Having a perfect stranger come to clean your home can be a stressful situation. Hiring an individual, whether you know them or not, to clean for you as opposed to hiring a company is a risky way to do business. Most folks don’t consider what will happen if the cleaner gets hurt and don’t know that their homeowner’s insurance will not cover someone hired to work in their home.
Even hiring a house cleaning company can be a stressful situation for some people. I know because a few of our clients have shared that with me.
Some clients want to be home the first time the cleaning technician comes to clean which is understandable. A common question that comes up is, “Will we get the same house cleaner each time or do you send someone different each time?”
Other concerns some of our Pittsburgh clients have shared are the care of their personal belongings and lawsuits if someone gets hurt on their property. These are reasons why it is important for residential cleaning services to carry insurance (workers comp. is required in Pittsburgh Pa) to protect you and to give you some peace of mind.
Our Pittsburgh home cleaning service has testimonies on our website for anyone that wants to know more about us by reading what our clients have said regarding our service. Testimonies help a prospect gain confidence in a company by learning what others say about the company.
In any case, the benefits are too many to pass by to not use testimonies. I hope you begin to appreciate the benefits you’ll get when you pick up the phone and call a well-reviewed cleaning service such as ours to learn more about how a cleaning company can help give you back some valuable time while providing care for your home.
To help with your hiring process read on to learn about several tips to reduce the stress and to increase the odds you’ll get good value for your hhard-earnedmoney.
Not The Whole Ball Of Wax But A Good Start
Get In Person Quotes from 3 Services.
This applies for regular monthly, bi-weekly or weekly repeat service. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how a cleaning company can give a firm quote over the phone without seeing the job before getting started. No other type of contractor will give a firm quote over the phone without coming out to your home to see the job first.
Yet many cleaning companies never come to look at the job, preferring instead to just send someone out telling the cleaner to only spend a certain amount of time on the job. If the company you are seeking to hire will not come out to look at your home, look for another company.
To make a point, every home is different. Knick knacks, pictures on the walls, pets, children, the size of and location of rooms, and several other criteria all contribute to the quoting process.
Even if you don’t have the opportunity to meet the actual cleaner(s) you should be able to meet the owner or an estimator. Meeting the owner or a seasoned estimator will tell you plenty about the company and the kind of cleaning staff they employ.
Asking questions are important such as are they dressed as professionals and do they offer you a business card? Are they friendly and acting in a professional manner and do they answer all your questions and concerns? Do they ask relevant questions to help them understand what you hope to get with your service?
Is the company insured, licensed, have bonded employees and perform background checks on employees?
In today’s crazy world of lawsuits, it’s imperative that the company is insured for household item breakage, especially expensive items you have in your home and liability insurance provides this kind of coverage. Most states require worker’s compensation insurance which is expensive but well worth the added expense. Even in the few states where not required, it’s necessary to protect yourself should your cleaning people get hurt on your property.
As mentioned before, your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover a worker getting hurt on your property. The cleaning company’s workers compensation will cover any and all medical bills incurred by the cleaning technician while cleaning your home.
Being licensed means the company will be charging you sales tax if applicable and paying their fair share of federal, state, and city income taxes. This is important to know. Did you know that the IRS could come knocking at your door if they thought you knew about and continued to hire an illegal company?
Bonding insurance provides some measure of security if something is stolen. Background checks on cleaning staff provide a measure of security. It is a sad situation when someone helps themselves to your personal property.
One more consideration is how long has the company been in business. Although not always the case, a company that has been around for some time must be doing something right. The girl down the street is not proven over time and has little or no experience on how to give the best job.
What is expected at each cleaning?
Ask questions such as, can you get the same cleaner(s) each time or will someone different be coming and how many cleaners will be at your home? How often are you going to have service – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or is it going to be a one-time clean. Do they work from a checklist and will they dust up high and down low? Will they empty the trash, will they move small items to dust or just dust around items, will they wax your wood furniture and do they do ceiling fans, get under the cushions, brush or vacuum lamp shades, dust baseboards, and knock down cobweb?
Some companies will climb a small step ladder, others won’t. Some will change the sheets and wash blinds, others won’t. Some will clean the inside and outside of windows, others won’t.
Most will clean your oven and inside of your refrigerator for an extra charge, but some won’t. Is deep carpet cleaning offered? Ask about grout cleaning and floor stripping and waxing if that is something you want. Many companies don’t offer deep carpet cleaning, grout cleaning or floor waxing.
We have strict policies on cleaning certain items like urine, vomit, feces etc. forbidding our staff to clean these areas in a home that exhibits these types of conditions.
Be sure to ask for what you want and not just expect tasks to be done. Most companies don’t want to entertain your children, let out the pet or run small errands for you. If you think these tasks fall under a residential cleaning service it would be wise to ask up front before starting with a new service then find out differently.
Make certain you understand the pricing.
Some companies will bill by the hour others by the room and others by the total square footage of net cleanable space. Expect to pay more if you add a room or have a room that is slightly furnished but over time you add more fixtures, pictures, or knick knacks. The more items needing cleaned and moved the higher the investment you will be making.
If you remove a room from the schedule you should see a price reduction as well. A new pet or a new baby will usually incur a higher price.
Some companies charge a late payment fee, some don’t and some will charge a lock-out fee, some won’t. Some will charge a late cancellation fee, but others won’t. Expect to pay sales tax if your state has a sales tax.
These types of fees are considered hidden fees and you should ask up front so you’re not surprised when you see one on your invoice.
Expect to pay more for a good service. Remember the old adage – you only get what you pay for. Inexpensive prices mean poor cleaning because of low paid employees that don’t care.
Does the company supply the cleaning products and equipment?
This is an added expense to you if you have to buy the products. Many companies purchase their own products and teach their staff how to use them which helps to ensure you get the best value for your investment.
Even if the company buys the products, will they use your products and vacuum if you want them to? They should be flexible and willing to work with you by using your products and vacuum if you prefer.
The company should be able to make helpful suggestions on what to use and how to use it on various types of finishes. Using white vinegar on a wooden floor is a no-no even though that is what many homeowners have been using on their floors and Brillo pads are not a good choice to use on shower walls to remove soap scum because acidic products handle soap scum best. Using newspapers to clean glass is a poor choice when microfiber rags and a glass cleaner are the way to go for window cleaning.
Do check online ratings.
But look at online ratings cautiously. No company is perfect and any company that has all glowing reports is probably writing the ratings themselves.
When viewing the ratings ask yourself if the ratings come in over time or all within a few short weeks or even months.
Read the ratings carefully. Does the author of the rating have good grammar and spelling and does what they say seem reasonable? Did the company take the time to respond to what the client said about them, either good or negative?
Remember not all people hiring a cleaning service are going to be fair about what they expect in a cleaning and/or what they say about the company. Name calling or slanderous remarks either from a disgruntled client or a company representative are cause for alarm.
Ratings should be removed from any consideration that has name calling as their content. Any company that responds poorly should be removed from your list of consideration.
Do pick-up and store away the clutter.
You can help the cleaning technicians do the best they can by removing the clutter and trash lying around your home. Make sure the horizontal surfaces are clear of clutter. The less time the cleaning people spend moving stuff the more cleaning they can do.
If you are looking for a good cleaning and expect the cleaning technicians to move everything be certain you’re willing to pay more for the extra work. I am not advocating removing everything but be realistic. The people coming are there to clean not clear clutter.
Most companies will work to clear the clutter as long as you are willing to pay for the extra time. Put away cash, jewelry, and medications. Studies have shown time and time again that the temptation is the cause for theft.
In summary, there are many house cleaning services all across the country. Some are good at what they do and some are not. By following our guide, you increase the chances that you’ll get good value for your hard earned dollars.
Most companies want to do a good job, but most don’t pay their staff well enough to hire good people. Your job is to research the company and compare the results with other companies. Using our guide will go a long way toward achieving the desired result, hiring a winner!