Why do some house cleaners charge by the hour, and why do some charge by the job?

Why do some house cleaners

Maid for You- It’s all in the details

In this installment of the Maid for You blog, we address consumer questions about rates charged by cleaning services.

Why do some house cleaners charge by the hour, and why do some charge by the job?

Most residential cleaning services set up an initial walk-through to get a feel for the work required. As an example, the service might look to see if the baseboards need to be washed or if dusting will suffice. The preliminary visit also determines whether or not a house needs to be deep-cleaned first. Consider residential cleaning in phases. Phase 1, the deep clean is the starting point. Then, in Phase 2, there are ongoing maintenance cleanings. This cycle repeats until things need to be replaced or updated.

An important consideration during the initial visit is what is a cleaning need vs. homeowner maintenance? A few examples where homeowner action may be required are: baseboard replacement, cracked light switches, shower/bath caulking to remove mold, crown molding resealing, and wall painting. A homeowner might think something is dirty when it actually needs to be replaced, updated, or repaired.

Here are additional things that the cleaning service looks for in the walk-through:

  • Is there clutter?
  • How many rooms?
  • How much furniture is in each room?
  • How many rugs need to be lifted?
  • How many light fixtures need to be washed?
  • How many pets are in the home?
  • How much pet hair is around the house?
  • Are there small children that touch windows and lower cabinets?
  • Are there baby gates that slow movement from room to room?

Surveying the aforementioned items allows the cleaning service to give an accurate quote. House cleaners earlier in their career (clean on the side for friends, as a second job, etc.) are more likely to use the hourly charge model. Professional cleaners move from the hourly model to selling a product based on knowledge of products. The expert cleaner is educated and knows how to clean effectively, efficiently, and quickly.

Most cleaning companies sell two or three products. The first product is a top to bottom deep clean (also known informally as spring cleaning). The second product is a maintenance cleaning. Some companies will offer a hybrid of the two products. It is not possible to have a maintenance cleaning without the initial deep cleaning first. The variance in the two products is in the intensity and in the product selection/tool use. Professional cleaning services train their staff regularly and the product model fosters efficiency and consistency for the staff.

A consumer may ask, “Using the product model, how do I know if everything has been completed?” Professional cleaning services have a checklist of all things cleaned for the customer to review. If the customer is not satisfied, the cleaning service must return within 24 hours to clean to the customer’s expectations based on the agreement.

The bottom line is an established cleaning service has the correct tools and knowledge to complete the job without having to worry about the clock.

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