Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $250 per visit
Imagine coming home and finding that someone else has cleaned your entire house from top to bottom. If you hire a maid or housecleaner (most people use these titles interchangeably), you can actually live out this dream on a regular basis!
With the busy schedules and demands of juggling family life with a career, more people are turning to outside professionals to help them handle the tasks involved in taking care of the their home and keeping them clean.
You can hire someone to come in once a week or once a month, depending on your budget and your needs. Or if you don’t want to commit to a regular schedule, some people just opt to have someone come in to clean before guests come or before holidays or other special occasions. Further, some may even just splurge once a year on a team of housecleaners or maids to perform an annual spring cleaning/overhaul.
With the help of a regular cleaning person, many people find that their house has never looked better. Most maids and housecleaners will dust in high corners, scour tile and tubs, move collectibles to clean underneath them and vacuum in hard-to-reach spaces. If you hire a cleaner yourself, you should be able to expect similar benefits, and you also may find that you can spend the time you used to devote to cleaning yourself to do other things you enjoy.
If you want to hire a maid but aren’t sure where to find one, there are several ways to approach the process. First, you can use one of the many online services available that provide directories of individual maids and maid services. Some of the popular sites for this purpose include Angie’s List, HireHousekeepers, HousekeeperHelp and DreamHomeStaff. Some of these sites are free to use for perspective employers, while others charge a small membership fee. In addition, some services offer matches with household help that meets your defined criteria and/or allows you to post your own ads on them, and some provide reviews and recommendations of good (and bad) options.
Other ways to find help include checking Craigslist for your area, browsing local newspaper ads, looking up maid services in the phone book and asking for suggestions from neighbors, family, friends and co-workers.
Agencies Versus Individuals
Some people choose to use a maid service that sends one or more of their employees to your home to do your job, while other people prefer to work directly with an individual cleaner. There are benefits to both options and a lot just depends on your personal preferences.
Maid services hire multiple employees so they can often be more flexible in terms of scheduling your job and they also may be able to send a team of cleaners to do the job faster than an individual can. In addition, most services run background checks on their employees and are bonded and insured in case any accidents or other problems should occur.
Individual house cleaners may work alone, or may have someone who helps them with larger jobs. Some of them are also bonded and insured, but you will need to ask them to be sure. Overall, though, many clients say they prefer to work with individuals because they can count on having the same person come each time (which may or may not happen with a service) and they know the maid they hire will likely take pride in the work and do a great job. This may not always be the case with a service.
When you find a person or company you like, experts say you should ask for three references and also check their business license and see if any complaints against them have been filed.
Factors That Affect Price
How much you spend on a house cleaner can depend on many factors. Most maids and/or services will want to come to your home for an initial walkthrough in order to tell you what they will charge. How large your home is, what shape it is in, how cluttered it is, whether you have children and pets, and how often you want someone to clean will all be considered into the final amount you will pay.
Generally if you hire someone to come in every week, you will get a better price per visit because your home will be easier to keep clean on a regular basis. If you only want someone to come in once a month, this visit will take longer and therefore will cost more as a result. In addition, some cleaners will charge you more for their first visit since they will want to do a more thorough cleaning to get things up to their standards. After that, the price will usually remain consistent unless you add in extra services.
Make sure to specify what you expect from a cleaner or service so they will know how to price your job accordingly. Most cleaners do regular vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing, but usually will charge more to include something like cleaning windows, dusting blinds or scrubbing the inside of your oven or refrigerator.
What It Costs
Once a maid or service has come in to assess your home and you have agreed on how often you want them to come, they will usually give you a price for their work. Some maids will charge by the hour, while others charge by the visit. If you agree to a set rate per visit, this way you will always know what to expect.
Generally, individual maids will charge less for their cleaning than services, since the services have more overhead to pay and this is factored into their costs. In addition,
Prices start at about $50 to clean a small apartment twice a month, and can go on up to $250 or more to regularly clean a five bedroom, two-story home. Larger homes or less frequent visits can cost even more.
In addition, one time cleaning, such as when you move in, or out of, a new home or want a seasonal overhaul, can start at $150 for a small place and go up to about $500 for a larger house in need of more work.
So it can cost from $50 to $250 to clean a home, depending on how many rooms, how messy they are and what you want done and how often, and may go up to as high as $500 for a one-time over haul.
The Internal Revenue Service requires people who hire their own housecleaners in the United States to comply with legal tax rules regarding this employment. While many people don’t comply with this for their “employees” or maids, you may want to learn more about the laws and find out what is required from you, such as an employer’s ID and the responsibility to withhold taxes and social security if the wages exceed a minimum of $1,600 in 2008.
If you need more regular help keeping up your home than having someone come in once a week, you may want to consider hiring a live-in housekeeper to help with the upkeep and possibly with laundry, cleaning and child care as well. Usually employers offer free room and board along with a generous weekly paycheck in exchange for service. The cost can start at $250 a week and go up to about a $1,000 a week, depending on size of the house, number of hours required and what is involved in the position.
As more people become aware of the importance of using green products to help protect our environment, they are carrying this importance into their choice for house cleaning products. Ask your maid or cleaning service to use environmentally-friendly supplies and products on your home, such as choosing items with natural ingredients and steering clear of harsh chemicals.