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11 Min. Read

What Should You Charge for House Cleaning in Australia?

How to Estimate a Painting Job in 7 Steps: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Are you just starting a house cleaning business and wondering what you need to include in your estimates? Or some tips and tricks for where to start? Oftentimes, estimating a house cleaning job isn’t always as simple as quoting the same as your competitors.

Every business is going to have varying costs that need to get factored into the price. Getting comfortable with the estimating process might require cleaning a few houses first. This way, you can get a better sense as to what should get included to develop accurate rates. Plus, it’s important to learn how to estimate properly so you earn a decent living wage. 

Implementing some type of cleaning planner can assist in your business operating efficiently. Which, ultimately, will save you a fair amount of time and money in the long run. 

Establishing all these details beforehand will give you the best understanding of what you need to include. Why? Because there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach. To help, we’ve created seven steps you can follow to ensure a profitable, yet reasonable, hourly rate. 

As well, if you need a professional estimating template, FreshBooks has great online estimating software. You can generate and send estimates quickly, and you can easily convert them to invoices when needed. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

What Is the Going Rate for House Cleaning in Australia?

How Should You Price Your House Cleaning Jobs?

7 Steps to Take for An Accurate House Cleaning Estimate

Key Takeaways

What Is the Going Rate for House Cleaning in Australia?

Most house cleaners in Australia earn around an average of $28.35 per hour, according to Indeed. That hourly rate is per cleaner, as well. So, if you have two cleaners you can expect a total of roughly $60 per hour.

That said, the hourly rate in Australia can vary depending on location as well as the type of cleaning services that are required. So, establishing a few price list examples can be a good idea. 

According to Maid for You, average industry prices for an apartment cleaning ranges anywhere from $100 to $170. Move-in cleaning can range between $120 and $700, and spring cleaning can see a difference between $70 to $430.

Keep in mind that these estimates are going to depend on the size of the home and the condition it’s in. Plus, the frequency of service will also come into play. For example, weekly cleaning can see a discounted rate compared to a monthly or bi-monthly cleaning. 

Clients can also get charged different fees if there is extended travel to get to the job site. Special services, such as cleaning an oven, high shelves or ceilings can also incur extra fees. This can also be the case for multiple bathrooms, carpeted bedrooms, dusting blinds and deep cleaning refrigerators. 

How Should You Price Your House Cleaning Jobs?

In most cases, house cleaning jobs get priced by the hour but some can get priced by the job. It can be worth your time to take a quick look at your competitor's prices to see if your prices are around the same. You can also take the time to calculate the price per square foot to determine the most accurate cleaning prices. 

The step-by-step guide we’ve outlined below will help accurately calculate an hourly rate for the jobs you do. And it will help establish a relevant pricing list based on overhead costs and profit margins that you can use in the future. 

If you’re just getting started, using a free house cleaning cost calculator can be a simple solution. It helps to find average prices based on some varying factors, such as cleaning type, the frequency and if the home has any pets. Animals can cause extra damage that will contribute to extra work. 

So it can be important and worth your time to understand and include these costs upfront so your pricing list is as accurate as possible. 

7 Steps to Take for An Accurate House Cleaning Estimate 

Below you will find 7 steps that will help determine the most reasonable and profitable hourly rate for your house cleaning business. 

1. Do a Site Visit

One of the first things you should do is visit the house. This will help you establish a price guide and it will give you a much better understanding of the type of work that will need to get done. You’ll also be able to determine an accurate charge for the right cleaning services you need to provide. 

As well, try not to provide an estimate over the phone if you can. Seeing the house in person helps ensure there’s no miscommunication.

Physically visiting the site leads to accurately estimating costs. There might be something you weren’t aware of or another unknown that can lead to delays if you don’t know about it. You can have a much better sense as to how long it will take to clean, instead of how long the customer thinks it will take. 

The customer might have a certain idea of what needs to get done and the length of time needed. However, they aren’t going to have the same expertise or understanding of what the job requires. 

So, how do you ensure you’re paid fairly and accurately? When you visit the house, make sure to measure the space in the most efficient way to get a better sense of what you’re going to need to do. You can then start to think about the supplies needed, how many labourers you’re going to need and a rough estimate of the total amount of time. 

2. Consider the Length of Time to Complete the Job

Now that you’ve visited the house and seen the job in its entirety, you can begin to estimate the length of time to complete the job. Different types of jobs, like a vacant house or a deep cleaning, will take varying amounts of time to complete. Plus, for things like deep cleaning, you will need to factor in additional costs and extra time if needed. 

Here’s a rough idea of how long it should take to clean some different house sizes, according to Modern Maids.

A one bedroom, one bath residential house will take roughly 1.5 hours to clean. If deep cleaning is required, it could take around 2.5 hours to get things as clean as possible. It’s worth noting this is based on most one bedroom residential houses averaging 450 square feet.

Residential houses with three beds are going to take a little longer, needing around 4.5 hours to clean. Typically, a three bedroom house in Australia is around 2,000 square feet. You can also expect roughly 5 hours to clean a five bedroom, five bath residential house. 

But, it’s important to remember that extra services will add to the total time. For example, a house with years of damage might require specialized products and additional labour hours. 

To get the most accurate costs you need to understand and know the exact areas that need to get cleaned. As well, it’s worth discussing with the customer the standards that they’re looking for. Some might just want a simple cleaning, whereas others might want everything cleaned as thoroughly as possible. 

If the space has been neglected and requires extra TLC, you can even look into doubling your rate for first-time cleanings if it’s appropriate. Then, you can continue to charge at your regular rate for subsequent cleanings since you now know what’s needed. 

One of the best ways to ensure you’re paid accurately is to incorporate cleaning services charges. Whatever the case, try and get in the habit of keeping a detailed log of how long each type of job takes. This way you can accurately adjust future jobs and price them accordingly. 

3. Determine the Labour Costs 

Accurately estimating labour costs can be one of the most important elements to include. According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for a house cleaner in Australia is $28.35. Keep in mind that this rate is charged per cleaner, and it can fluctuate depending on the area the job is located. 

Once you’re able to determine the hourly labour rate, you can then multiply the number of estimated hours needed to complete the job. This will allow you to understand the labour costs. According to Point2Homes, the average size of a home in Australia is around 2,000 square feet. 

Now, let’s say that you’re cleaning a 2,000 square foot home in Brisbane. You’ve figured out that it’s going to take 3.5 hours to clean and you’re charging an hourly rate of $28.35.

To determine labour costs, multiply the total number of hours by the hourly rate. 

4.5 hours x $28.35 = $127.58

4. Be Sure to Include Relevant Taxes

In Australia, there are going to be certain taxes you’ll need to account for. These can range from company tax, capital gains tax (CGT), goods and services tax (GST) and payroll tax. Every state and territory has a specific threshold and rate for payroll tax. 

To help keep these estimates simple, we’ll say that your business is located in Queensland. In this case, you only need to account for the payroll tax rate, which is 4.75 per cent. 

From here, you can take the labour costs you determined in step 3 and multiply them by the payroll tax rate. 

$127.58 x 0.0475 = $6.06 in payroll taxes

$127.58 + $6.06 = $133.64

As well, it’s important to recognize if your business must charge GST and then factor that into the pricing. GST gets charged at 10%, and you must apply this if your business is equal to or has more than $75,000 in annual turnover. 

5. Understand the Cost of Supplies 

Using the right supplies for house cleaning is critical, especially if specialized cleaning products are needed. Typically, you can add around 6 per cent to account for the cost of supplies. 

$133.64 x 0.06 = $8.00 in supply costs

$133.64 + $8.00 = $141.64

6. Factor in Overhead Costs

Overhead costs are any costs incurred that aren’t specifically related to the house cleaning job you’re doing. For example, things like office rent, marketing and advertising are considered overhead costs for your business. It can be common practice to add roughly 50 per cent to the hourly rate to cover these costs. 

$141.64 x 0.50 = $70.82

$141.64 + $70.82 = $212.46

7. Don’t Forget to Include Your Markup

Earning a profit for each job you complete is an important part of operating a business. To do this, adding around 33 per cent to the hourly rate is a good place to start. Keep in mind you can reduce this number if you want a better chance at landing a job. Yet, always remember to trust what you offer and not undersell your business. 

$212.46 x $70.11

$212.46 + $70.11 = $282.57

Great, you have now followed the seven steps outlined above to determine the hourly rate to charge for house cleaning. You have included labour costs, supply costs, taxes, overhead and your markup. 

With all of these costs included, you know the rate you need to charge is $282.57.

Make sure you understand the different taxes you might need to charge depending on the state or territory your business is located in. You can easily add these into your estimates to make sure your cost guide represents your cleaning rates accurately. 

To summarize, the final rate determined here is based on a full-service cleaning of a 2,000 square foot house in Australia. To find the final hourly rate, simply divide the rate by the hours needed to complete the job.

$282.57 / 4.5 = $62.79

Key Takeaways 

Two of the biggest takeaways when determining how much to charge for house cleaning is what needs to get cleaned and the amount of time. For example, a small apartment will require much less time compared to a four bedroom house. Plus, extra services like deep cleaning, refrigerators, stoves, and gutter cleaning will add to the total time required. 

Use the seven steps outlined in this article to accurately estimate how much to charge for house cleaning in Australia. You can ensure you’re offering your customers a fair price and also earning a profit along the way. 


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