How To Calculate An Estimate For Carpet Cleaning Services

This article outlines how Building Service Contractors can calculate Estimates for Carpet Cleaning services, things to remember while you quote carpet cleaning work, tools that can help with a carpet cleaning estimate, and everything you need to submit a carpet cleaning service proposal.

Five Cost Factors To Consider In Your Carpet Cleaning Estimate

The process of landing a carpet cleaning bid involves many steps. From the walkthrough to the proposal to doing the job itself, there are plenty of opportunities to overlook certain cost factors that can impact your profit margin.

This article will explain five important things you should include on your next carpet cleaning estimate. If you’re ready to make more money and gain a better understanding of your own business, let’s get started with cost factor number one.

1. Square Footage

Carpet cleaning jobs are almost always priced by the square foot. The average price for carpet cleaning services is between $0.18-$0.36. The price discrepancy can be attributed to the style of carpet, the condition the carpet is in, and the level of difficulty required to clean it. Use your walkthrough notes to find the square footage of the space you will be cleaning.

2. Production Rate

Simply put, your production rate is how long it takes you to clean a certain amount of space in an hour. You can figure out your own production rate by routinely timing yourself on different jobs, or by looking at graphs of national averages. Anywhere from 600-1,400 square feet per hour is standard for carpet cleaning production rates. If you know the average size of the space you are bidding on, this can give you a good idea of your production rate in advance.

If you are a Route user, you can plug in your production rate and the total square footage into the program’s bid calculator to come up with an accurate base price to charge your client.

3. Time And Materials

Always remember that it is okay to bill your prospect for the supplies you use during the job, and it’s fine to add a markup, as well.

Also consider the time it takes you to get to the job location. If there is travel involved, factor this into your costs.

The other two major material expenses you will incur are the cost of machinery rental if you do not own your own equipment, and the cost of the cleaning agents, which vary in price.

To easily calculate your markup, use the tools in Route’s estimate building program. There are drop down menus for hundreds of different supplies for different jobs. Pick the ones that apply to you, then select the markup percentage in a separate menu. An 8% markup is the industry standard. The rest will be calculated for you, maximizing profitability.

4. Special Considerations

Although the equipment, cleaning agents, and travel are the big three when it comes to outside costs, there are several internal things to consider about the space you are cleaning carpet for that could affect your price. This list includes:

  • Stain removal
  • Pet odor removal
  • Stairways, arches, and walls
  • Seam repairs
  • Set up and put away time

All of these extra factors can be accounted for when you build the estimate in Route. Trying to calculate individual charges by hand can get long and messy, but using an automated program leaves little room for mistakes.

5. Labor

The last important cost factor to consider is the cost of labor. The good news is, you should already know what you’re paying your employees per hour. If you have already figured your production rate from earlier, you should be able to figure out how many employees you will need and about how long it will take them to do the job.

Another great feature about the estimate builder in Route is that you can break up your labor costs by different roles on the team. Some employees might be at different pay rates. This feature allows you to factor multiple pay scales into a single job.


Assessing your carpet cleaning costs can be tedious, but the more you do it, the more profit you will eventually make.

Start by assessing the square footage and calculating your production rate. Check it against national statistics to see if you are higher or lower than average.

Remember to bill your client for your supplies and travel time. You can add your own markup to ensure you are making a profit margin.

Include special considerations in your estimate, such as heavily soiled carpets or stain removal. This might also affect your supply costs.

Assess your labor against your production rate and determine how many employees you will need to do the job. Use a calculator like the one from Route’s estimator tool to ensure the most accurate estimate.

Keep this list handy as you write more estimates to guide you along the way. In time, you’ll see the quality of your bids improve and your profit margins increase with every carpet cleaning proposal you win.

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