What to Ask Before Hiring a House Cleaner

Hiring someone to clean your house can be a real pleasure. Who doesn’t love coming home to a clean home? And who couldn’t use the time it frees up, especially now that two-income households are the norm? For the cost of one family dinner out, this pleasure could be yours.

Before you hand your house key to a stranger, however, be sure to ask these questions, suggests Paul Wheelock, owner of Merry Maids franchises in five local counties.

• What’s your security protocol? Wheelock personally runs federal background checks on every person he hires. “State background checks alone are not enough,” he says. “My guideline is that I won’t hire anyone I wouldn’t give my own house key to.”

• Can you provide proof of insurance? “If a company isn’t insured and bonded, you could be responsible for any injuries that occur on your property,” says Wheelock. All Merry Maids employees are insured, bonded and covered by Worker’s Compensation.

• How well are your employees treated? High turnover is never good. Companies that respect employees will attract better people who take more pride in their work.

“We offer a career experience to our employees,” says Wheelock. “We provide benefits like paid time off and a retirement plan. This helps us to find the best people and keep them onboard.”

• Is the work guaranteed? Expectations on both sides should be well communicated to avoid conflicts. “We’ll come back and make right anything that a customer feels was not properly done,” says Wheelock.

• How do pricing and payment options work? “We do a walk-through before a final price is set,” says Wheelock. “Be wary of companies that skip this step and offer a ‘free cleaning,’ sight unseen, as a gimmick.” You get what you pay for.

As for payment methods, “We offer options for encrypted, secure online payment so you don’t have to bother with checks or cash.” Online software allows you to get a rough idea of how your cleaning job will be priced or you can get an estimate over the phone.

Merry Maids specializes in residential work. A typical cleaning schedule is 1.5 to 3 hours every two weeks.

Learn more at Merrymaids.com. ❚