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11 Min. Read

How to Estimate the Cost of House Cleaning in Canada

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

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

There can be multiple things to account for, such as location, services required and additional supplies needed. Plus, it’s important to factor in the right labour costs, relevant taxes and overhead costs. 

If you’re just starting out it’s not always as simple as taking a look at your competitor’s prices and thinking they’ll work for you. It can be important to get a few house cleaning jobs under your belt first to get a better sense as to what you need to include. 

Plus, you want to make sure you’re not only providing your customers with an accurate estimate but that you’re also generating a profit at the same time. Establishing some price lists can be a good place to start.

That said, in this guide we’ll break down nine steps you can take to accurately estimate the cost of house cleaning 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. It’s easy to use and you can convert estimates into invoices when the job’s complete. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

Is There a Standard House Cleaning Rate in Canada?

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

9 Steps to Follow for An Accurate House Cleaning Estimate

Key Takeaways

Is There a Standard House Cleaning Rate in Canada? 

According to Indeed, the average hourly rate that 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 get started developing a process for estimating, it can be helpful to put together price list examples. You can use these as a reference for future jobs your house cleaning business takes on.

According to Maid Sense, 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, 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 oven 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. 

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

Simply put, house cleaning jobs will typically get charged by the hour. But as mentioned above, 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. 

9 Steps to Follow for An Accurate House Cleaning Estimate 

Below you will find a breakdown of nine steps to provide the most accurate house cleaning estimate to your customer. 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’s first: visit the house. 

Physically seeing the house that needs to get cleaned will allow you to get a better sense as to 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. Being able to walk through the house and see 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 there are any special services 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 a better option 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 cleaning service will cover everything that 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 some 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 the first thing you did was visit 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. 

As well, make sure you incorporate extra time for special services, like oven cleaning and deep cleaning. It might be worth your while 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’s going to 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 labour costs. For this example, we’ll say that you charge $18 per hour.

After visiting the house, you know that 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

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 things like the insurance your business pays, any 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. From here, you can break it down even 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

Key Takeaways 

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 a 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 but also ensure your business earns a profit. 

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