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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


We are bidding on a 6,000 sq. ft. outpatient medical facility for the initial clean (has been vacant for 4 months) and subsequent daily clean (5 times per week). After the initial walk through, we estimate 5 workers, 8 hours a day, for 5 days to get it to move in condition. There are 7 patient rooms, 5 offices, 2 locker room, 1 staff lounge, 3 reception areas, other open areas, and no furniture. Facility is half carpet, half linoleum; hallway entrance is 15 ft. wide by 40 ft. with floor to ceiling windows. Walls have to be wiped down and the tile operating room wall (15 ft. high with floor to ceiling cabinets) needs to be cleaned. Construction debris, i.e. dry wall, has to be removed, carpet has saturated stains. We were thinking $40/ hour for the initial comprehensive clean; thereafter $25/hour. Is that reasonable?


It may be, but I have a question about the hours you calculated to get the place ready for occupancy. If you are way off on this, the cost will be inflated and you will not get the work.
Letís run some numbers. You are estimating 200 (5x8x5) man-hours to do the initial cleaning, so that works out to 30 sq. ft. per man-hour (6000/200). That seems slow to me. If someone can do the initial at 100 sq. ft. /mh and charges $40/mh, you will see them come in at a $2400 ($40x60) initial cost compared to your $8000. Guess who gets the job at the same hourly rate!
The same discovery applies to the daily cleaning charge. With two companies charging $25 per hour, the one able to do the work the fastest wins the contract. At 1500 sq. ft. per hour you will charge $100 (4x$25), but the faster producer at 1800 sq. ft. per hour may charge the same hourly rate but be $4333 less than you on an annual price.
Your productivity is the concern here more than the hourly rate. That must be enough to cover your outright expenses, overhead, and profit, but if your time doing the work is excessive, you will lose bids.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor