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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Is the $.16 cent per sq. ft. rate for cleaning a standard price nationwide, or does it vary? How much is it in Texas?


Using national and state averages can be risky when bidding janitorial contracts. In Texas, the janitorial/custodial starting rate is $7.14 in Lubbock, but in Austin it starts at $9.23 an hour (source: You need to determine the labor rate for your city by checking the above web site.
Secondly, cleaning specs greatly vary. Some customers only want a touch up on certain nights, eliminating hours of detail work. Some may want trash and rest rooms only and others want a full detail cleaning nightly. Price per square foot is good to know, but more important is the production time to clean the building. Use that to arrive at your hourly billing rate.
Office cleaning production rates often vary from 2,400 to 3,800 + square feet per hour. Of course, this depends upon the cleaning specs, size of building, experience of your staff, equipment used, and difficulty factors. Your hourly rate begins with labor, payroll expenses, supplies, and overhead, and then you add desired profit. Some small contractors double or triple the labor rate to arrive at the billing rate.
There are a lot of variables to consider, the prime one being a scale of efficiency. If you bid a 100,000 square foot building at $.16 and your total expenses were $8,000 a month, it would be unlikely a building owner or manager would be willing to pay you $8,000 a month to manage a cleaning crew.
I would suggest you purchase some of the excellent books, training programs, and janitorial estimating software that are available. You can never know too much about bidding, and knowing too little can be hazardous to your pocket book.
Gary Clipperton
(719) 598-5112