The pricing of a carpet cleaning appears to be a simple mathematical calculation: You multiply a number of square feet times a rate per square foot and you have a price for the job.
But, when you take a closer look at the carpet cleaning that''s going to be done, you realize that there are a number of variables involved that will impact how long the job takes and which processes, chemicals and equipment will obtain the best results with the least chance of damage.
And, this is where the pricing of carpet cleaning starts to get a little more complicated.
Evaluating Your Costs
Your costs for the following should be in this relative ballpark:
- Profit — 20 percent to 400 percent or more, depending on the markup on labor and supplies
- Overhead — 10 percent to 40 percent depending on the markup on labor and supplies
- Labor and staffing — 40 percent to 75 percent of the total cost
- Chemicals — two percent to five percent of the total cost
- Fuel — two percent to six percent of the total cost
- Equipment — two percent to eight percent of the total cost
- Supplies — two percent to three percent of the total cost
You can make the job more profitable than the cleaning itself by including extra charges for such things as:
- Red spot/stain removal — $20 to $60 per spot
- Urine spot/stain removal — $50 to $1,000 or more per spot
- Loom oil spot/stain removal — $65 to $600 or more per spot
- Adhesive spot/stain removal — $50 to $85 or more per spot
- Other specialty spot/stain removal — $30 to $250 or more per spot
- Roll crush repair — $50 to $300 per service
- Repairs, re-stretch, patch, etc. — $45 to $150 or more per hour
- Carpet dyeing — $30 to $100 per spot; some charge $85 or more per hour for larger areas.
- Cleaning and restoration pricing software — Xactimate
- Book — The Bluebook of Cleaning Reconstruction and Repair Costs
- Book — ISSA''s 540 Cleaning Times
- Source — Cleaning consultants, local distributors and non-competing colleagues.
There are many factors that enter in to determining the final pricing for a carpet cleaning.
Things like a discount for a large account or a regular service schedule and traffic lane maintenance versus a one-time job are all factors that can be taken into consideration when pricing each job.
The use of area rugs is growing in residential and commercial properties.
Don''t overlook profit opportunities to service small rugs and entry matting.
If you can''t do it, find a local plant operation that can do the work for you and mark it up by 30 percent to 60 percent.
The numbers cited are wide ranging and may not be relevant to the work that you are doing.
The only true numbers you can count on are those based on your actual experience and performance.
Determining the best price for each job is truly a combination of art, science and past experience.
As a professional service, discuss with each customer the value and importance of prevention as it relates to costs, re-cleaning and production.
Such things as adequate entry matting, topically applied protectants, pile lifting, vacuuming, spotting, repairs and the need for a regular maintenance program are things that will benefit the customer and make your work easier the next time you clean the customer''s carpet.
Bill Griffin is president of the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) and owner of Cleaning Consultant Services Inc. ICAN is a non-profit association comprised of industry professionals providing free consultation services through the Cleaning Management Institute (CMI). Comments and questions about bidding and estimating are encouraged: (206) 849-0179; WGriffin@CleaningConsultants.com.