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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Question

I am new to the business and I have to place a bid on a 13,000 sq. ft. post- construction cleanup for medical facility for military families. It has no windows, 14 multi-stall baths, 4 single baths, 20 exam rooms, 8000 sq. ft. of VCT and the rest is 5000 sq. ft. of carpet that will be installed. They want walls wiped down, and a wet mopping throughout before another company finishes the floors. My biggest obstacle is I just viewed it on 1/18, the contractor hands over the keys on 1/31, but they still have a lot of things going on in there and I wonít be able to get in until 1/29, which limits my time because of other schedules and itís only during night hours. I donít know how to charge for this. Iím in the Savannah Ga. area. I donít know what the going rate in this area is or if I should be charging by sq. ft. or by the job.


Answer

To help you put together a bid price at this late date would be difficult. We just donít have enough information to do so accurately.
Since you are new to this, Iím going to advise you to walk away unless you are desperate for the work, and maybe even then. Hereís why.
They are giving you two nights to do this work, 1/29 and 1/30. Unless the cleanup involves just dusting walls and a floor mopping, you will have difficulty getting the work done in time to be out of the way for the floor finishing crew. They will need considerable time to do a good coating job and have the building ready for turnover on the 31st.
It sounds as if the carpet is not down yet (will be installed) so there is more dust and fiber to remove when they actually lay it. Will it be down by the 29th? Do they want you to vacuum the carpet?
What happens on many construction cleanups is you are promised a startup time that is premature. Other work remains and you are forced to work around others or see your completed work messed up by last minute projects. You just donít have much time for the work, let alone rework, if needed.
If you persist in going ahead with this, figure your production time, acknowledging all they want you to do. It probably involves more than just wall dusting and floor mopping. Find out and charge enough by the job to cover all your expenses.
Look at it this way. If you can clean 250 sq. ft. per hour, for an example, you will need 52 man-hours to finish the job. Can you do it in that time? In one 8 hour night, you will need 7 people at that rate. Can you get them and are they experienced enough to move along without wasted time and effort?

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