A reader recently reached out stating that they were asked about adding some specialty cleaning tasks to their contract. They were looking for information on developing cleaning times for the specialty task and how to set a good and fair price for the work, specifically for cleaning air vents.

We have already reviewed the math process involved in coming to a price based on time and materials for this tag job. You also need to take into account any special equipment or tools or supplies that could have an impact of more that 5 percent of the total costs. For instance, if you already have a back pack vacuum cleaner on site, you should not be charging extra for this item. If you end up filling up a couple of bags (minimal costs) or having to purchase a low cost attachment that will be used over and over again, then you should not list that so long as it does not exceed the 5 percent of total costs limit. Of course, the larger the job, the lower the suggested 5 percent threshold. Remember that 5 percent of $100.00 ($5.00) is radically different from 5 percent of $100,000.00 ($5,000.00) which may be excessive for the actual costs involved.

Another point to consider is that you need to be very clear on what you DO NOT DO for the quoted price. I always suggest a brief list of "extra cost” items either by task, hourly rate or total costs that clearly identify them as additional/extra charge costs. An example is that if the customer comes back and states that the vents need to be taken down, washed and re-installed, you can refer them to the rate quoted for that task. This can help you avoid misunderstandings and may lead to more work.

Try to do your homework and anticipate additional issues that may occur.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net