Determining a Housecleaning Charge?

I started my cleaning business back up after years and years. I just did a walk through a beautiful huge house all floors are wood and ceramic. They need to be washed on hands and knees. There are four bathrooms, four bedrooms, and a huge kitchen, etc. The house is 3998 square foot.


What should I charge? My other homes I do for $25 an hour, but I need to take into consideration travel time 30 minutes, gas, and being on my hands and knees for at least 3-4 hours, plus all the other cleaning.

I really want this job; they are great people. They want to decide on biweekly or monthly depending on price! Help please.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
September 14, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would figure out how many hours the job would take. Multiply that by the $25 you usually charge. Tack on an extra fee for the floor washing and gas and travel time. Present the customer with a price for the job.


The cleaning people in my area charge by the job, not the hour. Figure out if you supply the cleaning supplies or the client does. If you do, you need to consider that in the pricing, too.

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September 15, 20170 found this helpful

And what would you charge for the extra fee ? I did all the above and I didn't get the job! She said I was overpriced considering this is almost a 4000sq foot home the entire first floor was hickory and slate on hands and knees !

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
September 15, 20170 found this helpful

Extra fee would be between 20 and 25% of the cost of whatever service you are doing additional work on.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
September 15, 20170 found this helpful

Do you think the home needs to be washed on all hands and knees initially (first time) really well, and if kept up with your services - it would be easier to clean?


I do not work in the cleaning industry but, honesty in my opinion is ideal and tell her you normally charge $25 a hour for a home that is 2,000 square feet? or 3,000? (whichever it is for you), but since the home has wood and ceramic throughout the home and at almost 4,000 square feet, it will be extra. It will be an additional $10-15 a hour (perhaps).

For a 30 minute commute, I don't feel that is fair to tact on a fee because a job is a job. Some people drive 2 hours roundtrip (or even more), because they have a job.

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September 16, 20170 found this helpful

And that's exactly what I did. I did research , called a couple companies and personal cleaners. The companies said they do not do hands and knees cleanings at all. The individuals said they don't either but if necessary add on another $10 an hour


Minimum . Not only was the entire first floor wood and slate but so we're the steps and all 4 bathrooms veryblarge ones too .
I knew I did the right thing . Some don't consider how hard it is to work on hands and knees and time consuming! Oh well

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
September 18, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks so much for telling us how it turned out. I'm glad you stuck to your guns and didn't undervalue your own worth. You will find better customers that appreciate the time it takes.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
September 17, 20170 found this helpful

It seems you would really like this job so the question might be - how to do this job for less money but still be fair to myself.

Step 1
So - who did the cleaning in the past and how much did they charge? Did they clean the floors on hands and knees (probably not). How often did they clean - bi-weekly or monthly? Did they have problems with the job? You may have to do a little snooping but this information may be what you need to determine whether you really should be trying to get the job.


Step 2
If there is a smaller cleaning service in your area (not a franchise) you may be able to talk to the owner and ask their opinion. You may be surprised and find they may actually try to help you come up with a good figure. Just remember - do not give any indication of the address or name of family - not even the area where the house is located.

Step 3
First - is this a large family? Is it a messy family? Do they have indoor pets (especially dogs)? Will you also be doing laundry (if so, how many people)?

Step 4
Floors seem to be the biggest problem. Did the family specify that floors had always been cleaned on "hands and knees"? Did they insist this was the only way?

Step 5
Newer (several years old) sealed Hickory and slate floors no longer have to be cleaned on hands and knees. There are several ways to clean both so if this is not specified then find a better way to do this time consuming job.


Step 6
Find the companies that sell hickory and slate flooring and talk to them personally about how to clean the floors. None of them will tell you flooring has to be cleaned on your hands and knees or they would never sell the material - not in this day and age. Maybe you are thinking of buying (?) so they will convince you of how easy it is to care for this flooring. Use this information to convince the family of the cleaning method recommended.

Step 7
There are lots of sites on the Internet about how to clean this type floor but the stores that sell it are the best option for correct information.

Step 8
Also, how often you are expected to do a thorough cleaning (versus dusting the floors) would be another cost factor.

Step 9
Your cost for gasoline, travel time, etc should all be included in your hourly figure (whatever that is) as this cost cannot be an added expense.

Step 10
If, after you find out about the floor cleaning problem you still want to approach the family with a figure, I would suggest you try to negotiate a one time cleaning fee (which would be higher than a regular cleaning) so that you can better determine how many hours you would need to do this job.

Step 11
Most all cleaning services charge more for an initial cleaning as compared to a weekly/monthly cleaning (actually a monthly cleaning is almost the same as a first time cleaning cost).

Step 12
You may have to offer a first cleaning at lower than you will have to charge for later cleanings but it would give you some of the information you are now lacking in knowing what to charge and why.

Step 13
This would give you the information to present to the family as to why the cost is this high. Maybe they can decide that "all" of that is not necessary and you can reduce your hours accordingly.

Step 14
I have lived in a 4,000 square foot house and know that thorough cleaning on a regular basis in not necessary unless there is a big family that tends to use every inch everyday.

If you think you really want this job, I suggest you make some sort of sacrifice and try to reach an agreement for a first time cleaning. I do not mean you should make this a really terrific job but try to do what you would have to do on a regular basis (no oven cleaning, no refrigerator cleaning, no window cleaning, floors only as would be done on a bi-weekly/monthly basis, mild cleaning of bathrooms (no wall scrub downs), etc.

Be sure to take DCA's advice and do nothing (past this initial cleaning) without a contract. As for extra's - they can be noted and when something like hands and knees floor cleaning, oven cleaning, etc. need to be done than place a charge beside that job so they will know what extras will be an additional charge.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
September 18, 20170 found this helpful

Step 1
I would tell them because the floor is done on your hands and knees it will be thirty five an hour, and the house is larger.

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