Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Question

I am about to get this job to do a construction clean up of 38,000 sq. ft. Also, also they want me to strip and wax VCT floors. I do not have an idea how to charge them. This is my first time doing this type of job. Can someone help me?


Answer

I hope so. Walk away from this educational opportunity and fast.
A 38,000 sq. ft. strip and refinish job is NOT where you want to learn how to do this work efficiently and correctly. ISSA 's "Cleaning Times" booklet suggests just the stripping with a 17" rotary will take about 50 man-hours!
Without finishing experience and post-construction cleaning experience, gained on jobs sized so that an estimating mistake or other time setback will not bankrupt you, you are attempting to take on a huge project.
Even the simple fact that you tell us they want you to strip and WAX the tile indicates serious unfamiliarity with the work. We haven't put down wax in this industry in 70 years! We lay floor finish that is completely different from the wax preparations of a century ago.
Your charge for doing this job successfully is based on the time and labor along with the stripper and finish costs involved. If you cannot accurately estimate these, you stand a good chance of low-balling the cost, getting the work, and losing big money. Learn the basics on smaller, more easily managed projects.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com