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How to Start a Post-Construction Cleaning Business

A post-construction cleanup crew is responsible for removing construction materials from new or existing residential and commercial sites. Cleanup typically involves standard maid services such as sweeping, duct cleaning, paint overspray cleaning, glue removal, carpet cleaning, floor waxing, dusting and glass polishing, as well as moving heavy debris. If you enjoy working with your hands and like physical activity, there is money to be made in starting your own post-construction cleaning business.

Contact your local licensing authority to determine if you need a contractor’s license to start a post-construction cleaning business. If a license is required, you’ll need to take a written test demonstrating that you are knowledgeable on construction law and general business information. Your state might require you to be registered, bonded and insured. You may also need to demonstrate that you are financially responsible.

Register your business with your county clerk. Then purchase bonding coverage, liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Bonding insurance is twofold: It protects you against employee theft and reassures your clients that you are financially liable for completing the job.

Hire reliable workers. To save on worker’s compensation and liability fees, you can hire help from a temporary labor agency. The disadvantage is that you will need to take time to constantly train new employees to provide service that meets your standards. Draw up an employee checklist that details every area that might need cleaning. If you want a satisfied client, you can’t afford to overlook anything. It may be cheaper in the long run to simply hire one or two workers to join your team on a full-time basis. Consider drawing up an employee manual detailing your expectations and policies.

Purchase supplies and equipment for your post-construction cleaning business: extension ladder, step ladder, a commercial vacuum cleaner, glass cleaning supplies, mops, buckets, brooms, tool belt, putty knife scrapers, rags, heavy-duty gloves, steel-toed boots and label-removing solutions to easily remove stickers and labels from surfaces without leaving a residue or damaging the surface.

Familiarize yourself with the bidding process in your area, if you intend to compete for government contracts.

Set your prices. Typically, post-construction cleaning prices are determined by square feet (about 10 cents to 30 cents). However, if you see a particularly time-consuming or challenging job, it's OK to charge extra.

Draw up a checklist to use with each client. Use this during your initial site walk-through to determine your estimate and note what your client wants done.

Visit construction sites and introduce yourself to site managers.


Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.