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Friday, November 27, 2015


I’ve previously submitted my question in regard to providing janitorial cleaning services for 7 days a week at several city facilities in California. Approximately 200,000 sq. ft. are involved. What would be the best way to bid, by sq. ft. or man-hours? We also need to supply all paper goods and keep three day porters on site all week.


Answer #1:
I appreciate your desire for a rapid response, but we are limited by two things, time elements we cannot control and lack of information about your business and its capabilities.
Posting of the question to our experts takes several days and we may wait several more days before someone provides an answer. Generally speaking, questions about bid preparation are responded to, while specific bids we are asked to prepare go undone due to the lack of information we have to work with.
The ICAN/ATEX archive provides a wealth of suggestions that could give you a more immediate response. Please refer to them.
For example:
For paper product information see:
For general pricing see:
Your original question was “We have the opportunity to bid a daily janitorial job that includes 11 facilities with approximately 165,000 sq. ft. total. The job includes complete carpet and floor cleaning bi-yearly and we must supply all paper materials for about 20 restrooms. How do I bid, by the hour or sq. ft.? What is a fair per sq. ft. price? per hour? How many hours do you think it will take to clean these facilities? Is a crew of 6 sufficient?”
Here are some basic thoughts.
It makes no difference whether you bid by sq. ft. or by the hour as long as the outcome reflects accurately your expenses and time. If, for example, you need 4 hours to do a job and charge $150 per hour, your $600 charge divided by the sq. footage will give you the price per sq. ft.
Is that right for your business and does it reflect your time and costs to do that job? Only you can make that judgment.
A fair price is one that allows you to make a reasonable profit while providing all that is needed to do a quality job. You must know your market and business operations to answer that one.
Cleaning at a rate of 2500 sq. ft. per hour, a 200,000 sq. ft. area will take 80 man-hours; cleaning 165,000 sq. ft. will take 66 man-hours. Make sure you know the exact area you are responsible for maintaining.
If you need 80 man-hours, a crew of 6 will be working over 13 hours each, incurring overtime costs you surely don’t want. If you have an 80 man-hour job, you will need 10 people at a 2500 sq. ft. per hour production rate. We don’t know your production rates for various work and cannot be any more specific than that.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor

Answer #2:
If all of the city offices represent 200K, I wouldn’t think every office would be open 7 days a week. You would first total up the square footage for 5 days and then 7 days. Next, you would separate out distinct buildings that are above or below the norm in cleaning times. Those with a lot of traffic, such as police, would clean much slower. Review all the variables such as soil conditions, use, occupancy load, cleaning specifications, etc.
Next, establish a production rate for each type of building and total up the monthly man hours. Calculate the monthly hours for your day porters. Then, you would add all of your expenses and, finally, desired profit. You can locate two Internet online paper calculators to determine paper usage and then phone your local distributor for pricing. Keep in mind, many government contracts require three references for buildings you currently clean that are approximately the same size.

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