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Canadian Pricing - Tile & Grout Cleaning

Jan 20, 2020
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Benji Zimmerman
I want to know how much my regional non-competitors charge for overnight restaurant tile and grout floor cleaning charge (I'm in Alberta). I bid a job at 72 cents a square foot for a commercial job - small restaurant. I put in a 20% discount for rights to use video from the job (sign a release) so we can use it in our promotional materials and advertising/social media. This brings my rate to 58 cents a square foot. Due to the age of the floor and the need for quick turnaround (7-9 hour job) we're not recommending grout sealant. This puts the billable hour just over $140 on this - I pay one helper approx 20 bucks an hour.

What do you think? What do your numbers look like?
 

Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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Fedri Irsat
I want to know how much my regional non-competitors charge for overnight restaurant tile and grout floor cleaning charge (I'm in Alberta). I bid a job at 72 cents a square foot for a commercial job - small restaurant. I put in a 20% discount for rights to use video from the job (sign a release) so we can use it in our promotional materials and advertising/social media. This brings my rate to 58 cents a square foot. Due to the age of the floor and the need for quick turnaround (7-9 hour job) we're not recommending grout sealant. This puts the billable hour just over $140 on this - I pay one helper approx 20 bucks an hour.

What do you think? What do your numbers look like?
That is too low, if I know a heavily buildup restaurant will be 58 cents per sqft I wouldn't bother going there to even look at it. Homes are easier then restaurants/bars/pubs. I am here in Toronto and my competitives are at 75 cents per sqft for residential homes and $1 per sqft for restaurants. I am higher then my competitors, at $1 per sqft for residential homes (75 cents psft combined with carpet) and $1.50 per sqft for restaurants. Our hourly minimum wage is $14. Houses are from 850k and rents are from $2000/month. Freaking place is getting expensive every day.
 
Jan 20, 2020
91
18
8
Real Name
Benji Zimmerman
That is too low, if I know a heavily buildup restaurant will be 58 cents per sqft I wouldn't bother going there to even look at it. Homes are easier then restaurants/bars/pubs. I am here in Toronto and my competitive are at 75 cents per sqft for residential homes and $1 per sqft for restaurants. I am higher then my competitors, at $1 per sqft for residential homes (75 cents psft combined with carpet) and $1.50 per sqft for restaurants. Our hourly minimum wage is $14. Houses are from 850k and rents are from $2000/month. Freaking place is getting expensive every day.

See I'm in Calgary, and with the oil crash and covid the city is in crisis. I do want to get that up to the 75 cent to 1 dollar range, but I need those first few customers. The discount applied is to do a few videos showcasing what we do for social media. I can still turn the job around in 8 hours or less with a helper taking a view videos showing my hydroforce sx15 and gekko. I'm almost maxing my unit out at 990 psi doing this.

For roughly 1700 sq ft of dining area a hall and washrooms, do you think I'm realistic?
I'm a residential carpet guy trying to level up. Bought a near new sx-15 and gekko last winter when I started up, then did only residential carpet to get my Google reviews up and get comfortable. Now is the time to get some commercial T&G.

I'm running a used Legend XL (paid cash) for my machine. Trying to get the business built up so I can possibly soup up the legend by taching up the engine (it's a newer Koehler), replacing the CAT and chem pump with a set up that can run higher PSI, temp and rpm, or even bypassing the Heat EX and installing a little giant.

I want to put off having equipment and van payment as long as possible.
 

Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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Fedri Irsat
See I'm in Calgary, and with the oil crash and covid the city is in crisis. I do want to get that up to the 75 cent to 1 dollar range, but I need those first few customers. The discount applied is to do a few videos showcasing what we do for social media. I can still turn the job around in 8 hours or less with a helper taking a view videos showing my hydroforce sx15 and gekko. I'm almost maxing my unit out at 990 psi doing this.

For roughly 1700 sq ft of dining area a hall and washrooms, do you think I'm realistic?
I'm a residential carpet guy trying to level up. Bought a near new sx-15 and gekko last winter when I started up, then did only residential carpet to get my Google reviews up and get comfortable. Now is the time to get some commercial T&G.

I'm running a used Legend XL (paid cash) for my machine. Trying to get the business built up so I can possibly soup up the legend by taching up the engine (it's a newer Koehler), replacing the CAT and chem pump with a set up that can run higher PSI, temp and rpm, or even bypassing the Heat EX and installing a little giant.

I want to put off having equipment and van payment as long as possible.
These days you have to average $200 an hour to keep up with your business expenses and paying house hold bills. What ever your price is if you cannot average that then increase your prices. At the beginning I understand you can offer low prices but don't settle on that low price, increase it as soon as possible. You don't want to build a cheap clientele. Sounds like you will need some expensive repairs sooner or later just be prepared for that. I am running an etm that doesn't cost me as much as a gas TM.
 
Jan 20, 2020
91
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Real Name
Benji Zimmerman
These days you have to average $200 an hour to keep up with your business expenses and paying house hold bills. What ever your price is if you cannot average that then increase your prices. At the beginning I understand you can offer low prices but don't settle on that low price, increase it as soon as possible. You don't want to build a cheap clientele. Sounds like you will need some expensive repairs sooner or later just be prepared for that. I am running an etm that doesn't cost me as much as a gas TM.

Oh I've had the expensive repairs: rebuilt blower, new Kohler engine. I cleaned the Heat EX myself. My best hourly so far on residential carpet has been $70/hr (no helper). This is what's got me looking to commercial.

See you're in Toronto, cost of living is crazy. Here in Calgary my wife and I share a 4 bedroom house that costs $1400/month. Landlords are actually cutting it to $1300/month on the next lease. I drive a cheap car. Neither of us have payments. We shop at costco and keep expenses low.

I think if I can in future get to 150-200/hr on commercial T&G all the better. But for now I just gotta keep profit coming in, no matter if it's skinnier than what I would like. When repeat, referral and word of mouth kick in then I can get there. I did this on a shoestring, 10 year old chevy van, simple decals, running off classifieds for now (webpage in development), got a virtual office downtown for cachet, a garage in a crap neighbourhood and housecall pro. I try to keep the overhead minimal. We have a 5 dollar a day facebook ad running, and about 200 a month in rotating ads on Kijiji.
 

Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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Fedri Irsat
Oh I've had the expensive repairs: rebuilt blower, new Kohler engine. I cleaned the Heat EX myself. My best hourly so far on residential carpet has been $70/hr (no helper). This is what's got me looking to commercial.

See you're in Toronto, cost of living is crazy. Here in Calgary my wife and I share a 4 bedroom house that costs $1400/month. Landlords are actually cutting it to $1300/month on the next lease. I drive a cheap car. Neither of us have payments. We shop at costco and keep expenses low.

I think if I can in future get to 150-200/hr on commercial T&G all the better. But for now I just gotta keep profit coming in, no matter if it's skinnier than what I would like. When repeat, referral and word of mouth kick in then I can get there. I did this on a shoestring, 10 year old chevy van, simple decals, running off classifieds for now (webpage in development), got a virtual office downtown for cachet, a garage in a crap neighbourhood and housecall pro. I try to keep the overhead minimal. We have a 5 dollar a day facebook ad running, and about 200 a month in rotating ads on Kijiji.
I have met some folks from Calgary when I visited Los Cabos, they were also telling me how cheap it is to live in Calgary. The only thing that is holding me up to move to Calgary is the cold long winters. $1400 a month for a 4 bedroom house here is more like $4000. The areas that we live will make us work for different prices. Even 50 cents per sq with that low cost of a geographical area is plenty if you ask me as long as you move quickly on those jobs. As the life style gets expensive just raise your prices.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Benji Zimmerman
That's the plan. Everyday, get a little faster, hustle a little smarter, talk to a few more people, and nudge up the pricing as soon as I have organic rank on Google, the website. When I have a newer van and newer machine in 4 or 5 years that can do more I'll be able to raise prices even further - and be getting more per hour on top of it.
 

PistolPete

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Sep 28, 2014
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Peter Dymond
I started my business targeting restaurants until I found out how nasty they are.
I would have to be at $1.50 - $1.75 sq ft to make any money.
Often the grout is completely gone.
Many times had to scrub and clean areas 3-4 times to get the grease off.
Sometimes it took hand scraping the grout with a screwdriver.

I boost grout master with floor stripper and use a single jet gecko head for the grout lines.
I also use 150 degrees at 1200 - 1500 psi.

No way less than 1000 will work.

I found out that very few will pay what I need to make it work for me.

Then I switched to only residential and started making $200 an hour, during the day, in nice homes that don't require me to clean all the hoses, tools and waste tank after every job.
Not to mention the stink that restaurant cleaning will leave in your van.

I my opinion you're far better off building a high end residential customer base and having your nights and weekends off!

I fired most of my commercial accounts.
I do a dentist office that closes on Fridays, a nursing home that I can get done by midnight and a BBQ joint I can start early am and be gone by 11am.

No more 3 or 4 am jobs for me.
 
Jan 20, 2020
91
18
8
Real Name
Benji Zimmerman
I started my business targeting restaurants until I found out how nasty they are.
I would have to be at $1.50 - $1.75 sq ft to make any money.
Often the grout is completely gone.
Many times had to scrub and clean areas 3-4 times to get the grease off.
Sometimes it took hand scraping the grout with a screwdriver.

I boost grout master with floor stripper and use a single jet gecko head for the grout lines.
I also use 150 degrees at 1200 - 1500 psi.

No way less than 1000 will work.

I found out that very few will pay what I need to make it work for me.

Then I switched to only residential and started making $200 an hour, during the day, in nice homes that don't require me to clean all the hoses, tools and waste tank after every job.
Not to mention the stink that restaurant cleaning will leave in your van.

I my opinion you're far better off building a high end residential customer base and having your nights and weekends off!

I fired most of my commercial accounts.
I do a dentist office that closes on Fridays, a nursing home that I can get done by midnight and a BBQ joint I can start early am and be gone by 11am.

No more 3 or 4 am jobs for me.


Good to know. I'm limited to 1000 psi max until I upgrade my solution and chem pump - then I can turn up my rpm and get more performance. With the Covid crisis limiting how much cleaning restaurants would pay, I was thinking front areas of take-out places. It wouldn't be nearly as bad as a kitchen, and that's really all alot of them care about. I could do quicker jobs at a higher rate than I mentioned above, and get my foot in the door plus some revenue from them quickly.

I have the sx15 and gekko. Do you think the sx-15 will get me by at 1000 psi if it's not super bad and I prescrub with CRB (stiff AF brushes)
 
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Fedri

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Jan 25, 2015
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Fedri Irsat
Good to know. I'm limited to 1000 psi max until I upgrade my solution and chem pump - then I can turn up my rpm and get more performance. With the Covid crisis limiting how much cleaning restaurants would pay, I was thinking front areas of take-out places. It wouldn't be nearly as bad as a kitchen, and that's really all alot of them care about. I could do quicker jobs at a higher rate than I mentioned above, and get my foot in the door plus some revenue from them quickly.

I have the sx15 and gekko. Do you think the sx-15 will get me by at 1000 psi if it's not super bad and I prescrub with CRB (stiff AF brushes)
if it is not that bad then 1000 psi with a pre scrub will do the job, but if the grout lines got thick buildup then as PistolPete have indicated you need a stripper with higher psi. I refuse those filthy commercial jobs because I already have residential work during the day that is a lot easier. I only do one pub every 3 months and even that every 3 months still makes it harder for me to clean with 150 degrees and 800 psi, I do have to pre scrub first and then extract. 150 with 800 psi is plenty for residential tile grout cleaning, I don't pre scrub at all. Grout master is a good cleaner to use.