Today is the final straw and you’ve had enough. Between your work, balancing family, errands and life there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for it all. Forget about keeping a clean home. That’s the first thing to go out the window when you get too busy with life.
There’s never enough time in the day to go around to do all the house cleaning chores on top of all your obligations, and you’d rather spend your time on the crucial vital areas of your life that produce the most results & are the most rewarding.
Where do you start? How do you find and hire the right cleaning service for your home? A company or maid that won’t cause more headaches than they’re supposed to be solving.
Do you go for the cheapest one? Or that one lady you called who sounded very sweet on the phone? How do you decide?
What Are The Types of Services Cleaning Companies Offer?
Before deciding on the right cleaning company or housekeeper for your needs, you will need to understand the different kinds of services offered and what type of pricing you should expect for each of these services. There are two ways that cleaners will determine the pricing – flat rate packages and hourly services – and both come with different expectations, and with each their own pros & cons.
Flat Rate Cleaning Packages
These are most often set prices based on the size of your home. To get an idea of how large your home is, most companies will ask the total number of bedrooms and bathrooms, though some companies may ask for the square footage of your home instead. In most cases, the larger your home, the more you should expect to pay.
Since these packages are a set price, they include a checklist of standard cleaning tasks which are included as part of that price. You can expect the following to be included in a flat rate package:
- Full kitchen cleaning
- Full bathroom cleaning
- Dusting in all rooms
- Vacuuming in all rooms
- Mopping hard floors
- Washing dishes
- Emptying garbage bins
Common add-ons come with an additional fee and can include things like:
- Window cleaning
- Cleaning blinds
- Cleaning baseboards
- Cleaning inside the refrigerator
- Cleaning inside cabinets
- Cleaning inside the oven
- Doing laundry
There are several benefits which come from booking a flat rate cleaning package, the main one being that you will always know exactly how much you’ll need to pay for your cleaning in advance. Another benefit is that you will also know exactly what tasks are included in your cleaning and what will cost extra.
However, there is a downside to flat-rate packages: you won’t be able to fully customize your cleaning, meaning that you may not be able to specify which areas of the house you need cleaned and which can be left for another time, or you may not be able to add all of the tasks you need if the company does not offer them or if they are completely outside of the provided checklist.
The pricing for flat rate packages will vary depending on your area and whether you have booked recurring services or a one-time visit, but you should expect to pay somewhere in these ranges depending on the size of your home. Keep in mind that these are just estimates and they will also vary based on the number of bathrooms in your home.
Hourly Cleaning Services
As opposed to flat rate cleaning packages which are always going to be a set price for your home, hourly cleaning services are charged based on the time it takes for your cleaner to complete the needed tasks and can vary with each service. Often people who book these services choose the number of hours they would like to pay for in advance and the cleaner will simply stop once they’ve reached the allotted time, but some people prefer to wait and see how long the cleaner took and pay for the total time.
When booking hourly services, there are a few things you should consider. The first is whether the cleaner or company requires a minimum number of hours. Next, you should consider how many cleaners will be sent to your home because you will need to pay the hourly rate per cleaner. The third thing to consider is how experienced the cleaners are and how quickly they can accomplish the job.
One benefit of booking hourly cleaning services is that, unlike flat rate packages, the scope of the work is not usually limited to a standard list. Of course, the cleaner will cover all of the basics, but you’ll have much more room to customize your cleaning and take care of the things you really need done. Another way which you can customize your cleaning with hourly services is to state which areas of your home actually need to be cleaned. Perhaps you have a 5 bedroom house, but you only wish for the kitchen, bathrooms, and 2 bedrooms to be cleaned – in this case, hourly cleaning would serve your purposes much better than paying the entire flat rate for a 5 bedroom home.
One major drawback to hourly pricing is that it can lead to unpredictable costs if it takes longer than expected for the cleaners to complete your tasks. Another drawback is that there is no incentive for cleaners to work quickly; in fact, there is an incentive for them to work more slowly because they’ll be paid more. Likewise, if the cleaner is simply inexperienced and takes longer than others to complete tasks, the prices will increase.
Because of this, you’ll need to find an honest, experienced cleaner or company who will charge a fair wage for their experience but won’t dally in order to be paid more. This could take a few test runs before you find someone you are comfortable with.
The average pricing per hour will again vary based on your area and whether you have booked recurring services or a one-time visit, but for a cleaning company you should expect to pay somewhere within the range of $30 – $50 per hour per cleaner. If you decide to hire an independent cleaner, you can expect to pay a little less, probably somewhere in the range of $20 – $40 per hour.
What You Should Know: Independent Maids vs. Large Cleaning Companies
Another thing that you need to understand before you can make the decision on the right cleaning company or housekeeper for your needs is the difference between independent maids and large cleaning companies, and the pros and cons of hiring each.
If you’re looking for the cheapest option, then there is no question that it will be to go with an independent maid. Because they can set their own rates and they don’t lose a portion to a larger company and they have few overhead costs, independent maids charge less and are often more willing to negotiate their rates. You’ll also receive consistent service because you will be dealing with the same person every time.
However, the drawbacks of hiring an independent cleaner can turn out to be costly when things go wrong. For one thing, self-employed cleaners are rarely bonded or insured, meaning you will have no protection in case of theft or damage. And they are also unlikely to provide any form of background check, so if you are unfamiliar with this person, you won’t have any assurances that they’ll be trustworthy. Therefore, if you decide to hire an independent cleaner, the best method is to hire based on referrals from people you know who have also hired their services.
Large Cleaning Companies
Large cleaning companies, on the other hand, will almost always be bonded and insured and will be able to provide proof of this. They also generally require background checks and thoroughly vet their employees, so you can be sure that the cleaners visiting your home are trustworthy, but you’ll have protection against theft or damage even if things do turn out poorly.
Another benefit of hiring a large cleaning company is that they will be extremely reliable. Even if the scheduled cleaner can’t make it, they’ll be able to send someone else in their place. Also, cleaners working for companies tend to have more experience, even if it was simply gained with that company, because they will tend to have more clients. This may mean that your home is cleaned more quickly or to a higher standard. And yet another benefit is that many companies will offer some sort of a satisfaction guarantee.
Unfortunately, the insurance, background checks, and other overhead costs of running a larger company mean that they will have to charge more for their services. It may also mean that you have several different people in your home at one time, or from week to week if they do not send the same crew each time.
Before making your decision about which to hire, you’ll need to decide whether the lower cost of an independent cleaner or the protection and reliability of a larger company are more valuable to you.
Tips on Hiring the Right House Cleaning Company Or Housekeeper
When finding the right company, here are some tips to help you through the process.
1. How responsive are they? The very first thing you should look at is how quickly they respond to your inquiries & calls.
This is always the first thing you should look at. When you call, do they pick up the phone or does it go to voicemail? Do they return missed calls promptly. Do they email back promptly?Take the time to get in contact with them a few times to see how quickly they respond to your questions & calls. If they’re already unresponsive from the start, you can expect a service that is subpar and doesn’t take their clients seriously.
2. Do some research on what others have to say. But take it with a grain of salt.
It’s always surprising to see how little research some customers do before hiring a cleaning company. Take the time to look at their Yelp, Google, Facebook & anywhere else they have reviews.
At the same time, watch out for companies who seem to have a perfect score. Some companies love to “cheat the system” by getting up a ton of fake positive reviews.
3. How established are they?
While doing your due diligence, check around to see how long they have been in business and their web activity. It’s always best to do business with a company that has been around for a while compared to a business that just launched yesterday. ?unfortunately many fly by night companies come & go every day.
4. Ask the 10 questions below, and anything else that is important to you.
If any of the answers are unsatisfactory or make you feel uncomfortable, move on to another company.
5. Get referrals from Family & Friend
Last but not least you can always try getting referrals from your family & friends. After all, if your family & friends trust them, it’s a higher chance you’ll be pleased with them as well.
The 10 Questions You Must Ask Every House Cleaner or Cleaning Company You Talk To
Even with all of this information, the search for the right cleaning company can be daunting. Knowing the right questions to ask will help you discover who is truly worth your time and how you should proceed once the decision is made. So, to help you find the best fit for you, we’ve put together a list of 10 questions which you should ask every cleaning company you talk to.
1. What services do you offer and what services do you not do?
Make sure that the company offers the services you require so that you aren’t let down if they can’t complete specific tasks. And also make sure you understand what exactly their policies are on things they don’t do to avoid confusion later down the road.
2. What are your rates, how do you come up with pricing & are all pricing/quotes final?
Do they charge flat rate? Hourly? Both? What is it based on? Do they have a re-quote policy? Make sure you understand their pricing inside & out to avoid communication issues down the road. Are their quotes final? How many people does it include? What’s the scope of work? One of the worst thing that can happen is not communicating this properly.
3. How do you vet your employees?
Find out whether they do background checks on their employees or require them to get certifications before they will hire them. You can even ask for the company to provide and share the background check they did on their employees. Keep in mind in some states, this information is confidential and companies have the right to refuse, but you can always try.
4. Who provides the cleaning supplies?
Find out if you need to provide larger items like vacuum cleaners and mops as well as other cleaning supplies such as sprays and disinfectants
5. Do you offer a guarantee? What if I’m unsatisfied with the cleaning?
You are paying for a service, so you should be satisfied with it when it is done. If you are not, how will the company handle it? Will they refund you, or will they send someone out to do a follow-up cleaning?
6. Will you send the same people for every cleaning?
Will you have different person coming and going every week, or will they send the same crew so they can get accustomed to your space and your requests?
7. What happens if an item goes missing or damages are caused in my home by your workers? Can you show proof of insurance & bonding?
If a company is unable to provide proof of insurance, you should not hire them. If you do, it is unlikely that you will have any protection again theft or damage and you will be on the hook to pay for the mess or drag them around small claims court.
8. What happens if your employees hurt themselves while on my property/home?
It happens, cleaners fall, slip or injure themselves from time to time during a cleaning job. The question is, will you be on the hook for the medical expenses? Make sure the company can provide proof of workman compensation or policies that explain how those situations are handled.
9. Do your cleaners speak English?
This is an important and uncomfortable question for many. But it’s important to know that your cleaners will be able to communicate with you & be able to follow your suggestions/directions
10. What do I need to do about my pets?
If you have pets, you should definitely discuss this before your first cleaning. Will you need to crate them? Will there be an extra cost? Can the company ensure that your pets will be treated well?
These 10 questions will help you determine whether the company is a good fit for you and whether you can feel confident in handing over your keys to them.
Finding & Choosing the Right House Cleaning Company for You
If you’ve decided to reclaim your free time by hiring a cleaning company, then it’s important that you choose one that best fits your needs and that you can be comfortable with.
Choosing to hire an independent cleaner will be good for you budget, but you’ll need to make sure you hire from a referral so that you know who you’re dealing with. Choosing to book with a larger cleaning company will offer you peace of mind that your home is protected and that your cleaners are experienced, but you will have to pay more for the services.
To determine what will work best for you, follow our tips, ask those 10 questions, and go with what makes you feel the most comfortable.