need bidding help for larger project


New Member
hey guys,

I've got some questions on what is a fair rate for cleaning the buildings of an apartment complex. The buildings are all vinyl, double story (can reach everything with 24' extension). All buildings are the same layout, 220 linear feet. Parts are very dirty with mold and mildew but I haven't seen anything yet that won't wash off easily. There are 32 total buildings and this is the part that really starts to throw off normal rates for me. How should I discount for the volume? or should I just estimate by the hour? I haven't been at this too long and can make educated guesses at the time it will take, but I don't want to underbid and find myself with a large project for too little money. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, if you think of anything that I should cover with the property manager or the tenents (if I get the job) it would help.



Craig Knight

New Member

If you havent made mistakes bidding yet, then your due. It happens to even the most seasoned veterans. Here are a few ideas to help you avoid any huge mistakes under/over bidding apartments. I am sure some of the salty veterans with more whiskers than me can add to and remove some of these hints:

1) There is no way you can possibly clean 2 or three story apartments with a 24' extension ONLY. Vinyl siding, mold and mildew= X-JET ......If you haven't gotten one yet, dont attempt this job without one, or a similar injector.

2) If you cant grasp an accurate bid, then bid by the hour with a (NOT TO EXCEED) amount. This will protect you and them. Some companies think it is a great deal, some are leary. Only you can get the feel of how they would react as your talking to them.

3) If you have to give an exact bid amount, then i would ask to do a test spot, to make sure it will wash the way you expect it to. I would wash for 30 minutes, for example, then divide the amount you did by the remaining parts. I.E. (you did a 3rd of building 1 in the 30 minutes. so that leaves 95 parts remaining of all 32 buildings. 95 parts times the 30 minutes you have found it takes to clean a third leaves you 48 man hours remaining. If you need to average 75-100 bucks an hour, you multiply that by hours remaining and there is a price that you can go to the complex with.)

4) Look, while you are going around buildings for obstacles that will slow you down. For example, cars that are parked under eaves or other places that need to be washed, walkways that you can or can not block, water outlets, etc. Make note to complex manager that these obstacles will have to be fixed before work can commence.

5) Mainly, you have to look it over, take plenty of time alone to inspect and think the job thru, shoot them an accurate proposal and hope for the best. If it ends up being low, you just bought some experience, if it ends up being to high, you can come off the price to assure yourself of repeat business ( remember though, apartment complex managers come and go like fly by night power wash companies) the one you give a good deal and reduce the price for, wont probably be there when its time to clean again. BUT, if the price comes out just like you expected, you can be sure that that probably wont happen again. Ha.

Email me or call if you have any questions, i can try to help, but i am sure you will get years of experience thrown at you in the following posts.


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