How to Price a House Cleaning

by Thomas Ferraioli; Updated September 26, 2017
a caucasian woman in jeans and a plaid shirt wears rubber gloves and holds a mop as she looks up into the camera

To make your cleaning business profitable you need to price your services in a manner that covers all your expenses and leaves money left over for profit. Before you can price your surface, take a little time to figure how much it costs you to offer your service, even if you are the only person in the company. By pricing your service at a level that allows you to make the money you want to make, you will be less stressed and happier with your decision to go into business.

Items you will need

  • Timer
  • Calculator
Step 1

Set a timer and clean your home. Pretend you are cleaning for a customer. Start from outside the house, bring in your equipment just as you would if you were working for a client. Take note of how long you spend performing particular tasks, such as dusting and vacuuming a bedroom or living room versus scrubbing a bathroom.

Step 2

Calculate your time spent cleaning specific areas of your home. For instance, you may have learned that it takes you 45 minutes to clean your kitchen or 15 minutes to clean you bedroom. This gives you a starting point to work with.

Step 3

Add up your overhead expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, your insurance, rent, phone bill, car expenses and cleaning equipment. The figure you derive is your break even figure, or the amount you need to just exist as a business. Let's say you determine you will need $2,000 per month to meet your expenses. Divide that figure by four (four weeks in a month). You will need to generate $500 per week, just to exist. Now, divided the $500 by 35 billable hours in your week (allow five hours for non-billable time, such as writing invoices or returning customer phone calls) and you will need approximately $14.29 per hour. Now, you need to pay yourself for working on the job. How much is your time worth? Add this figure to the total. Let's assume you want to make $15 per hour. Rounded up, you would bill your time at $30 per hour.

Step 4

Calculate the cost of each area when pricing a job for a customer. Pretend a customer wants you to clean a house with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, the living room and dining room. You know how long it takes you to clean your kitchen and bathroom. Based on that information, you estimate it will take you 2 hours to clean her kitchen and bathroom; similarly, you estimate it will take an 1 1/2 hours to complete the rest of the home. Multiply the 3 1/2 hours you figure to clean the home by $30 per hour. Your charge for this example would be $105.

Tips

  • Your timings are just a guide. Take into account conditions when pricing a job for a customer. If the customer's home is particularly filthy, add more money to the bill for the extra time it will take to clean. Compare the average price people are paying to have their homes cleaned. Ask friends, neighbors and even clients how much they have paid for cleaning their homes. You may find that even though you are willing to charge a particular price, people in your community may be used to paying higher, opening an opportunity for you to raise your price.

Warnings

  • Visit the job site before quoting a price. Every home has its own quirks and pitfalls. A kitchen in one house may only need a quick wipe down; the same size kitchen elsewhere may need a complete scrubbing from top to bottom.

About the Author

Thomas Ferraioli began writing in 1993. His work has been featured in national publications like "Parents" and "U.S. Catholic." Ferraioli owns a cleaning service and is a Catholic youth minister. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and business from Seton Hall University and was a recipient of the Pope John Paul II Award from the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. for his work with youth.

Photo Credits

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