House keeper cost per sqft?

Old 12-03-2019, 10:17 PM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,361
Received 2,781 Likes on 1,258 Posts
Default House keeper cost per sqft?

I’m helping our housekeeper build out her business. We have decided cost per sqft is the easiest method to calculate when quoting new customers. I pay her $150 for 1700 sqft which comes out to .088/sqft ($150/week). Using price divided by sqft what are you guys paying? Are there other methods your housekeeper is using to calculate cost?

As for the #humblebrag crowd all I can say is #workhardersaystheboomer

for real don’t get distracted by hash tags I’m trying to help this very hard working woman expand her business and better provide for her family. She is a great person who we have used for 8 years.

Last edited by Lorne Greene; 12-03-2019 at 10:31 PM.
Old 12-03-2019, 11:04 PM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,176
Likes: 0
Received 1,259 Likes on 685 Posts

3200ft2 three floor townhouse, we were paying $100 for every two weeks but last month we switched to every week and kept it at $100/week. I know We are paying her a little below fair market rates but we were one of her first customers four years ago and she is cleaning 5 of our friends houses for more money from our referrals. We also have a full time nanny who is responsible for keeping things clean daily so I don’t feel too bad about the arrangement. She is usually out in 3 hours max.

Rates are somewhat regional ask all your rich boomer friends with those fat pensions and SS pay.
Ho busy is she currently? If she only has a few customers I would tell her to be competitive till her schedule starts to fill up. Referrals are best and you can charge a little more with word of mouth introductions.
Attention to detail is the most important.
Old 12-03-2019, 11:26 PM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,890
Received 262 Likes on 146 Posts

My parents in Fairfield County Connecticut pay $100 for 3500sqft
I pay $150 for 1500sqft in the Seattle area.

Old 12-04-2019, 12:12 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,269
Likes: 0
Received 420 Likes on 182 Posts

$150 every other week, 2000 ft single story in Houston.

The home in Aspen and the New York penthouse run slightly more.

For real though, I think hourly is fair also. My last housekeepers were a husband and wife who were really good and they could also do a make ready on my rentals. They were like $50/hr but there were 2 and they did great work. After selling my rentals I went with another lady my friends recommended as the light clean on my house did not need 2 people.

Last edited by houtxfisher; 12-04-2019 at 12:19 AM.
Old 12-04-2019, 03:38 AM
Senior Member
REZ's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: LBI & PA.
Posts: 1,758
Received 87 Likes on 56 Posts

Any pics of house keeper ?!
Old 12-04-2019, 03:48 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brookline, Ma.
Posts: 1,807
Received 1,036 Likes on 514 Posts

......and she's worth every $$$$$. House isn't too clean, but the sheets are constantly getting washed..............................
Old 12-04-2019, 04:12 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Boynton Beach Islamorada
Posts: 2,679
Received 919 Likes on 476 Posts

$150 3100 sf..
Old 12-04-2019, 04:17 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,200
Likes: 0
Received 19 Likes on 14 Posts

Triad area of NC

2300 sqft we pay $100 every other week and $200 quarterly for a deep cleaning. We were one of her first clients and she also does the mother in laws house and a few friends. On top of it she provides everything.

However she is starting to not be as thorough as she use to, so thinking about having a chat about a little better rate for a little better job or start looking at a few other friends housekeepers.
Old 12-04-2019, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Lake Worth, FL 33460
Posts: 81
Received 32 Likes on 16 Posts

We pay for hours. $60 per week and she does 4 hours of work. Includes cleaning bathrooms, dusting, vacuum, mopping, changing beds. Problem with SF quote is customers may want “white glove” standard since they think they are paying for it.

Other issue is new customer start takes more time since you are unfamiliar with their layout and standards. Most people charge 150% of standard fee for first time to get house to “clean” status. Should also require minimum schedule of every two weeks since it would be similar to a “new start” each time if left to once per month or so.

It works for her and us as she can do two houses a day if she wants or only one depending on her kids’ schedules.

House is a single story, 2,400 SF in South Florida.
Old 12-04-2019, 04:28 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 8,517
Received 449 Likes on 296 Posts

Can't say that any of our housekeepers charge by the square foot in our areas - seems to be by number of rooms based on comparisons with what other people pay locally.
We pay $200/wk in NY for 3.5 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms and 6 other rooms (about 3,200 sq.ft); in NJ we pay $250/2x month from April to November for 5 bedrooms, 3.5.5 bathrooms and 4 other rooms (about 2,900 sq.ft).
Old 12-04-2019, 04:41 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Davie / Islamorada
Posts: 12,374
Likes: 0
Received 1,014 Likes on 475 Posts

3500 SF = $125 every 2 weeks... She is here from 8am to 2:30pm ....
Old 12-04-2019, 04:45 AM
Senior Member
crazybeard's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Tropico
Posts: 5,960
Likes: 0
Received 1,834 Likes on 1,057 Posts

I'd say get away from hourly or per foot. Polish up her sales skills, sell on value, reliability, trust and make better margins. She should be the one to gain if she becomes more efficient, not the customer. Keep track of the quotes and the close ratio to see where the sweet spot is.

What other varying factors dictate the amount of work to accomplish the same level of clean per house? Carpet vs none? Lots of windows? Clutter? A bunch of kids and parents who don't pick up after them?

go to the house for a free estimate, sell them on the service if she wants that particular job. If not, price it high anough for the PITA factor.

FWIW I've paid between $60-80 in a few different places ranging from 1500-1800sf and I know they were great deals.
Old 12-04-2019, 05:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: VA
Posts: 419
Received 289 Likes on 203 Posts

If the business is fulltime and primary source income. I think $50 per hour should be the goal( Thinking Virginia's better economy areas) with 35 to 40 maybe OK until 50 dollar clients are procured. Much less there will not be retirement, health care etc.

I think more operate on a 15 to 20 per hour basis but that is really just side gig under the table money not a true business.

I don't like the sq ft approach. To many expectations from clients. I would build a data base for costing. Xx per....bedroom, bath, half bath, kitchen, pantry, walk in closet, window 1 story, windows 2 story , garage. Once you establish a price structure give a custom quote. Do at least 3 cleanings before committing long term. I would try to stay non committed on paper. That way if dynamics change and you want out you just say after 30 days I can't clean your home any longer.

I used to clean new constructions. On those it was 1000sqft, 1500sqft, 2000 etc. They had to be cleaned thoroughly, but seldom varied little in time required. I set price based on max time and added for extra baths or kitchens and fixed windows that needed to be cleaned from outside.
Old 12-04-2019, 05:25 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 170
Likes: 0
Received 141 Likes on 88 Posts

I think a 50 hr rate is going to scare someone away.
100-150 total doesn’t sound that expensive.
May also depend on how dirty house is.
Also what gets done.
Old 12-04-2019, 05:43 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 268
Received 178 Likes on 93 Posts

NW florida area here and we pay $115 every two weeks for 2440 sq ft. This is a group of girls who have been together almost 20 years and were highly recommended. There are four of them and they work as a team, each knows their job, they are very rarely in our house for over an hour. They do a great job but sometimes they get complacent and I have to tune them up a little. They started neglecting the shower a bit and I had to bring it to their attention. Another thing that might help her get started is have her check into getting bonded and insured. At another home we had a terrible time trying to find a house keeper. We had one girl come over and do an "interview" clean and she stole my sunglasses! Another came one day and cleaned and did a pretty good job so asked her if she could come back the next day and do some more work wife wanted done. She said yes but asked to get paid for the day so I did. She came back the next day high as a kite, so messed up she had some weird twitch that looked like she was trying to bite her own face! I sent her packing. Bonded and insured lets the home owner know she is trustworthy and covered in case something gets broken.
Old 12-04-2019, 05:49 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: VA
Posts: 419
Received 289 Likes on 203 Posts

Originally Posted by drowning shrimp View Post
I think a 50 hr rate is going to scare someone away.
100-150 total doesn’t sound that expensive.
May also depend on how dirty house is.
Also what gets done.
you dont tell people 50 per hour. You build a cost structure based on 50 or what will provide health care, retirement, expenses and living money. If you can't get that accept cash only and take your chances. 3 to 4 hours should clean many homes. That is 37.50 to 50 . Of course she develop a model based on per year dollar needs and clean as many homes with as many hours as it takes. She might work 3000 hours per year instead of 2000 though. Again I would not make a habit of stating 50 per hour.

When I framed house I could easily bring in 50 per man hour. However, builders balked at more than 35 per mh for non contract work. So, I just tried to do bid work.

Builder once asked me in reference to hourly work if I couldn't do it for less. I said yes I could. But if I want to not make money I would rather be home watching tv than here doing your work. One certainly cannot speak to like that to most clients....but that better be the mindset if the business is going to survive and thrive.
Old 12-04-2019, 05:55 AM
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lighthouse Point
Posts: 5,320
Received 1,060 Likes on 688 Posts

2700 feet. $70
Old 12-04-2019, 05:57 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
dev's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: St. Pete
Posts: 646
Received 975 Likes on 436 Posts

I think sqft pricing is not the optimal way to go. I've seen that done in commercial cleaning, but not residential.

I think we pay $150/wk for 3 man-hours (2 people here for 1.5 hours) to do basic cleaning on a 4,000 sqft house. They do mostly floors, dusting, etc. In the past we have had crews that do things like linens and laundry, where the hourly rate is roughly the same, they just spend more time.

If you're pricing and selling by the square foot, the customers would be more likely (IMO) to try and push to get as much done as possible, more of an end-to-end cleaning. When you bill by the hour, customers better understand that more tasks=more cost.
Old 12-04-2019, 06:00 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 26 Likes on 10 Posts

3100sqft - $125 every other week. There are three ladies and it takes them about 3 hours. Charlotte, NC.
Old 12-04-2019, 06:02 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,730
Likes: 0
Received 652 Likes on 358 Posts

Originally Posted by drowning shrimp View Post
I think a 50 hr rate is going to scare someone away.
100-150 total doesn’t sound that expensive.
May also depend on how dirty house is.
Also what gets done.
this. Those with a family of people require a whole lot more cleaning than those with empty nests and homes that don't see a lot of traffic. $100/3100SF every two weeks, and it's as much a gab session with the wife as it is actual cleaning. She isn't bad looking, so i don't mind what she does. My bride makes sure she washes sheets and cleans toilets before the keeper gets here; part of her Midwestern "don't let them see that we're normal", upbringing.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.