People were paying me extra to clean other external features using my high-reach extendable pole system.
Another unexpected aspect of the business came when people wanted me to clean conservatories, clear gutters using my ladders and powerwash patios, so suddenly the business was not only growing, but diversifying too.
After a fruitful summer the winter months were closing in fast, but I still didn't have enough customers yet, nevertheless I had the spring back in my step, but unfortunately, it was not going to last.
The van broke down in spectacular fashion on the A55 as Christmas was just on the horizon. The timing chain snapped and this meant a whole engine rebuild was required. Not a cheap fix and financially this nearly broke me as the fruits of my summer’s labour vanished in a single garage bill.
I write this, as the daffodils are now appearing and summer is just within our grasp, however, the winter months have been a real struggle as one after another, my laptop died, fridge freezer breaks, my car is crashed into and the wettest January and February in a hundred year's takes its toll.
With that said; what has really surprised me the most, is the overwhelming kindness that my customers have shown me. I now love being out and about during my day, as opposed to my previous incarnation as a web designer, where I only had the radio for company.
And with a diary full of prompt paying customers today and a website that now brings me many more enquiries, the future may now allow me to think about employing someone to help me continue to provide the service my customers truly deserve.
Stuart & Brandon.
Setting new standards in window cleaning was never going to be cheap, but after learning the ropes from my good friend Iain Sinclair window cleaners (based in my hometown of Lancaster), and a 'get you started' leg up from my family, I set up House Proud in 2013 to give my son a fighting chance in a world without mercy.
I believe window cleaning services should be about keeping the whole external house clean. With my specialist equipment, I set-up and haven't looked back. The responses and feedback from my customers have been overwhelming kind.
With many recommendations under my belt, I am happy to report that the darkest hours have been replaced by a sunnier dawn.
I believe that to appreciate the good times, one must first encounter and conquer the bad times.
I hope this is true for me and my precious son, Brandon.
I would like to thank all my customers who have reinstated my faith in the future.
I am happy to report that Brandon is growing quicker than I could ever have imagined and loves his weekends with his daddy.
Thank you for your custom.
For most of my adult life, I have never really considered being a dad. Parenthood was always something everyone else did. But now he's here, I love it.
I love making Brandon laugh, I even love changing his nappies. But before I get to gushy on you, I have to confess that the earliest stages of daddy hood for me was a complete nightmare. For the last decade I have been optimistically pursuing a career in the solar panels industry.
As global warming becomes a more urgent issue and the price of heating our homes projects increasingly higher, it made sense that people would begin to adopt alternative ways to cushion themselves from traditional forms of power generation.
As a keen and self-taught website designer, I began to use my combined interests to create awareness of solar panels through my own website called Heat my Home. Everything was going well and as the website began to show fruition, my optimism for the future began to grow.
However, after the financial crash of 2008, the government (at that time) seemed to be heavily investing in greener technologies. This was all to change though, when the austerity government came to power, and one of the earliest victims of the cuts was (yes, you guessed it) the solar industry.
With only a two-week warning by the government, the industry went into meltdown as multiple incentive cuts throughout 2012 and the resulting high profile court cases (government lost plus 3 appeals), put off many people from adopting this vital technology. A detrimental effect on my income came just at the time Brandon was due.
Money has never been that important to me previously, as I believe we are the luckiest generation of human beings to have ever walked on the Earth, but when a new born child is involved, my view quickly changed.
To cut a very long story short, Brandon's first year on the planet was also my worst. The financial pressures and stresses didn't show any mercy on his mum's and my relationship, and unfortunately we were unable to stay together during this most critical of times.
My window cleaning days began by noticing years before, that window cleaners were only cleaning the glass and leaving the frames dirty. Remembering this, I decided I could do better. Maybe even set new standards in the window cleaning industry. After all, what's the point in having clean windows if the rest of the property looks dirty.
House Proud was born.
100% satisfaction guaranteed.
A job worth doing, is a job worth doing right. If you are unhappy for any reason with the work I do, then call me back and I will re-clean for free. Nobody has ever asked me, because I do the job right first time, every time.
Contact me for more details.