Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, August 28, 2015


I would like some advice on estimating the price to perform a one time deep cleaning in an office. Lots of dust on ceiling, wash down walls, dust 10 cubicles, 10 windows (inside only), vacuum. Now, most importantly is cleaning the vertical fabric blinds. What would be the best procedure? How much should I charge per blind? (240 of them, very dusty). And how much should I charge for the carpet cleaning? Office size about 3,000 sq ft. in the state of MA.


The key to putting together a decent estimate is to determine your production times for the jobs that need to be done. How long will it take you to do the work needed? We, here at ICAN, cannot know that with any degree of certainty.
Here is a simple, but effective approach for the blinds, as an example. Take a backpack vac (or canister) with an upholstery tool and vacuum a blind strip in place. You can use your hand as a backup. When you are done the dust should be gone. How long did it take? Multiply that by 240 and you know your time per strip.
If, for example, you can vacuum a strip in 30 seconds, you will need roughly 120 minutes to do the job. That amounts to 2 hours and you use your hourly rate, say $32, to reach the billing rate of $64 to do the blinds.
Of course, if the blinds need washing, you have to spend more time removing them, doing the cleaning and drying, and then replacing them. And there are several ways to do the washing from hanging and hosing to ultrasonic machines. If there is more than just dust, you may want to sub it out.
The same approach can be used for the rest. Time it and price it for your operation.
What do you have to do the carpets with? TM or portable? How badly soiled is it? Traffic lanes only or soiled all over? Not knowing this information prohibits us from offering any more than a guess as to pricing and we would rather not do that.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor