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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I am putting in bids for vacuuming and general cleaning of hallways in apartment buildings. Average 70 apartment complex has three floors, so about 210 hallways. What is a competitive bid?


It all depends on what you are using to vacuum, a 12 inch nozzle or a 30 inch wide area vac. Obviously, the larger machine will cover more carpet in less time.
Determine your sq. ft. numbers and do the math. Once you have the basic hours involved, apply your hourly rate and you will be competitive unless the next bidder can do it faster and for less.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor

I have seen hallways of owner occupied condos clean at over 7,000 square feet per hour. However, many of the halls were not even soiled, and only required policing with a carpet sweeper. On the other hand, a heavily soiled apartment building might take twice as long if it is misused, with soiled stairwells and smudged door glass. So, you will need to determine where this property lies within that range. If it is cleaned daily, the labor will be less per time than if it is cleaned every-other-day. In your city, the janitorial labor rate is currently running $9.94-$10.93 an hour. Your payroll expenses, company expenses, and desired profit would likely double your labor costs, once you determine the man-hours. Keep in mind that a profit margin has to be slim whenever a building owner already has minimum wage workers on staff. It is unlikely you will be competitive with a triple labor mark-up. Keep in mind, that cleaning variables and percent of markup should be carefully weighted and plotted on a progressive curve for soil load, access difficulty, travel time and current availability of skilled labor and productive equipment.

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