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Before choosing a cleaning service, you will need to know what is available and some of the different things to consider. You may not have thought of some of the possibilities below or even realized some of the costs a cleaning service must deal with. Do your homework and remember to consider all of the following.

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Hourly Rate

Cleaning rates are sometimes hourly charges.  It is a good option when the maid service is not sure how long the cleaning will take or the job is small, such as light cleaning or laundry.  However, home owners need to understand that small jobs may not be worth it to the maid service if set on an hourly rate.  There may be a minimum number of hours charged.

Flat Rate

In other circumstances, cleaning rates are better as a flat rate.  If you are setting up a regular schedule with a maid service and have the same amount of work each time, a flat rate is a great option to negotiate.  With a flat rate, you will always know what the charge is going to be.  There are no surprises.  The flat rate will depend on many factors including what the cleaning entails and the frequency.  Obviously, monthly cleaning will take longer and cost more than weekly cleaning.


Per Room Rate

In some rare cases, you may need a per room rate (a common practice of independent house cleaners).  This method can be tricky as the work in different types of rooms can vary greatly.  A kitchen or living room is likely to take much more time to clean than a small guest room.  You might need an in-home estimate so that the maid service can average out a rate per room.

Square Footage Rate

Another rate is per square foot. This practice can be deceiving as every estimate can vary due to different factors. It’s always best to get an In-Home Estimate before scheduling service. Paying per square foot can be advantageous for the client in smaller homes or apartments, but it might force a service provider to cut corners to compensate labor expenses. Remember, you get what you pay for!

If paying for square foot is your goal, this  simple calculation doesn’t lend itself for too much customization.  Because of this, the rate might end up being higher to compensate for varying cleaning levels required for different areas of the home.

Per Project Rate

Oftentimes, the cleaning rates home owners expect is project based rates.  These rates vary by each project so an onsite estimate would be required.  Many maid services offer in home estimates free of charge.  Any time the amount or type of cleaning changes, a new estimate is required.  Project rates are often most fair for both the maid service as well as the client because they lend themselves to great customization.


Cleaning Rates Home Owners May Overlook

There are additional factors that go into the cleaning rate set by your maid service.  Try to consider these as you weigh your options.  There are certain charges that the maid service must pass on to the client in order to profit.  After all, we don’t live in a dream world where cleaning comes free.  They are running a business.

Insurance and Bonding.  Most major cleaning companies are fully insured and bonded.  This is an important attribute for the company, but it isn’t free.  Insured companies will cost more than those companies that do not carry insurance.  If something goes wrong, you will want your cleaning company to be insured.

Transportation Costs.  The maid service has to be able to get from one place to another.  Therefore they will need vehicles and gasoline.  They need vehicles large enough to carry everything they will need for the job.

Cleaning supplies and Equipment.  Obviously the maids are going to bring the equipment and cleaning solutions they need to clean your home.  Vacuum cleaners and carpet scrubbers are expensive and require periodic replacement.  There are lots of disposable equipment too such as paper towels, rags, and cleaning solutions.

We would all love to have our houses cleaned for free, but that just is not reality.  We have to pay for that service.  Cleaning rates home owners pay will be one of the outlined rate methodologies and will also consider often overlooked factors such as insurance, transportation costs, and equipment costs.   It is important for residents to shop around and find the best cleaning company for the best cost while considering all that goes into setting the rates.