There may not be a more enjoyable feeling than coming home to a spotless house, particularly when another person did every bit of the work; there is not anything left to do but lay down in your hammock in the sun! With the hectic lifestyle most people have and both partners working, a lot of people find that they do not have much time left for domestic maintenance. Before you check out the web or call up somewhere to take on a maid, there are a few essential questions to ask, and there is also some really important information that you should carefully consider.
You may find a maid from a service, in which case the maid will be an employee of the service company. The advantages are that the maid service will be liable for any employment taxes, carrying worker's compensation, and should have bonded and insured the maid. (Make sure the maid is bonded against your losses and not just the maid company's losses.) The company should also have insurance in case the maid is injured while at your home. You should ask for copies of all current polices. However, when you employ someone, federal law dictates that you must pay social security and other specific taxes.
Inquire about what screening and background checks the maid company performs on employees. Ask if the maids are employees or subcontractors of the maid service. A maid service using subcontractors can be more risky. These people are often not required to report to work any particular time, may not have the training employees have, and insurance liability can be sketchy.
Get references from the maid service. Call each reference and ask if they have had any complaints and if they recommend the service. Inquire as to whether or not they are still using the service. If not, ask why.
Look into whether the company has any sort of guarantee with respect to quality. Do the maids have supervisors and if so what are they responsible for? Request information from the company on whether they provide any guarantees, and what their current complaint process is.
Will the company be using their equipment or yours? This includes vacuums, mops, buckets, sponges, squeegees and so on.
Get a complete description of what services are included such as:
* emptying trash
* window cleaning
* wood floors
* wood polishing
* furniture dusting
* blind cleaning
* light fixture dusting
You also need to consider who will be supplying the cleaning products. If you are supplying the products make a list and be sure you have them in stock when your maid arrives. If the service will be supplying the cleaning products, find out what they use and if the products are safe for people and pets. Find out if the products disinfect pathogens.
There are green cleaning products available. Check the ingredients and effectiveness of each one. Some are only diluted versions of the originals while others are bio based. These are made up of natural bacteria and enzymes and considered non-pathogenetic natural substances that can clean safely.
If you have specifically agreed to allow the cleaning company to supply the cleaning products, ask for samples and apply very small volumes of each one. People have different tastes and smells and you do not want to come home to a house with a smell that drives you out.
It's a good idea to be home the first time your maid cleans if possible. There may be some questions you'll need to answer, and at the same time you can watch them go through their tasks.
With a little planning and these tips you should be able to come home to a clean house and relax. If you have not had a maid service before, you will probably find you never want to live without it again.