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pricing help

November 8 2011 at 10:52 AM
Bill Morgan 

My church has contacted me to clean the carpets, chairs/pews and kneelers. I thought this might be a good opportunity to try encapping. I bought some supplies; rota brush for upholstery, some pads for my 175 and some hydrox and DS juice. Good to have even if I don't get the job.

I initially offered to clean the banquet chairs no charge as a favor to my member Knight's of Columbus. They came back with a bigger request last week. Honestly not sure if they think I'm going to do it all at no charge or not? I'm willing to give them a "hometown discount" but I do have bills too...

My question is how much should I charge? 5245 sq ft of carpet, 430 church chairs w/kneeler pad, 20 w/o kneelers and 40 metal framed banquet chairs with seat/back cushions and some fabrick on the reverse side of the back cushion.

Carpets installed in 1975. They aren't filthy but are in need of cleaning, have some spots/stains here and there and are showing their age (sun fading). The chairs are the same. Was thinking maybe HWE the worst areas and post encap, and just plain encap the rest of carpet.

If you need more information regarding the job to help offer advise for pricing this job just ask away.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Bill Morgan
Acme Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning


Kevin Pearson

Re: pricing help

November 9 2011, 8:07 AM 


Pricing questions are always tough to answer because we don't know your cost of doing business and what profit margin you desire. I can tell you we charge .15 - .20 a square foot to clean commercial carpet. There are a lot of people here on this board that charge less than that, and some that charge more.

The 490 chairs you asked about just made my back hurt reading the post. I don't know if you have ever cleaned that many chairs or not but that's alot. I would suggest a short table or something to set them on so that you are not bending over while cleaning. As for as pricing on chairs I usually look at them and ask myself how many can I clean in an hour. Then how much do I need to make an hour to make a comfortable profit on the job. Then you will have your answer as to what to charge per chair.

Your cost to do the job by yourself would be different than someone that has employees doing it for them. So there are many factors to consider.

Kevin Pearson

Bill Morgan

Re: pricing help

November 9 2011, 8:39 AM 

Thanks Kevin, great suggestion about how many chairs I can clean per hour and base my upholstery cleaning that way. I'm in the ballpark on the carpet cleaning. Thanks again, Bill Morgan


Re: pricing help

November 9 2011, 8:52 AM 

I usually go .20 sqft commercial and I wouldn't go much lower than .18 unless the job is really big, even for a "hometown" discount . If you want to give them a deal, sell the the Soileze carpet protector application at a little above your cost; my commercial customers are usually happy with that. If you are going to do some hwe, I'd suggest hwe with Encap Punch. I've been cleaning a lot of commercial upholstery lately using Hydrox and the Roto drill attachment then using a porty and detail tool to vacuum the crevices and parts of the seat and back that they will sit on. Sometimes armrests get rinsed. The customers have been happy with the results and it's faster and easier than hwe. I think the above suggestion to estimate time on the chairs before giving a price is a good idea. If they have carpet in between the pews, I usually just tell them I'll spot clean where needed because there is usually not enough room to get a wand or rotary between and under the pews without killing your back and your per/hour profit.

In my experience, most churches decide not to pay the cost of cleaning but I would rather lose the job than work to break even. Also, get them to move what they want moved. Most of their furniture, etc. is heavy, large, and/or breakable.


Re: pricing help

November 14 2011, 6:02 PM 

My church is a "little" smaller than yours about 1/5 the size. What I do is my church is done for free call it a donation. Generic churches get a 10% discount. Other churches in our organization get a 20% discount.

I can be in and out of my church carpet, pews (Oreck orbiter fits between them well), and the pew/chair upholstery in a little under 4hrs. You will definitely want a table for the chairs. Most of my time is spent on the 20 or so 16ft pews. I have to stop every 3 or 4 and give my back a break on the backs - I use the oreck on the seats.

Bill Morgan

Re: pricing help

November 14 2011, 6:50 PM 

Thanks for the help George. I appreciate it. Bill

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