Ask Angi: What should I look for in a housecleaning service?

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With the advent of spring after a long and difficult winter, it’s time to think about a deep housecleaning. You can certainly handle it yourself, but by hiring a professional cleaner, you’re giving back to yourself the gift of time to spend on family, friends, hobbies — anything other than scrubbing every inch of your home!

One of your first decisions when hiring a cleaning pro is whether to go with a company or a solo cleaner. Each comes with their own pros and cons.

Cleaning companies tend to charge more for their services, but they also may provide more thorough customer support if something isn’t done to your satisfaction. Solo cleaners, on the other hand, often cost less and can be just as good – if not better – than large companies. They also tend to get to know your home better since the same person is coming ever time. However, unless they’re part of a network, there’s little recourse if you’re not happy with their work, they have to reschedule or cancel a session, or they shut down their operation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, you can also look into online services that enable you to purchase and schedule your cleanings without any face-to-face contact.

Regardless of which way you go, you should read reviews and references before hiring the pro to make sure you trust them to take good care of your home and everything in it.

What work should I expect to be done?

Regular cleaning doesn’t cover everything, so it’s important to know what’s generally considered routine:

– Thorough cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms

– Vacuuming throughout the house

– Mopping

– Cleaning and dusting all surfaces, including baseboards and light fixtures

More detailed cleaning, often referred to as “deep cleaning,” is an additional service because it often requires additional supplies and can take up to twice as long as standard cleaning. Many cleaning companies require new clients to commit to an initial deep cleaning with “maintenance” cleanings after that.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can arrange for a one-time clean or for cleaners to come weekly, biweekly, monthly or some other variation. Every other week is a common choice. If you’re not sure about a long-term commitment, consider a trial run of two to four cleanings.

Before estimating a price, typically structured by hour or square footage, some cleaners will do a home visit to determine your needs. The average cost for a deep cleaning is between $200 to $400 and can take between four to twelve hours depending on the size and state of your home. Add-ons are available for carpets, curtains, air ducts and vents, UV disinfection and more. Simpler maintenance cleanings cost an average of $100-$250.

Prices will vary, depending on where you live, the size of your home, the scope of work and how often you schedule cleanings.

Important questions to ask cleaning services:

– Will the same person or team be sent each time?

– How will you get into the home?

– What are your COVID-19 safety procedures?

– What’s your policy if something is broken?

– Do you conduct background checks on employees?

– Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

– What kind of contract do you require?

– What are your policies if I have to cancel or move a scheduled cleaning?

– Will you bring your own supplies and equipment? If not, what do you need me to provide?

– How do you want me to prepare my home for your work?

Tweet your home care questions with #AskAngi and we’ll try to answer them in a future column.

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