So you’ve decided you have better things to do with your time than cleaning your home. Congratulations, you completed step #1. It looks as though you have started on step #2 also, (jump on the internet and start researching). Now you need to know what to look for while you research…
Most options can be categorized into three options.
- Hire your teenage child or neighbor.
- Find an independent housekeeper that is a professional
- all a Professional Maid Service
Hire Your Teenage Child or a Neighbor
The obvious advantage to this option is price. Most people that are researching Maid services have already attempted this option. reliability, quality, and “lack of training” are the major disadvantages.
Find an Independent Housekeeper
Many professional housekeepers are self employed, sole proprietors. The process for interviewing, scheduling, and managing a sole proprietor housekeeper can be challenging for some home owners. Typically the price for an independent professional housekeeper is higher than what you will pay a neighbor kid, but quality is almost always better. Reliability is hit-and-miss, once you establish a schedule with a sole proprietor it is often not an issue, but it can be painful getting the schedule established. Independent housekeepers will often charge much less because they don’t carry certain business costs such as Worker’s Compensation insurance. Worker’s Compensation insurance will usually need to be provided by the home owner to protect themselves against costly injuries while working. Typically a sole proprietor will request the home owner to provide supplies and equipment.
Professional Maid Services
This option usually provides the best quality and reliability. Check to see if the service provider is a franchise or independently owned. Franchise owners are not all created equally. Remember that when reading online reviews, you might be reading a review for a franchise owner that is not the same as the office which you will call for your area. Supplies and equipment will almost always be provided by the Maid Service as well as Worker’s Comp insurance and payroll tax withholdings.
- Read online reviews
- Evaluate how important consistency and reliability is to you
- Decide if you want to manage and train your housekeeper to save money, or if you want qualified professionals
Other Important Things to Consider
Always request an in-home estimate. Beware of anyone that gives you a price without seeing your home. Usually it will not be what the charge you in the end unless they do an in-person assessment.
Remember that no matter the option you choose, workers in your home must be covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance, it will either need to be provided by the Housekeeper or by the home owner.
Liability insurance is a good idea. If the housekeeper does not have liability insurance, a home owner is at risk for loss and damages. Expensive breakable items and surfaces in your home are at risk for damage. Even a careful housekeeper will break or damage things by mistake from time to time.
Criminal background checks and drug tests help keep you and your home safe. Make sure a Maid Service is checking these things for their staff. Or if you choose to hire a sole proprietor that you are performing these checks.
Finally, once you have hired a housekeeper, enjoy your extra free time!