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14 Min. Read

How Much to Charge for House Cleaning in Canada

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

Have you just launched your own professional house cleaning service in Canada? Maybe you have been in business for a while but are looking to offer different services. Either way, estimating a job isn’t always a simple process. 

You want to ensure you’re not only providing your customers with an accurate estimate but also generating a profit at the same time. In this guide, we’ll break down nine steps you can take to accurately estimate the cost of house cleaning services in Canada. We’ll cover some specifics to know how to estimate time and labour costs and ways you can include your markup, so your business stays profitable. FreshBooks also has an easy-to-use online estimating software tool to help create and submit estimates. Explore different templates and features to help you create an estimate, then easily convert it into an invoice when you’re done. Click here to learn more about how FreshBooks’ features can make creating estimates easy.

estimate convert to invoice

Key Takeaways

  • There are several ways you can choose to price your house cleaning services, including hourly rates, flat rates per house, room rates, and square footage pricing
  • Consider the average cleaning prices for your area, the size of the house, and desired profit margin as guidelines for estimating your price
  • The average hourly wage for a house cleaner in Canada is $18.05 but may be up to $30-$40 an hour in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver
  • It can be helpful to explore competitor rates but remember to set yourself a profit margin that can support you and help your business grow

In this article, we’ll cover:

estimates that boost first impressions

Methods for Estimating House Cleaning Service Rates

There are a few different methods for determining your house cleaning pricing guide. You can choose one system that fits your needs or offer multiple pricing schemes to give your clients options. 

  • Square Footage Price

      Set a fixed price, for example, 10 cents per square foot. If you’re cleaning a unit that measures 500 sq feet, you would charge $50 to clean that space. 

  • Hourly Rate

      When estimating how to charge for an hourly rate, consider how long you take to clean each room and what you’ll need to charge to make it worth your time. It can also be helpful to browse competitors’ hourly rates to set a comparable price. 

  • Per-Room Rates

      Per-room pricing uses a different rate for each room or type of room. For example, kitchens and bathrooms tend to require more intensive cleaning than living rooms or bedrooms, so you may set a price of $75 for a kitchen or bathroom and $50 for a bedroom. 

  • Flat rate per job

      A flat rate means you charge a set price to clean the whole house – for example, you would clean a house once a week for $100. You may choose to apply this to all the houses you clean or to set different weekly flat rates depending on the size of a home. 

  • Package pricing

      Package pricing involves offering different sets of house cleaning services at a fixed rate. For example, you may choose to offer a simple vacuum and floor cleaning for $50 per room or a more extensive sanitization service for $75 per room. 

9 Steps to Estimate House Cleaning Rates in Canada

Below you will find a breakdown of nine steps to provide your customer with the most accurate house cleaning estimate. The steps will cover some tips to follow as well as various items to incorporate into your estimate. Not only will your estimate be accurate, but you can also ensure your business is generating a profit. 

1. Take a Trip to the House

First thing first: visit the house. 

Physically seeing the house that needs to be cleaned will give you a better sense of the scope of the work. One of the biggest causes of disruptions can be unknown or unexpected situations that arise after you have started cleaning. Walking through the house and seeing the different rooms and the state they’re in will help accurately estimate the time needed. 

Bring a tape measure along and do some quick calculations to determine the square footage of any rooms. If any special cleaning services are required, such as oven cleaning or deep cleaning a refrigerator, you can also inspect the appliances to know what you’re getting into.

Visiting the house is always better than simply providing an estimate over the phone.

2. Discuss Relevant Details with the Customer 

Your customer might have a different idea of how long the house cleaning might take. While you do your site visit, ask them to do a quick walkthrough with you. This way, you can ask specific questions and ensure your house cleaning services will cover everything the customer needs. 

3. Estimate How Long It Will Take

The length of time it will take for the house cleaning will be one of the key elements of your estimate. Since you’ve visited the house, done a quick walkthrough, and asked the customer specific questions, you should have a rough idea of what’s needed. 

Keep in mind that different types of jobs, such as a house that hasn’t been maintained or that’s been vacant for a while, will add to the time needed. And when it comes to things like deep cleaning, be sure to include the extra time it will take. 

Here’s a rough idea of how long it might take to clean some different-sized houses in Canada, according to Maid Sense.

An 800-square-foot apartment with one bathroom can take around 2.5 hours to clean. Townhouses and smaller homes that are around 1,100 square feet can take up to 3 hours. A regular-sized house that’s 2,000 square feet with two bathrooms will take roughly 4 hours. 

4. Account for Any Extra Cleaning Time

The time to clean different-sized houses in Canada outlined in step 3 would be based on the fact that someone is currently living in the houses. But houses that have seen years of damage, have been neglected, and require specialized supplies will add to the total cleaning time. 

You’ll know if this is the case since you first visited the job site. However, knowing whether or not the cleaning job requires extra attention helps determine the total number of hours needed to get the job done. 

Make sure you also incorporate extra time for special services, like oven cleaning and deep cleaning. It might be worthwhile to determine how much a deep cleaning will cost beforehand and share the information with the customer. 

This way, you can avoid the possibility of miscommunication or any disputes over the final invoice. It can also be helpful to keep a log of each cleaning job you take on so that you can adjust your prices accordingly as your business moves forward. 

5. Figure Out the Cost of Labour 

The house isn’t going to clean itself, so now that you know how long it will take, you can start to figure out how many cleaners you’ll need. According to Indeed, the average hourly rate for a house cleaner in Canada is $18.05. 

It was mentioned above, but the location where your business is located will impact this hourly rate. In major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the average hourly rate for a house cleaner can be as high as $30 to $40. 

But, once you determine the hourly rate you’re going to charge, you simply multiply the rate by the estimated hours. This is how you’re going to determine labor costs. For this example, we’ll say you charge $18 per hour.

After visiting the house, you know it’s a 2,000-square-foot house in Toronto, and you’ve estimated it should take around 4 hours to clean. 

                                              4 hours x $18 = $72

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6. Make Sure to Include Taxes

If you’re in another province, such as Alberta, British Columbia, or Nova Scotia, you might need to include a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), a Provincial Sales Tax (PST), or a Retail Sales Tax (RST). But since you’re in Ontario, you’re only required to charge HST, which is 13%. 

Take the labour costs you determined in step 5 to find HST.

$72 x 0.13 = $9.13 HST

$72 + $9.13 = $81.36

7. Include Supply Costs

One of the most critical elements of house cleaning is having the right supplies to do the job. And depending on the state of the house, specialized cleaning products might be needed, which will add to the cost. Typically, you can include 6 percent to account for the cost of supplies. 

$81.36 x 0.06 = $4.88

$81.36 + $4.88 = $86.24

8. Make Sure to Include Overhead

Overhead costs are any fixed, variable, or semi-variable costs that aren’t associated with the house cleaning job itself. Think about the insurance your business pays, rent for office space, advertising, and marketing costs. It’s fairly common to add roughly 20 percent to help cover overhead costs. 

$86.24 x 0.20 = $86.24 + $17.25 = $103.49

9. Include Your Own Business Markup

Generating a profit is one of the keys to business success. And you want your business to be profitable. To help do this, it’s important to include your markup in the estimate to ensure you see good profit margins. 

A markup of around 28 percent can be a good place to start. But remember, you can always reduce this number if you want your estimate to be more competitive. That said, you never want to reduce it too much because you don’t want to undersell the services your business offers. 

$103.49 x 0.28 = $28.98

$103.49 + $29.98 = $132.47

Now You Have an Accurate Estimate 

Taking the time to visit the house and getting a sense of how long the cleaning would take got you started. From there, you used that information to start to determine labour costs, overhead, and supply costs. You also made sure to include the relevant taxes for your location as well as your own business markup. 

After all of that, you now have an accurate estimate of $132.47 to clean a 2,000-square-foot home. You can break it down further to determine the final hourly rate you would charge. Simply divide the total rate by the number of hours needed to clean the house. 

$132.47 / 4 = $33.12

What’s the Most Accurate Way to Price a Cleaning Job?

Simply put, house cleaning jobs will typically get charged by the hour. But it’s important to make sure you’re including all the services needed, and knowing the square footage is a good place to start. 

If this is your first time generating an estimate for a customer, a helpful way to get started is by using a house cleaning cost calculator. It’s a good way to incorporate different factors such as frequency of cleaning, the cleaning type, and whether or not the house has pets. Animals can cause extra damage, which can contribute to more work for cleaners to take on. 

Make sure you include these prices in your quote upfront, so your pricing list is as accurate as possible. 

Best Accounting Software for Home Cleaning Businesses

Managing your small business accounting can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. FreshBooks is a comprehensive accounting software that lets you manage your bookkeeping, estimates, invoicing, and receipts for your house cleaning business. Digital accounting software helps make your accounting easier, so you can take time to focus on what matters — growing your new business and delivering great service. Click here to start your free trial and learn how FreshBooks can help you run your house-cleaning business more efficiently.

FreshBooks accounting software

Is There a Standard House Cleaning Rate in Canada? 

According to Indeed, the average hourly rate house cleaners earn in Canada is $18.05. That said, it’s important to consider there can be several factors that can make that price higher or lower. Location can have a big impact, as well as certain taxes, depending on the province or territory your business is located in. 

For example, the hourly rate can fluctuate if you’re in Toronto or Edmonton since there are different taxes charged in Ontario and Alberta. 

When you start developing a process for estimating, it can be helpful to put together price list examples. 

According to Maid Sense, regular cleaning services for smaller houses and townhomes can range between $200 and $350 for 900 to 1,500 square feet. A regular-sized house between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet can cost anywhere from $350 to $500. And specific types of cleaning services, such as moving cleans, can range from $150 to $250 for a 750-square-foot apartment. 

Keep in mind that these prices are going to depend on various factors and the overall condition of the house that’s getting cleaned. Plus, the frequency of cleaning can also come into play. For example, the cleaning company Master Maid in Toronto offers customers a 15% discount for weekly cleanings and a 5% discount for monthly cleanings. 

Other circumstances, such as travelling to a house, can also include an extra service fee. As well, special services such as window cleaning, ceiling cleaning, and fireplace cleaning will typically have extra fees associated with them. This is also the case for carpeted bedrooms, dusting blinds, and deep cleaning refrigerators. 


One of the biggest things to keep in mind when estimating a house cleaning job is whether there are any extra services needed. You followed the nine steps outlined above to find the hourly rate you can provide your customer, but that was based on a simple house cleaning. 

Make note of any extra services required when you visit the house or speak with the customer and simply add them in as you build the estimate. You can be sure you’re providing the most accurate price to your customer and ensure your business earns a profit. 

FAQs on How Much to Charge for House Cleaning in Canada

How do you calculate what to charge for cleaning services?

Several popular methods for estimating house cleaning prices include setting an hourly rate, a flat rate, a per-room rate, or a per square foot rate. You can also charge different rates for different cleaning packages if you offer various cleaning services. 

How much should I pay my cleaning lady per hour?

The average hourly wage for a cleaning person in Canada is $18.05. However, prices will vary depending on services and location—in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the hourly rate may be between $30-$40. 

What are the 3 types of cleaning?

The three basic cleaning types are cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Cleaning involves removing dirt, dust, and clutter. Sanitizing uses antibacterial solutions to decrease the likelihood of germs while disinfecting kills germs directly. 

What does a basic cleaning include?

Basic house cleaning usually includes vacuuming and dusting, wiping down countertops, sinks, and bathroom surfaces, scrubbing the toilet and shower, washing dishes, and taking out garbage bins. Some basic cleanings may also include laundry services. 

What is included in a deep house cleaning?

Deep house cleaning services typically include everything in a basic house cleaning as well as upholstery cleaning, dusting blinds, light fixtures, and shelves, cleaning the baseboards and window frames, cleaning inside cupboards, and sanitizing or disinfecting kitchen and bathroom spaces. Did you enjoy reading this guide? Head over to our resource hub for more great content!

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Jami Gong, MPAcc, CPA

About the author

Jami Gong is a Chartered Professional Account and Financial System Consultant. She holds a Masters Degree in Professional Accounting from the University of New South Wales. Her areas of expertise include accounting system and enterprise resource planning implementations, as well as accounting business process improvement and workflow design. Jami has collaborated with clients large and small in the technology, financial, and post-secondary fields.