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Commercial job? ALWAYS measure!

I did a job yesterday between 4 and 9:30 PM at the premises of a children's book publishing company west of Boston. When I first visited to view the property, I wasn't given the opportunity to measure the carpeted areas which the Facility Manager said she wanted cleaned, as it might "interrupt the concentration" of the employees, who were busy writing and editing children's books. She told me that she estimated there would be just about 2000 s.f. to be cleaned.

The next day I e-mailed her a proposal quoting a rate of .25/s.f. for the 2000 s.f. she had mentioned. I also added that if the job proved to be larger, the area above 2000 s.f. would be billed at a lower rate of .18/s.f. She agreed and we scheduled the job.

I decided not to involve my usual helper on such job, as it involved the better part of an hour's travel each way, and I pay my main helper for travel time as well as on-the-job time, as I have found that he is worth this "premium" treatment. Plus, with only about 2000 s.f. to bill for, I would end up with not much to show for my time & effort.

So I showed up alone. By the time she pointed out all the areas she wanted done (considerably more than when I first visited) I was wishing I had brought Jim (my helper).

Since this job took place on the main street of a busy town center, and the building had no loading dock area, I was unable to use my ramp system to offload my big Orbitec cx-20 (it would have stuck out from the angle parking space I was in into a lane of moving heavy traffic, so I had to use my smaller standard Challenger instead (no ramp required) Fortunately, I did have my RocketSpray 5-gallon electric sprayer with me to allow me to put down prespray faster and in greater volume than would have been possible with just a 2-gallon pump-up sprayer.

The Facility Manager had also requested that a natural product be used, when I had earlier given her the choice between natural and encap (encap I would have priced a few cents less per sq. ft., since I would not have to stop and turn and replace pads along the way.)

When I was finished and about to leave, she said, I have a check for you for $500 (2000 s.f. x .25). I told her to hang on to the check, that the job seemed just a bit larger than her original estimate, that I had measured the various spaces as I was doing them, and I would mail her an invoice after I had calculated the precise amount due.

To wrap this all up, this morning when I figured out the actual square footage involved, it came to 4135 s.f. The first 2000 s.f. were done at .25 for $500. The additional 2135 s.f., at .18, added another 384.30, for a grand total of $884.30.

Not bad, I think, for a standard Challenger (not the MAX model). Almost 1000 s.f. per hour, working alone, including vacuuming, moving chairs as well as some boxes and tables around, and multiple mixings of cleaning solution and filling the sprayer tank. Even got up 3 pieces of gum! (No charge for the gum.) The job came in at just under $200 per hour ($196.50, to be exact.)

The moral: ALWAYS MEASURE! (Guess this makes up for the DOG HAIR CITY job.)

Re: Commercial job? ALWAYS measure!

I had a lady tell me she had about 5000 sq ft I went and measured and it was 15000 sq ft. I clean it in sections on an everclean program but I sure would of taken it ion thew shorts if I'd have given a quote over the phone.

Re: Commercial job? ALWAYS measure!

my concern would be will this client pay or whine, though it wouldn't be my fault.

i try and always measure - i do probably 99 jobs out of 100. but that one i don't always is regrettable it seems lol.

take care --- Derek.

Re: Commercial job? ALWAYS measure!

My invoice was mailed several days ago. No whining so far. On my invoices I show the square footage of every little area, not just the total, so the customers knows I'm not just throwing out some wild, round, unsupportable number to them.

Re: Commercial job? ALWAYS measure!

i stopped giving sq.ft. numbers about a year ago...i like it, lessens the temptation to price shop IMO.

PLUS, i don't have to be SOOO careful about measuring, because they are not getting a "sq.ft." price, they're getting a "total" price.

i did it after years of seeing Rick G post about it.

have only had 1 prospect/client ask for the actual sq.footage in the past year.

thanx --- Derek.