National Pro Clean Corp.

Construction clean up

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Construction Clean

Q.  What are the cleaning details for construction clean-up? 

A.  Typical cleaning specifications for a final cleaning of new homes would include:
Dust all horizontal surfaces.
Wipe down or polish counters, cabinets, and ceramic tile.
Clean sinks, mirrors, tubs, showers.
Remove all stickers, adhesive, paint, etc.
Polish all chrome, porcelain, Formica, and horizontal surfaces. Vacuum and spot clean all carpets.
Deep clean hard surface floors.
Window washing would include removal of stickers, adhesive, paint, and drywall overspray from glass (use a razor blade scraper).

Commercial final cleaning would normally include the above, except, in some cases,
a finish-out involves existing walls, carpets, and floors.

In these jobs you may be required to wipe down walls that have not been freshly painted, strip and refinish VCT floors, and clean carpets.
Occasionally, the general contractor may want those tasks itemized for billing purposes. In both residential and commercial, the contractor normally has all the trash and debris removed from the job site.

In some cases, the final cleaning is booked prematurely and there should be an additional charge for a touch-up prior to the final walk thru.

Q.  We have been asked to bid on a construction clean-up for an 8900 sq. ft. school.  We will do everything from buffing and finishing the floors to rest rooms and windows. How should we bid? 

A.  Without knowing your expenses, desired profits, the experience and cleaning speed of your crews, the cost of your supplies, the exact conditions existing within the buildings and a detailed list of all the specifications it is hard to project.
One way to price it would be in the neighborhood of 10 cents a square foot for the final clean, plus $.20-$.30 cents a square foot for a deep scrub and 4 coats of finish and in the neighborhood of $3-$5 per window, per side.

However, in the pricing of windows there are a lot of variables. Do you have to use ladders or rent scaffolding? Is there considerable overspray, adhesive, or stickers? Is each window small, medium, or large? Are there outside bushes that prevent good access? Will the windows need to be cleaned at least twice to get them clean? Will you need to scrub and towel all the window moldings?  So, all of the numbers suggested are just a general starting point.

Pricing post-construction clean 

Q.  What is the going rate (square footage) in North Carolina for post construction? Clean windows, doors, closets, bathroom, class rooms, etc. All flooring, terrazzo, vct needs scrubbing. VCT needs finishing. The building size is 100,000 square feet. 

A.  In cities with an average cost of living we see pricing around 16 cents a square foot in your area, but that does not include windows, which are normally priced separately. There can be a large range in window cleaning prices due to overspray, stickers, 2nd floor or above, and size of windows. As you know, windows can take up 10% of the exterior or 98% of the exterior space.
So, I would only use the 16 cents as a ballpark figure (which is for mainly carpeted facilities) and then add or subtract 20% depending upon the size and location of the windows. If you do not have a lift for 2nd floor windows, you might want to get a bid from a window washer, working as a subcontractor, to handle the exterior window washing.
Another consideration is the cleaning and finish for the VCT. It is common to see another 20 cents a square foot for this process. One way to customize your bid is to use around 10 cents for your basic cleaning and then add windows extra and floor refinishing extra. This will then give you a grand total for the project.

Initial Clean Pricing

Q.  I have been asked to give a bid to clean a 14,000 sq. ft. office building. The building is a few years old and has been vacant for 1 year. Our client wants a top-to- bottom cleaning, including removing adhesive lettering from several doors and cleaning bugs out of light fixtures. There are six restrooms, 2 kitchen/break areas. With the exception of the restrooms and kitchen floors, everything is carpet. We are doing entranceway windows only and basic sweeping and vacuuming. How should I bid this job to provide quality work and make a profit? I bid it at $45 per hour, estimating 91.5 hours. If I am way off I have a couple of weeks to change.

A.  It is challenging to assist with time estimates without seeing the building, but your estimated time of 91.5 hours would average 153 sq. ft per hour. This would normally be on the high side except in your case where you have to remove lettering, etc. Just cleaning light fixtures can take 2-4 minutes each. At $45 an hour your price would be $4117 or 29 cents a sq. ft. Overall, 29 cents is usually high for an initial clean, but about right for a post construction clean. The job is likely worth that, but in a down economy you may want to stay under $4K. On the other hand, if you have to deep clean all the carpet then the price is very appealing.

Pricing Post Construction Cleaning

Q. My company has been asked to bid on a large office complex for post-construction remodeling cleaning. This is a one-time cleaning prior to new tenants moving into the building. There are 3 floors. The main floor is 25,000 sq. ft., the 2nd floor is 23,000 sq. ft., and the 3rd floor is 15,000 sq. ft. This is an old building that is in the process of being completely remodeled.

They want the carpets vacuumed, walls dusted, all windows cleaned inside and outside, VCT floors washed, and there are at least 10 single restrooms per floor. I am trying to calculate how much to charge per square foot for the office cleaning (NOT including the window cleaning price). What is the best way to do this?

A.  Post construction clean-up is best estimated by carefully tracking the production times you have incurred on previous jobs. The cleaning variables are diverse and difficult to project in advance. In your area, with jobs the size of the one you described, we normally see a price of 13-20 cents a square foot. That price is bumped up when windows, carpet cleaning, and scrub and refinish of VCT is added. Restaurants run much higher because of all the stainless and cleaning of booths. I have seen prices up to 35 cents for restaurants.

The price range has to be narrowed by focusing on the scope of service and complexity of the cleaning demands. For example, if the GC has a person assigned to perform a rough clean daily, then the final clean will be much easier. Try to assess if counters have been brushed off and plugs and wire nuts picked up from the carpet. If you can go in with only light dusting and vacuuming, then your cleaning time is reduced.

The next area of concern is the amount of detail work required. Is there a lot of expensive cabinetry, designer molding, overspray on window trim, stairwells and elevators, polishing of lobby marble, VCT that needs finish applied after it is cleaned? If you are able to factor in and adjust to all the specific cleaning demands, then it is easier to plug in your price per square foot, according to a min/max sliding scale.

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