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Monday, August 31, 2015


Iím new to bidding and estimating. I have to bid on an office that has 16,000 sq.ft. It has 35 employees, 2 restrooms, office/conference room, 71 cubicles, 13 offices, 3 conference rooms, 1 training room. All carpeted. 7x14 mopping area plus restrooms and I supply all hand towels, toilet paper, small trash bags, large bags, hand soap, and neutral cleaner. My travel time is about 40 min. each way and I need employees. Could you please help me with a breakdown and price?


Answer #1:
Do you have a copy of ISSA's 540 Cleaning Times? It is a standard tool for estimating various cleaning task times and only costs a few dollars. Available at

John Walker
Author of ISSA's 540 Cleaning Times
President, ManageMen, Inc.

Answer #2
This is a fairly large project to take on without estimating experience, even with the help of the Cleaning Times handbook. You also need to estimate the product usage you mention, paper products and such. Be careful.
Just as a rough guide, 16,000 sq. ft. cleaned at 2500 sq. ft. per hour means about 6.5 man-hours, so one worker could do it in one shift, but adding the 1.5 travel time brings you to a full 8 hour job. Add a worker (employee) and possibly you can cut the cleaning time down to 3.25 hours per person.
We canít help you with the product usage described above. It is hard to know the usage without some records and it would be wise to ask for these and get some numbers with which to approach a supplier for pricing.
I donít know your financial situation, but if this were my contract, I would figure on finding two people living quite close to the facility and hire and train them to do the work. With the sort of weather Syracuse, NY experiences in the winter, I would not want to face 40 minutes on the road each way each evening to get to and return from work. This especially true if you are heading North up I-81!
The ICAN/ATEX Archives have a lot of information under Bidding & Estimating that you will find worth looking at before taking on this project.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor