I lost my job 2 weeks ago and have been thinking of starting a cleaning business. I'm not sure what I should charge for this. I cleaned a friend's house, 1 bedroom, dining room, living room, hall, 1/2 bath, master bath, and stairs to 2nd floor.
I really scrubbed which included cleaning the baseboards, dishes, and dusting. She gave me $100.00 for all of this and it took me about 7 hours. Is this the going rate? Did she pay me too much? I'm very interested in finding out more. Thanks.
By Connie from St Peters, MO
From what I have heard, in South Dakota house cleaners start at $10.00 an hour. I don't know if they go higher than that or not. A lot will depend on where you live. Maybe if you call an employment agency they could tell you what the running fees would be. I would stick to calling a state run agency, instead of privately owned ones, because they will want you to sign up with them and let them find the clients for you. (01/28/2010)
House cleaning service (sometimes called maid service) varies in cost according to frequency of service, condition, and size of home. Prices are generally based either on the number of rooms, the square footage or by the hour.
One-time cleaning of a 900-square foot two-bedroom apartment with five rooms, costs $74-$200. A 1,300 square-foot single-story home with seven rooms runs $95-$300. A 2,200 two-story three-bedroom home with nine rooms averages $149-$400.
Biweekly cleaning of the same five-room apartment costs $59-$124, the seven-room single-story home runs $79-$150, and the larger nine-room two-story home costs $104-$180.
More Hands.com in Texas offers a website calculator to help determine cleaning costs according to the number and type of rooms.
What should be included: A typical regular cleaning includes vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing sinks, floors, countertops, and range hoods. Some services include loading the dishwasher and changing bed linen. Generally, a cleaning service will bring all the cleaning products and tools.
MaidPro in Boston, Massachusetts bundles cleaning into 3, 5 and 7-hour packages varying from $129 to $266 for a one-time service. Biweekly jobs take 2-3 hours per visit and run $50-$70. Rates vary greatly across the country, according to a MaidPro sales representative. In Boston there are many more apartments and smaller homes than in Texas where the average home is 3,000 square feet.
Additional costs: Major tasks like window and wall cleaning are generally not included.
Oven or refrigerator cleaning runs around $25. Dusting mini blinds averages $20.
Discounts: Signing up for more frequent service often means a discounted rate. Biweekly cleaning versus one-time means a savings of $50-$200, depending on the size of the home.
Shopping for house cleaning: Yahoo Local lets you look up local housecleaners in the directory.
When choosing to hire an individual through a classified ad or personal referral, the US Department of Labor website lists the regulations from hiring to taxes.
Tip: Before hiring a cleaning service, Good Housekeeping recommends asking the company for references and making any special cleaning requests upfront so workers will be prepared. good luck. (01/28/2010)
I live in the same area as you (St. Charles) and I did a single woman's home, baths, dusting, floors, for $55 cash every two weeks, but it only took me about 3 hours at the most. You may want to charge more for an initial deep cleaning and then less for an every week or every other week cleaning. Also call Merry Maids and the Cleaning Authority (two local places) and ask for a price quote, or see if they have it on their website and then try to beat their price. Good luck! (02/03/2010)
I did a little simple math. You earned about $14.29/hour during those 7 hours of hard, thorough work. I'm sure your friend thought he or she was being generous, and if that rate satisfies you financially for the effort, fine. Otherwise, I'd charge about twice that for such thorough work, especially for people who aren't personal friends. (02/07/2010)
I clean houses also. I also do the deep cleaning that you did with this one. It just took you longer to do it than it will after you have more experience. For first time cleaning, I double what I normally charge, because of that deep cleaning. My basic charge is $30 per hour, after the initial cleaning. I normally do not tell my client how much that I charge by the hour. I go and look at the house and estimate how long it will take me and multiply that by $30, or $60, if it is a first time clean.
This much of a house should only have taken about 4 to 5 hours, even with the deep cleaning. As I said, the more you clean, the more efficient you will become. I just wish that I had started doing this years ago. I love working on my own and being able to set my own hours. I am as busy as I want to be and have had the same clientele, all from recommendations, for years. They are like family to me. Good luck, and don't give up!
Kathy from Richland, MS
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