Pricing a house. Should it be done in linear feet? Or Square feet?

Hello all.

As I’m building my business plan I’ve come across a question that I keep going back to regarding pricing my customers. I’ve seen many people suggest both ideas but no true arguments are ever really made and my searches have come up moot.

Should I measure in Linear Feet or Square feet?

I did a mock up and what I did was take a house on Google Earth that was around 1200 sq feet. I then measured the perimeter to act as linear feet because honestly this was the only way I understand how to measure it like that. I got 163 ft.

Now. At 1 dollar a linear foot plus the fact that it is a bi level, I’d charge $1.5 per foot and with the square feet i’d charge 30 cents considering my rate would be 25c a house and 10c for each extra floor (bi level means like half a floor so I’d say 30c is fair)

Measuring per linear foot: 163 * 1.5 = 244.5

Measuring per square foot per floor: 1200 * .30 = 360

Now I live in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I think these two are both fair in range.

I’d like to price myself out at $150 dollars an hour and I think this house shouldn’t even take me an 1.5 hours.

While this does seem like a question, what I really wanted to do was draw up some conversation and see what everyone else does.

Though I would really like to know how to measure a house in linear feet so I can make sure I’m pricing right in the future.

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You have not included quoting, invoicing, travel, preparing equipment, maintenance of equipment, etc etc in your time. So double your numbers and that would be a good start in my opinion.


150/hr is low in my opinion.
Like @PMG stated.
Do u know ur costs?
Price per sqft is irrelevant, cause u dont know how much is going to cost u, nor how long is going to take u.

So you’re telling me 480-720 dollars is a good price to charge this guy for a 1200 sq ft bilevel??

So besides paying back what I paid for my pressure washer I guess my costs are gas and my solution? I mean thats gotta be what like 20 bucks I can add on. I mean I guess my insurance too but I’m still in the works of getting that and I don’t know how to map that out to price it into my quote.

I cannot answer that for you.
You got to figure it out urself.

You think is too much?

You dont even know your operating costs and you question it?

No, with few exceptions no one is going to pay more than $200 for a 1200sq ft house.

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I’m lucky to have those very rare exceptions everyday for years! :slightly_smiling_face:


Once again this comes down to it depends on your area, your level of service/reputation and client.

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It relates to only two of those four, but I’m glad you are in the exception.

When i say level of service, i mean some guys move furniture and stuff out of the way, tape outlets, etc etc and some don’t, they just wash.

When a client is happy and relieved that they don’t have to move their patio furniture themselves, we take care of it, and it’s in the price. Just an example.

Then that isn’t apples to apples. I’ll fire someone if I find out they’re moving patio furniture for a customer. I charge a price to wash a house. It sounds like you charge a price to wash a house and move furniture. Those are two different things. Point is, there wouldn’t be exceptions if there weren’t any. Overall, people aren’t going to pay $4 or $5 hundred an hour for blue collar labor

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People pay for service. Not per hour.

If thats the case everyone should use a 2.5 gpm

Everyone pays for service, grocery, hair, car, painting,…

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Lol what??

I have to move furniture all the time.


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You may move it but you don’t have to. You’re a grown man, no one can make you do anything. If you touch something, you own it. I’m not buying a grill that the wheels fall off of, a table that breaks when you move it, move a flower pot that cracks. I won’t let me guys do something that cost the company money or could slow them down from doing their job. I hire out to wash stuff. I’ll tape your door bell and cover your ring cameras because most people aren’t going to think of that. But, I’ve got to the point where I don’t even move for mats. Moved one last year and there was a cooperhead under it. If someone didn’t care enough to move stuff, I’m definitely not going to worry about it.


Speaking of taping, i recently found some tape that sticks to brick pretty well and other surfaces also without leaving a residue. What do you guys use to tape?

This is the one i found on Amazon. But prices are all over the place. The ones i bought were 8$ ea.

Especially handy to tape outdoor lamps that are not caulked around brick. If that can help anyone.

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I use 3M blue painters tape from home Depot. We go thru about 15 rolls a week and have been using it for decades. Good stuff