Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, December 19, 2014

Question

We were asked to do a bid on an 8500 sq. ft. building. It only has 1 unisex bathroom with a toilet, shower, and sink. It has one kitchenette and approximately 20+ cubicles. It is mostly carpet. We have to include semi-annual carpet cleaning of heavy traffic areas. My question is: Should we do 2 separate bids, one for cleaning 2 days per week and one for carpet cleaning? We charge $35 per hour. What should we charge for a government building? They want this by the square foot. $35 per hour. What should we charge for a government building? They want this by the square foot. We charge $35 per hour.


Answer

On a daily basis, I help contractors with their bids across the U.S. In your case, $35 an hour will likely price you out of the market for a government bid of 8500 sq. ft. On the other hand, you should earn considerably more per hour on the carpet cleaning.
Without knowing more about the building, all of the cleaning challenges, use, density of occupants, exact cleaning specifications, your expenses, etc. it is difficult to give exact numbers. Iíve seen bids that included regular cleaning of blinds, inside window washing, cleaning chairs and so forth. If your production time for twice a week standard janitorial cleaning was 2200 sq. ft per hour that would take you 3.86 hours a time. At $35 an hour, that would run $135 a night or $1169 a month. The price per square foot would run 13.75 cents.
My guess is other bids will probably come in 20% below this. I would put it all on the same bid, but itemize the carpet. It will probably go for around 14 cents a square foot per time if the carpet is heavily used and you have some furniture to move. If you have existing buildings, be sure and crunch the numbers to see what your production rates are and if 14 cents on carpet works for around 7,000 sq. ft (or whatever the cleanable net comes to). Hope this gives you a starting point to work with.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com