How Long Should You Book House Cleaners For?
Have you ever seen one of our house cleaning deals and wondered if it's worth it? If you've never booked house cleaners before, it may be difficult to tell what you're getting when you purchase, say, "four man-hours of cleaning" (as the deal for Clean House LLC in Denver promises).
To clear things up, we surveyed our merchants from across the country, asking them how many hours it would take them to clean homes of different sizes, as well as what types of tasks they would normally cover in that time. Here's what we found.
How long does it take to clean a house?
To get our results, we asked our merchants this question, then averaged their responses and rounded to the nearest quarter-hour. This chart captures our findings:
What does standard house cleaning include?
To clarify the definition of "standard cleaning," we also asked each business to explain what services they would include in the normal course of their work. There wasn't quite universal agreement, but several tasks appeared in almost every response:
- Cleaning bathroom and kitchen surfaces
What types of cleaning take extra time?
Respondents were fairly unified on this question as well. Most said the following cleaning tasks go beyond the scope of standard service:
- Inside the oven
- Inside the refrigerator
Still, different companies handle these extra tasks in different ways. Masa Nakazono of L.A.'s FW Cleaning Service says they don't bother with extra fees for non-standard services, as long as clients have booked enough time to cover them: "We are not limited to what we clean. We are only limited to the time you have purchased."
For certain services, however, you may need to pay an extra fee on top of the normal rate, regardless of the amount of time you book. For instance, several merchants mentioned charging extra if cleaners need to move appliances in order to clean behind them.
The bottom line is, if you'd like cleaners to perform any of the above services, you're likely going to need to either book a longer-than-average appointment, or pay an extra fee.
So how much does house cleaning cost?
It's not uncommon for house cleaning services to charge upward of $40–$60 per hour (though you can often find discounts of 50% or more with our deals).
Still, it can be hard to compare costs across different companies, since each business has its own way of calculating prices. Ron Carrithers of All Needs Covered Cleaning Services in Dallas, for example, says, "We charge a flat rate per bedroom and bathrooms." Others base their prices on square footage, time, and even how often you schedule services, giving a break to customers who make recurring appointments.
If you're wary about the cost of hiring house cleaners, the best thing you can do is ask your cleaning company for a clear estimate upfront. You may be surprised how far they're willing to go for the sake of transparency. Says Kyle Sojourner of Philly Cleaning Pros, "If we're not sure about a price or how long it will take, we will schedule a free consultation with our client before the appointment."
Sean is a senior editor and a gradually improving cook. He once asked a man at an airport if he was Kevin Sorbo, and the man said no, but it was totally Kevin Sorbo.