How To Calculate An Estimate For Post Construction Cleaning Services

This article will go over some of those costs in detail to help you write a better bid and increase your profit margins.

How To Write A Thorough Post Construction Cleaning Estimate

Construction sites are notoriously messy places. They are covered in dust, outside dirt, material debris, and bits of hardware that got left behind.

This is where you come in, a post construction cleaning contractor. Your job is to make sure all the nooks and crannies of the construction site are detailed to perfection.

In order to submit the best post construction cleaning proposal possible, someone needs to do a thorough deep-clean of the site to make sure it is in pristine condition for the owner.

This is a niche commercial job in the janitorial cleaning industry, but it can be incredibly profitable, so make sure you are accounting for all your costs when calculating your estimate.

This article will go over some of those costs in detail to help you write a better bid and increase your profit margins.

Post Construction Cleaning Phases

There are actually three phases of post construction cleaning.

In your estimate, you’ll need to denote which phases you’ll be doing. Deciding on which phases to include is typically much easier after performing a walkthrough of the prospective space.

1. Rough Interior Cleaning

The first phase is rough interior cleaning. This means you’ll be removing construction debris and prepping the floors for carpet or flooring. This is usually the least expensive job, with prices ranging from $0.10-$0.30 per square foot.

2. Final Interior Cleanup

Final interior cleanup is the process of detailing the structure after construction is complete. This is a laborious process that involves sweeping all the floors, cleaning all fixtures and appliances, cleaning the windows, dusting, and cleaning the HVAC system.

This phase of post construction work is more expensive, with prices being around $0.50 per square foot on average. This phase also requires more cleaning supplies, which can increase your costs as a contractor.

3. Exterior Cleaning

The last phase of post construction work is exterior cleaning. This includes removing the excess lumber, trash, and debris from the construction site. You may also be washing the exterior of the windows, cleaning the gutters, and cleaning concrete and walkways.

Exterior cleaning may be charged by the square foot, by the hour, or by the job type. Expect to charge a similar rate to your interior cleanup fee if you charge by the square foot.

For jobs like window washing, it is not uncommon to charge $3-$5 per window pane.

Gutter and debris removal is often charged by the hour.

You can also offer “touch up” cleans in which you visit the site.

A touch-up clean is usually done a week after the initial clean and accounts for any additional dust that may have settled.

The average price for a touch-up clean is around $0.20 per square foot. This job usually only needs done once after the initial post construction cleaning.

Additional Cost Factors At The Site

Each post construction job you take will be different, and there are many things that can influence your price from job to job.

The size of the job matters. Residential cleanups are more expensive than commercial projects.

Competition will also affect what you can charge. If there are several post construction cleaning services in your area, you’ll need to use competitive pricing strategies. You can read more about this in our janitorial estimates article.

The overall condition and accessibility of the property can potentially affect price. The dirtier the site, the more you may want to charge.

Additionally, if you have to travel a long distance, you might consider charging a travel fee or billing your client for gas.

Supplies And Procurement

Post construction cleaning is a job that requires many different supplies and equipment.

This can be expensive upfront, but remember that you can bill your client for most of this.

Route’s estimator tool makes it easy to account for these charges with handy drop-down menus that allow you to select from a list of common supplies.

Within this same window, you can also select whether this will be a one-time charge or a recurring charge.

Since most post construction projects are limited to one or two visits, most of your charges will be one-time.

A case where this might be different would be if you are contracted by a construction company to do multiple jobs on several different construction projects.

What are some of the supplies you might need on a post construction cleaning job?

For the interior cleanup, you will need sweeping and dusting equipment, trash bags for debris, and cleaning solutions for windows and bathroom fixtures.

You may also need supplies to clean tile and grout, hardwood cleaner or floor wax, and tools to remove excess caulk.

For exterior cleanup, you will want something to wash the exterior of the structure with, dusting materials for outside lights and windows, and you’ll need a plan for debris removal.

This often means renting a dumpster or hiring someone to remove the debris for you. Both of these can be billed to your client in your estimate.

Remember that all these costs can include a markup as well.

Route’s default markup for supplies is 8%, but you can adjust your price however you see fit.

Getting a quote from other post construction cleaning services will help you assess how much you should be charging.


Aside from your base rate and supplies, the last big factor to consider on your estimate is labor.

If you are charging by the square foot and you are the only worker, this simplifies your job significantly.

If the job requires more than one employee, you will need to account for their hourly rate in your bid.

Route makes this easy under the “Labor” tab in the estimate builder.

In this section, check the box marked “advanced”. This allows you to break down your team by composition, meaning you can add different roles and salaries.

In order to know if you need more than one person on a job, you need to have a good idea of your production rate.

Production rates are used to determine your efficiency and calculate how many hours a job will take.

To find yours, time yourself over the course of several different jobs and find the average time it takes you to complete the work.

From there, you can compare your production rate to national averages online — there are several charts, calculators, and other resources that can assist you.

This will tell you how many square feet you can reasonably clean in an hour, which will also help you determine how many people you need for the job.


Post construction cleaning is a specialized task that is best left to professionals like you.

In order to land a big project, you need to be great at estimates.

First, determine on your estimate what phase(s) of post construction cleaning you will be doing. There are three major phases of work that range in price.

A rough interior cleanup is less expensive per square foot than a final cleanup.

An exterior cleanup costs about the same as a final cleanup, but it usually takes less time. However, large debris removal is often associated with the third phase of cleaning.

Supplies are a big part of the job, but thankfully, you can bill most of your supply costs to your client.

You will be using trash bags, vacuums, dusting supplies, hard surface cleaners, and exterior washing equipment.

Remember that you can add a markup to your supplies to ensure you make a profit. Route will do this for you automatically, but you can also determine your own markup as necessary.

Lastly, knowing your production rate will help you assess your labor and efficiency in the market.

Your production rate is the average time it takes you to do different jobs. Knowing this will let you know if you need more than one worker per job as well as helping you see how fast you are compared to the competition.

Refer back to this article as you write more post construction estimates and see quickly you start gaining more business.

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