If you have a single-story house, washing the windows yourself is a no-brainer.

The restorative power of clean, clear window panes is so strong that it might inspire you to go on a binge and clean the whole house. Nothing does more to brighten your home, not to mention your outlook, than clean windows. Whether you hire a window washing service or do it yourself, the reward is a fresh new perspective that seems to improve the look and feel of your home.

If you hire a window washing service, the charge to wash 12 double-hung windows from the inside and exterior of a house will be $181, which includes labor and material. You can do the job for $25, the cost of the cleaning supplies, and save a whopping 86 percent for your effort. Those materials include cleaning solution, a squeegee and a scrubber. You also need a stepladder, a bucket and lint-free clean rags for washing and drying. Washing windows is a good two-person job that goes quickly when one worker cleans the exterior while the other cleans the inside of the window.

If you have a single-story house, the job is a no-brainer because you can safely reach the windows to work on them. However, the job gets dicey if you have a two-story house and don't like working on an extension ladder, which you'll need. Unless you already have one, consider washing the first-floor windows and hiring a service to wash the ones upstairs.

You'll get the best results if you wash windows on a cloudy day because sunlight dries the glass quickly, which causes streaking.

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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$181 -- $25 -- 2.2 -- 3.3 -- $156 -- 86 Percent