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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Start Up Price Quoting Help?

Posted by nathan (nathan), 9 September 2003
I am looking into starting up a new business in carpet cleaning and am looking for advice of what sort of prices to charge for residential & commercial, do most people charge per hour or by the sq metre. The machine I will be using will be a dry fusion due to the quick drying times, subject going to the ncca and somebody twisting my arm.

Any help much appreciated.
Posted by nathan (nathan), 9 September 2003
Forgot to add that I'm Manchester based.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 9 September 2003
What are you going to clean upholstery with? you can't run a carpet and upholstery bussiness with just Dry Fusion you will need H/W/E.

I'd like to know how you will deal with a doggie wee using D/F. I know it sound a great idea to start a carpet cleaning  bussiness with just D/F but its just not workable.

As for price you'll get more bu=l shi# answers about how much carpet cleaner charge than anything else,

don't charge less than £1.80 sqd. Most fusioneers charge £2.20+ sqd because they are also applying a 'protector' Roll Eyes

If you charge cheap prices you will get cheap customers who have really filthy carpets, dry fusion won't get them clean.

the more you charge the cleaner the carpets you will get to clean.

Posted by nathan (nathan), 9 September 2003
Thanks for the reply Mike, what sort of H/W/E unit should I be looking at to clean upholstery if I'd be using the dry fusion for the carpets.

Posted by woodman (woodman), 9 September 2003
Hi Nathan

We don't mind if you come from Manchester.  Grin

Don't listen to that old Cynic Mike,Dry Fusion will clean heavy soiled carpets and urine if the correct solutions are used.
On upholstery they use dry foam and pads fine if its in good condition, useless if soiled, as mike says you will probably need to get some sort of HWE (hot water extraction machine) to add to your kit.
As you are looking at an expensive bit of kit don't waste it doing two bob work you don't want to get involved in the low price wars you will see in your local paper.
Price by the sq mt do your own local research to find out what the competition are charging, this is easily done.

Set a minimum charge you don't want to go out to do some ones anunty nelly's box bedroom of 9 sq mts for a tenner you have to factor in travel,set up time etc an average minimum charge of around £35.00 +vat is fair if they won't pay it then do YOU want THEM as a customer let 'Arry's Cut Price Cleaning' do it we all have 'em in our areas and they just love these £10 cash in hand jobs.

Remember you are (or will be) a professional charge professional rates.

Good Luck and Happy Cleaning.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 9 September 2003
A  Prochem Steameasy 400,  or something similler. no point paying for twin vacs or inline heaters  if its just for upholstery and the odd carpet.

The 400 is a nice light machine that takes 30 litres which is anough to clean a suite, plus it has a nice flat top where you can rest the cushions as you clean them

If you are keen on buying  D/F then I can hook you up with a friend of mine who uses D/F on 9 out of 10 carpets he cleans, He'll let you join him for a day or 2  so you can see The Dry Fusion system in action  in real customers homes.

we are based just down the M62 in Hull

Posted by woodman (woodman), 9 September 2003
What an offer Wink

Take Mike up on it, this it's a great opportunity to see professionals in action before you commit yourself to our wonderful world of carpet cleaning.

Got a feeling you might get one or two more request the same Mike.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 9 September 2003
Woodman, who says I'm old!!, I'm not a cynic, I've worked a lot with dry fusion and quite a few times we've had to revert to using H/W/E.  D/F is good but not a complete carpet cleaning system. some stains require treatment that needs to be flushed out of the carpet something D/F can't do (enzymes etc).

D/Fs good but not perfect.

Posted by nathan (nathan), 9 September 2003
Thanks for the replies guys, I can see this place been very handy. Mike, I will take you up on that offer, I'll email my contact number across to you. Thanks
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 9 September 2003
Hi Nathan
Have you considered how much you are prepared to spend on setting yourself up?
We not only sell new machines, we occassionally get machines part exchanged (we currently have a Steameasy 200 which is like new). We can also help with competitive finance if thats an issue.
As with any equipment - buy the best you can afford!
Feel free to call me if you want any more info 01684 565552
Mike Boxall

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 9 September 2003
ps Mike

"who says I'm old!!" - Is the reason you quote in square yards because you havent gone metric yet or because a square yard is smaller than a square meter and you can charge more for the same carpet?  Wink
Posted by woodman (woodman), 9 September 2003
Mike H.

I havn't come across the perfect system yet although Mike B might try and convince us he has one Wink.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 9 September 2003
Mike B , I can see your photo and I definetly look younger than you Grin.

Nathen send me your number and I'll sort it out, as long as you are smart & honest you can also spend a couple of jobs with me and you'll see a real carpet cleaner in action Wink and you'll be able to use the creme de la creme of carpet cleaning machines


Ps this site needs a spellchucker
Posted by woodman (woodman), 9 September 2003
Thats his passport photo from ten years ago Grin
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 9 September 2003
Mike - will he have to bring some coal with him  Grin
Posted by Derek (Derek), 9 September 2003
What an amusing thread...

Woodman is also giving his age away talking about 'two bob' cleaners.... I supose I am too because I know exactly what he is talking about.

I would also like to hazard a guess that most carpet cleaners still deal in old measurements some even quote per square foot.

Mike is right ... don't go for the cheap prices, charge a reasonable price, stick to it and do a good job.
Many cleaners don't charge enough and the problem lies within their own mind...customers 'will' pay for a good job and service.

Incidentally I have just put my minimum call out charge up from £45.00 to £48.00 within a six mile radius of base.

Posted by woodman (woodman), 10 September 2003
Hi derek

thats exactly what I charge £48 + vat  but I go further afield than you up to 30miles but the jobs are worth it Wink

Got to be done!
Posted by Derek (Derek), 10 September 2003

The £48.00 minimum charge is for jobs within a six mile radius ..  it goes up outside the six mile zone.

Another little bit of advice that might be of help to the new people to the industry...

An estimate is just estimate which can be adjusted.

A quotation is a firm price.

When advertising offer 'free estimates' NOT 'free quotations'.

For example... A member of the public has an accident. The insurance company says 'get three quotes'... two quotes are not going to be accepted at best, all three if the person takes the money and then hires a machine to do it themselves.
You have just spent time travelling, inspecting and quoting for work which you have very little chance of getting.
Suggestion.... Say to the customer ' Yes I will come along to give a quotation but there will be a charge (at least minimum charge) for my report. This charge will be deducted from the price of the job if I get it'.

If its an insurance scam they will refuse to pay this charge and you have just saved yourself time and effort which can be more usefully given elsewhere.

Cynic I may be but do two or three of these in a day and you are well out of pocket... Been there, done it, etc.


Posted by woodman (woodman), 11 September 2003
Couldn't agree more.

On insurance,(sorry I might have mis-led you in my haste
so I will modify)

If you are asked to carry out a report for insurance or carpet fault by the consumer they will have to pay.

The insurance company will EXPECT to reimburse them for it but make sure the client knows this before you call or they may not want to pay you direct.
The insurance company will want your report with invoice attached,paid of course, so the consumer can claim it back, unless they have any excess in which case they can not.
It is up to the Insurance company to inform them of that not you so don't mention it.

I hope thats clearer Roll Eyes
Posted by Derek (Derek), 11 September 2003
This one could run and run...

If contracted by a member of the public to do insurance work then the contract is firmly with them and 'they' pay you.
Don't let them put you off by saying that the Insurance Company will pay direct...
unless you have written authority from the Insurance Company direct to that effect they will not pay you but pay your customer...
Sometimes in this situation getting the money from your customer is not so easy...they have probably spent it.

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 29 September 2003
Did you get to the show and have you decided on a machine yet?
Posted by pre-vac_Nick (pre-vac_Nick), 21 October 2003
Embarassed This is more of a location subject, here in London for instance i charge a minimum of £2.50p per sqmtr i nearly allways get £2.75-£3.00psm this does include full pre-Vac (of course!) attempts at all spots and stains a full deep pile extraction clean with sanitiser and conditioner. for an extra £1.50 per sqmtr i apply a stain guard!!

Works for me matey!!

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