Hiring A Maid Service

Planning on hiring a maid service or independent maid contractor? Here are some possible interview questions to ask.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who is notorious for cleaning and keeping a tidy home let me know that she had recently hired a maid service. I stared at her in disbelief as I said, "But you are the mistress of cleanliness!" She proceeded to tell me that with all the traveling she does for her job, she just didn't have the time to be as clean and tidy as she would have liked, so she caved in and hired a maid. I came home and talked to my husband, the grand master of cleanliness, who said he would sell an organ to hire a maid, rather than clean the house himself. That got me to thinking about what one should look for in a maid service and what types of interview questions to ask.

First of all, while it is perfectly possible to run straight to your local Yellow Pages and find a maid service (there will be plenty), you should talk to your friends and relatives who have a maid service and ask them for some recommendations. While some may use a maid service, others will have used independent maids. They will be able to tell you the different rates they are charged, the different chores that are performed and the quality of the work provided before you make your final decision as to which service/s to contact and interview.

Before scheduling interviews, make a list of all the household chores you would want done and how many times a month or week you would need them done. For example, you may only want specific chores done like vacuuming, laundry folding and bathroom cleaning, and you may only want them done once every two weeks. This will help you in getting an accurate rate for the services and ensure you do not pay for any services you do not necessarily want or need.

One thing to bear in mind is the difference between hiring an established maid service and an independent maid contractor. The maid service more than likely will have employees that are bonded and insured. In addition, you will be paying the maid service company who will, in turn, pay the maids, taking the tax liability off of you. Hiring an independent maid may mean ensuring your household insurance includes coverage on domestic helpers, as well as figuring out the taxes you will need to withhold and pay.

If you do decide to go with a maid service, you may want to ask how long the company has been in service. While newer companies may offer better rates to compete with more-established companies, older companies will have many more references and testimonials to fall back on.

Some maid services provide their own cleaning supplies, including brushes, paper towels and cleaning products, while other maid services will use the supplies you already have. Make sure to ask how your service operates, in these terms, at the interview.

Finally, you will want the maid service to give you an estimate upfront of the different services, based on the size of your house and the specific services ordered. You do not want to hire a maid or maid service and be surprised when the first bill arrives. Many maid services will offer a free consultation and walk-through to determine the pricing range they will offer you, so allow them to do this.

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