Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Size 40K sq. ft. consisting of vacuuming carpet (using rented equip), area of tile floor (unsure of size), and wiping down inside windows and sills. One time cleaning only. Also, assuming the building is empty commercial space. How long & how much based on one person or two? Location Mid Tennessee. if that applies?


To do an initial clean on 40,000 sq. ft. would probably take in the 20 hour range (plus or minus 20%) depending upon how dirty it is, how many rest rooms to clean, size of vacuum you have, and general conditions. In Tennessee, you should be able to get over $23 an hour. Then, if you must wash windows and wipe frames, figure about 2 minutes each.

ICAN Representative

Editor's comment:

As much as we would like to help, there is insufficient information here to offer much beyond the above generality.
In an open building, a back pack vacuum can cover 10,000 sq. ft. per hour, but this place could be strewn with litter from a move-out and that will add more time to the job.
I am wary because of the word "assuming" regarding the occupancy. Have you not visited the site and done an accurate survey so that you know for a certainty the condition, location of water sources, accessibility, and, of course, whether the space is open or filled?
This leads me to the sermon of the day based on the question of the day. Why do people in our industry try to price work they have not looked at closely?
First, you need to know exactly what is needed and the expected outcome. If you wouldn't buy even an inexpensive suit without trying it on, why would you not do a building survey to see if the project "fits" your operation?
In this case, you don't own a vacuum cleaner and yet you wish to price out a job requiring one. How large a machine are you renting? Ask the renter its production capability and do the math. Add your desired profit to the labor costs and the rental charges and then see if you can hold to your estimate.
But first, do the survey for accurate numbers and information on the job.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor