Hiring a house cleaning company or individual house cleaner is often considered a luxury, but if you’re a busy single or family, it can be a necessary one. Whether you select a local company or a local individual, finding the right house cleaner will give you much-needed peace of mind as well as time to do the things you want to do.
10 Questions to Ask a House Cleaning Service
Do your research
Finding the right house cleaner for your individual needs can be stressful, especially since most people are somewhat hesitant to allow a stranger into their home. They aren’t often sure where to begin their search. ServiceNearMe.com is a good place to start your search for local house cleaning services near you. Once you have narrowed your search to three or four, contact these businesses and schedule an in-home interview to discuss what they provide and the rates they charge. You want to also assess how they respond to you and your needs.
Interview a house cleaner in person and find out their rates
Meet your prospective house cleaner in person so that you can get a feel for how professional they are and if they appear trustworthy and easy to get along with. Weigh the pros and cons of hiring a company versus an individual. House cleaning companies will generally charge more, but they often send out two or more cleaners so that the job can be done much faster. Also, they can offer more flexibility and usually have back-ups if one of their employees falls ill. They are also generally licensed, bonded and insured. An individual house cleaner often charges less and can customize their services more readily to your needs, but if they cannot show up for some reason, you’re left to make other arrangements until they can return to work. Prepare a list of questions to ask prior to the interview.
Ask the Right Questions
ServiceNearMe.com suggests the following questions to ask before deciding which cleaning company is right for you.
- Are you insured and bonded? – A reputable cleaning service should carry liability insurance and bond. This will give you the peace of mind that if your property is damaged, broken or stolen, you will at least be compensated for it. Be sure to let your cleaning provider know if you have any items that require special care.
- Do you carry workers’ compensation? – Companies who have employees should carry workers’ compensation in the event that an employee is injured so you won’t need to worry about being held liable for the injury.
- Do you have background checks done on prospective employees? – Companies should do background checks on their employees before hiring them. Customers want to feel confident that the workers entering their homes are trustworthy. If you hire an independent house cleaner, you’re responsible for doing your own background check on the individual.
- How long has your cleaning service been in business? – Find out how long the company has been doing business and how long the employees have worked for the company. Be extra vigilant when scrutinizing or deciding upon a brand new company or an older company with new, inexperienced employees.
- What are your rates and how do you set your rates? – Most house cleaning companies charge by the hour or by the square footage. They may charge by the square footage on the initial visit, then give you an hourly rate based upon how difficult the job was due to the condition of your home, your individual needs, and how often you plan on using their services. They should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take to clean your house at the interview. You may want to put a cap on the number of hours or ask that they not exceed a set price per visit. If you have pets, make sure to ask if there is any additional charge for cleaning a house with pets.
- What services are included? – Find out what services are included in the base rate and discuss any additional services that you’d like for them to provide and how much they’ll charge for those extra services. Some customers prefer to do the basic chores themselves and leave the heavier house cleaning jobs, such as washing the windows, cleaning the ovens, and scrubbing the baseboards, to the cleaning company.
- Who will provide the cleaning equipment and products? – Discuss who will provide the cleaning equipment and products. Some cleaners may arrive at your house with their own equipment and cleaning products while others expect you to supply them yourself. If so, negotiate this into the price. Find out what products they use since you may prefer specific kinds of products, such as allergy-free or environmentally safe cleaning agents.
- Are your services satisfaction guaranteed? – This is a good time to assess a company’s level of commitment to their customers. They should be willing to offer a satisfaction guarantee on any service that they do not perform to your satisfaction and be willing to have an open line of communication, through phone calls or emails, to ensure that all of your needs are met.
- How will pets be handled? – Let your cleaning company meet your pets at the interview. Depending on how that meeting goes, and how the house cleaner feels about working around pets, you may want to keep your pets in a crate or outside in a safe area during the house cleaning visit if you’re not around. The house cleaner can always let your pet back inside or open their crate when they are leaving.
- How will the house cleaner get inside if you are not home? – You will need to have a plan to give your house cleaning service access to your house if you can’t be home. You may choose to leave a key in a designated place outside the home, use a door lock with a keypad, or let them have a spare key if you trust them enough.
Begin your search for your prospective house cleaning service on ServiceNearMe.com and consider asking these 10 questions at the interview. Once you’ve worked out the details and made a decision on who you plan to hire, it’s best to draw up a contract and have these details in writing. That way, you’ll have a complete understanding of all of your cleaning needs and expectations and avoid any conflicts or disagreements with your new house cleaning service.