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11 Min. Read

How Much to Charge for House Cleaning in the United Kingdom

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

Every house cleaning business is going to have a different way of estimating specific types of jobs. So, it’s not always as simple as just quoting a similar price as your competitors. But the good news is that if you’ve been trying to figure out where to start, you’ve come to the right place. 

If you’re just starting your house cleaning business it can be a good idea to get a few jobs under your belt first. This way, you can get more comfortable with the estimating process from start to finish. It’s incredibly important to ensure you know what to include so you can develop estimates properly. 

We’ve put together five tips to help you understand where to start and what to include for an accurate house cleaning estimate in the United Kingdom. Who knows, you might even find yourself having too many jobs to handle. But that’s a good problem to have, right? 

To help even further, FreshBooks has an online estimating software tool that makes creating and sending estimates simple and quick. Plus, you can then convert them into an invoice to send to customers when needed. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

Is There a Going Rate for House Cleaning in the United Kingdom?

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

5 Steps to Accurately Estimate a House Cleaning Job

Key Takeaways

Is There a Going Rate for House Cleaning in the United Kingdom?

Figuring out how much to charge for house cleaning has a lot to do with where you’re located. For example, a house cleaning service in Sheffield might charge £12 per hour. Yet, a similar house cleaning service in Edinburgh could charge up to £23 per hour. To take it even further, larger cities such as London can see house cleaning services charge £10 per hour more than the average city, according to Into the Wash

And it’s not just location that comes into play. The type of cleaning service that’s required can add extra costs on top of the hourly rate. According to Household Quotes, the average cost of cleaning a house will cost anywhere from £10 to £20 per hour. From here, extra services such as window cleaning or deep cleaning can add an additional £20 to £25. And something like oven cleaning will add anywhere from £40 to £60 per appliance. 

Another element to consider is the size of the house and the condition that it’s in. As well, the frequency of service can also contribute to fluctuating costs. For example, weekly and fortnightly house cleaning might have a discounted rate compared to a monthly or bi-monthly cleaning. 

Other services that might affect the total estimate price can include cleaning high shelves and ceilings, fireplaces, hoovering bedrooms and even deep cleaning refrigerators. Plus, if you have to travel to get to the job site then that can also incur an extra charge that you should incorporate into your estimate. 

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

Typically, estimating per hour is the most common way to price a house cleaning job. But depending on the type of job and the services required, sometimes it can be worth estimating the price based on a per-job quote. But those types of estimates tend to be for very large jobs that have numerous moving parts. 

If you’re not entirely sure where to begin or if you’re just starting your house cleaning business, using a free house cleaning cost calculator can help. It can break down various factors like the frequency of cleaning, if any pets live in the house and whether there’s more than one cleaning type required. 

Animals, such as dogs and cats, can often add an extra layer of work for cleaners. So it’s important to know about these variables beforehand so you can incorporate them into your job estimate. This way, your pricing list will be as accurate as possible. 

Since pricing jobs per hour is the most common solution, follow the five tips outlined below to accurately calculate an hourly rate. You can establish a relevant pricing list based on the number of cleaners, taxes, overhead costs and profit margins. 

5 Steps to Accurately Estimate a House Cleaning Job

Below you will find five steps to help get you started when it comes to accurately estimating a house cleaning job. You’ll be able to find the most reasonable and profitable hourly rate for your business. 

1. Visit the House

If you can, try not to provide an estimate to a customer over the phone without seeing the job site first. To establish the most accurate price guide you need to get a better understanding of the actual location of the job. This way you won’t have any surprises and you’ll have a much better sense as to the cleaning services required. 

Your customer might not try to mislead you on purpose, but they might not have the experience or knowledge needed to know what goes into a house cleaning job. They might have an idea of what it might include and how long it might take, but there can always be unknowns they’re not aware of. 

This is why visiting the house is the most important first step. It will give you a better sense as to how long it will take, how many labourers you might need, and whether you could need some extra supplies to get it done. 

Make sure you measure the space to get an accurate idea of square footage. As well, have the customer take you through some of the areas that need to get cleaned so you can see everything for yourself. 

2. Estimate How Much Time It Will Take

After you visit the house and are able to see what needs to get done, you’ll be able to better estimate the length of time the job will take. Simple house cleanings, a vacant house or extra services like deep cleaning are going to affect the total time it takes. Plus, extra services like deep cleaning require additional supplies.

According to Clean and Clear, here’s a rough idea of how long it should take to clean some different sized houses in the UK.

Typically, a one-bedroom house should take around 1.5 hours to clean, but extra time might be needed if it hasn’t been well maintained. A two-bedroom house with one bathroom will take around 2.5 hours and a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms can take 3 hours or more. 

Bigger houses, like a four or five-bedroom with more than one bathroom, can take up to 8 hours to clean. In these instances having more than one cleaner on-site can come in handy. You can ensure your cleaning business is as efficient as possible while still delivering the services needed. 

Understanding the standards your customer is looking for can come in handy and knowing the exact rooms or areas that need to get cleaned is helpful. Keep in mind that houses that have had years of unmaintained damage will require specialized products and extra cleaning time. 

As well, houses that have been neglected will require extra TLC, so it can be worth your time to think about raising your prices a little bit since these jobs can be more challenging. Establishing things like the cost of a deep clean beforehand can be helpful information to share with the customer. This way, you will avoid any miscommunication, complications or disruptions once you get started. 

Another important thing to try and do is keep a log of specific job details. By doing this, you can create more accurate estimates in the future and adjust prices accordingly when you need to. 

3. Figure Out Your Labour Costs and Taxes 

Now that you have seen the job site and determined how long it will take, you can figure out the labour costs and taxes you need to incorporate. According to Household Quotes, the average cost of cleaning a house in the UK ranges from £10 to £20 per hour. But, as mentioned above, this price can be higher depending on where you’re located. 

For this example, we’ll split the difference and use £15 per hour as the rate. From here, you simply need to multiply the hourly rate by the estimated hours you determined in step 2. This will determine the labour costs to include in your estimate. 

According to House Beautiful, the average house size in England is 729 square feet. Keep in mind location will affect this. For example, the average house size in the North West is around 1,100 square feet and in the South East is 564 square feet. 

We’ll say that your business is located in Brighton & Hove and you’re estimating for a one-bedroom house that’s 550 square feet. You’ve determined it will take 1.5 hours to clean and you’re charging an hourly rate of £15. Simply multiply those together to begin estimating the hourly rate. 

1.5 hours x £15 = £22.50 

The next step is to incorporate any taxes your house cleaning business must charge. Cleaning services in the UK must charge Value Added Tax (VAT) if they’re VAT registered. This tax gets paid to HMRC and the standard rate is 20%. 

All you need to do now is incorporate VAT, if needed, into the current labour costs.

£22.50 x 0.20 = £4.50 VAT

£22.50 + £4.50 = £27.00

4. Don’t Forget the Cost of Supplies and Overhead

Having the right supplies for house cleaning jobs is critically important. Extra services like deep cleaning, move out cleaning or bigger jobs for neglected houses can all require specialized supplies. 

For supplies, a common way to include those costs is to add around 6 per cent. This is since they’re a necessary part of house cleaning. Simply take the current hourly rate from step 3 and incorporate 6 per cent for supply costs. 

£27.00 x 0.06 = £1.62 

£27.00 + £1.62 = £28.62

From here you can also include any overhead costs your business might incur. Usually, overhead relates to any costs that are associated with the actual job itself. For example, you might have a physical office where you pay rent, you might have various marketing and advertising costs, and insurance that you pay. 

Simply put, overhead can be either fixed costs, variable costs or semi-variable costs. A common way of including overhead in your estimates is to add around 20 per cent.

£28.62 x 0.20 = £5.72

£28.62 + £5.72 = £34.34

5. Be Sure to Include Your Own Business Markup

Earning a profit on each job you complete is an important part of operating a business. You want to ensure you stay profitable and are able to compete in the market. It’s worth mentioning that your markup percentage can change depending on specific circumstances. 

For example, if you wanted to give your business the best opportunity to land a future cleaning job, you can lower your markup to be more competitive. That said, it’s always important not to undersell the services you offer and you want to reflect the quality of the business you provide. 

To add your markup and keep a healthy profit margin, you can include around 28 per cent. Just take the current hourly rate from step 4 and incorporate your markup.

£24.24 x 0.28 = £9.62

£34.34 + £9.62 = £43.96

Now You Have an Accurate Estimate

So, you’ve gone through the 5 steps outlined above, visited the job site and determined how long it will take. From there, you figured out any labour costs and included the relevant taxes, and then added in the cost of supplies, any overhead and your markup. 

All of this resulted in an accurately estimated rate for a house cleaning job. Now, to find the hourly rate you simply need to divide the total rate by the number of hours needed to clean the house.

£43.96 / 1.5 = £29.30

Key Takeaways 

The example was based on a full-service cleaning for a 550 square foot house in Brighton & Hove. Keep in mind that you can include extra service costs in the estimate if they’re needed. These can include things like cleaning a carpet or deep cleaning a refrigerator, for example. 

Following these steps will help ensure you’re not only able to provide an accurate estimate, but you can ensure your business earns a profit while still providing a quality job. 

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