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Friday, December 19, 2014


I just got an offer to clean common areas for 19 small buildings with 2 floors in the Miami beach area. 1 to 2 times a month. There is no gym, laundry area, elevator. The scope of work is to remove all debris from the hallways, clean windows, mop or vacuum entry area. Need to know how much should I charge for each building?


Again, a question with no certain answer from us.
The good aspect of this project is that the common areas are usually open and accessible with few obstructions, meaning that they clean fast.
However, there are some unknowns here, such as travel time from one building to the next, ease of access to water for the mopping, where the trash container is located at each site, how accessible the window glass is, is it once or is it twice (affects the degree of resoiling and debris accumulation), type of traffic that varies from building to building, availability of electric outlets, time to unload and reload supplies and equipment for each building (how near the entrance can you park?). Add to that the unknown square footage involved at each site.
These are all time factors affecting the labor element and without considering all of these (and perhaps others) you risk underbidding the work. Start to put together the times needed for what must be done and put an hourly charge with the numbers.
Clearly establish the frequency of service before offering a price. A once-a-month cleaning is often a hoe-out involving far more time than anticipated due to the soil accumulation and even damage that can occur on such an extended cleaning frequency. The sand that could have been stopped at the entrance with even a weekly cleaning is tracked up to the second floor when the cleaning is attempted once a month.
Define the work more clearly with actual figures for the areas to be covered, set the frequencies in writing and work from there.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor