Never Clean Again

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The Perfect Relationship

Hiring a house cleaning service is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult. The relationship between client and cleaner should be a "win-win" alliance, and here are some tips for making it so.

Finding Good Help is a Major Challenge

Whether you’re managing a business or simply your household, you know how true that old cliché still is today. And when you do find good help, there is an even greater challenge in keeping it.

When it comes to hiring anyone in the service business — be it a plumber, electrician, or whatever, it’s amazing how hard it sometimes is to reach someone. Have you noticed how long it takes for some service providers to get back to you when you leave a message — if they ever bother calling you back at all?

Use the responsiveness to your initial inquiry as a gauge of what to expect in the future. Any house cleaner, be it an individual or a company, should get back to you within a reasonable time. The promptness — or lack thereof — should serve as a signal with respect to the kind of reliability you might expect should you decide to hire this individual or company.

Good help is hard to find. It’s even more difficult when recruiting help is not your full time job, as it is with professional house cleaning companies. Furthermore, background checks are more difficult for private individuals to undertake than for companies who have developed and utilise a systematic screening process in connection with their hiring practices.

Hiring a reliable cleaning company (instead of trying to find an individual house cleaner), which in turn bears the burden of finding, training and managing its help, can relieve you of that ordeal. Another side benefit in choosing a company over an individual house cleaner is that a reliable company will take care of its personnel’s taxes and accept responsibility for workers’ compensation claims — resulting in less hassle and added peace of mind for you.


Define the Job
When interviewing a potential cleaning service, it’s important that both you and your company clearly agree on what will be included for the quoted fee. The general description of the job is "house cleaning", and you need to determine up front exactly what this description includes on each visit.

It will be far easier for both you and your house cleaner when the expectations are spelled out and mutually understood right from the start. This is why NCA spends time with you and provides you with a re-usable task list so that we know exactly what is expected of us during each clean.


Be Prepared to Pay a Fair Price
You work hard for your money, and you deserve to get the most for whatever you choose to spend it on. However, the old adage that says "any man can make something cheaper and sell it for less”, is certainly true when it comes to getting good value from your house cleaning service.

There are many factors that go into calculating a fair price for cleaning your home, both initially, as well as on an ongoing weekly basis. The major cost to a cleaning service is labour, the cost of acquiring, training, supervising and paying a qualified and professional work force. You can’t attract or keep quality people with minimum wage pay — not in the cleaning industry, or any other type of business. Yet, labour is only one of the costs that cleaning rates must cover.

In addition to payroll costs, your cleaning service has other overhead expenses: taxes, marketing expenses, office and administrative costs, workers insurance costs — just to name a few. It is not unusual for it to cost NCA £100 just to get cleaners to your home — before they even start cleaning it!
On top of all that, the company obviously expects a small profit per cleaning visit, to pay for the service provided by them.

The really important factor relative to your cleaning fee is that you get good value for your money — and that should be more than just a good cleaning job.


What Determines Good  Value?
Obviously, since you’re paying for "house cleaning", you expect a good cleaning job. Your expectations relative to what was agreed upon at the beginning of your relationship with NCA should be fulfilled. But the overall value is determined by more than just a clean home on every visit.

If you hire someone who agrees to clean for you every Wednesday, but can’t be depended upon to show up faithfully on the agreed-upon day, it really doesn’t matter how good a cleaning job that person or company performs. It does not make your life easier when you’ve got company coming and you arrive home from work to find out that your house cleaner failed to show up that day!

Knowing that the folks to whom you entrust your home and valuables have been screened and professionally trained and supervised can give you greater peace of mind — certainly a major element in making your life easier. A reliable cleaning company would never assign anyone to clean your home to whom they wouldn’t entrust their own.

Accidents can and do happen, and when they do, "good intentions" may not cut it. Many house cleaners do not carry general liability insurance. What happens if a cleaner slips and falls on a wet floor or while cleaning a bathtub? What happens if your house cleaner accidentally breaks a valuable family heirloom? Knowing that your cleaning service is responsible enough to carry the proper insurance coverage is important to your peace of mind.

It should be noted that due to insurance restrictions our staff should not be asked to clean the outside of window panes or be asked to clean the inside of ovens with any strong caustic substances. These chemicals require specialist training to use safely and no responsibility can be taken by Never Clean Again for any damage caused by the use of such chemicals.


Effective Communication Makes Everyone's Life Easier
A major cause of misunderstandings that lead to dissatisfaction in the relationship between client and house cleaner is a lack of communication. Communication is a two-way street, and since you may not be home on most occasions when your cleaners visit, "written" communication is important. Certainly, leaving a note to express a concern or register a complaint is important. But it’s equally important that you periodically communicate your written appreciation for good service. House cleaners respond well to compliments just like anyone else. In fact, the old saying that "honey attracts more flies than vinegar" is indeed true.

People like to be recognised, and written compliments can go a long way in motivating the workers responsible for looking after your house cleaning chores. Use written notes to convey special requests or to address specific concerns. But also look for opportunities to inspire your cleaning people with positive comments as well. You might be surprised how far this gesture will go in motivating your cleaning team to go that extra mile.

When your cleaning team leaves you a note, it also shows that they care about you and your home.


Special Requests
Your cleaning team may be responsible for cleaning several homes each working day. While they will be happy to accommodate special requests you may have from time to time (such as extra ironing, inside the refrigerator, and washing windows, for example), if these requests are likely to lead to a longer cleaning time than booked, it would be easier for them to accommodate your wishes if you provide them with advance notice.

Rather than leaving a note asking them to do a longer clean today, call the office in advance. In this way, your cleaners can plan their day’s cleaning timetable ahead of time. As you can appreciate, if two or three clients surprised them with extra duties on their scheduled day, they may have to skip someone else’s regular visit if they tried to fit in that extra work.

Keep in mind that your cleaner will only work for the amount of time that you have requested. You should not worry about asking her to do too much as she will not work for longer than you have asked. This ensures that you do not pay more than you have budgeted for. Remember - requesting too much is better than not requesting enough. The re-usable tick lists given to you by NCA will allow you to communicate to your cleaner any 'priorities'.


Your Cleaning Schedule
NCA cleaners work five days a week, Monday to Friday. That means that we need to clean approximately 20% of our clients each day. Obviously, not everyone can be cleaned on Friday. Of course, not everyone wants to be — and for good reason. Monday, for example, is an excellent day to schedule your cleaning because it means the house gets spiffed up after the weekend and you get to come home to a cleaner home all week long. Then again, your cleaner can’t clean everyone on Monday, either.

A factor that may determine your specific cleaning day is the weekday on which a cleaning team is already in your area. If your cleaners are already cleaning several homes in your neighborhood on Wednesday, then that is likely to be your assigned cleaning day. It is not economically feasible to send a team several miles out of their way when they’re working in another part of town on Tuesday, for example, if there is a team in your neighborhood on Wednesday. We do however always try to accommodate any requests if we are able to.

It’s also important to understand that while your house cleaner may be able to tell you whether they will be at your house in the morning or afternoon on your scheduled day, it is sometimes not possible to set an exact time of arrival. It is helpful if you can allow a degree of flexibility as far as the start time is concerned. What is important is that if they promise to come on Thursday, then you have every reason to expect them to show up sometime on Thursday — and that is important. Once again however, if timing is critical for you, we will try to accommodate your request as closely as we are able to.


Cancelled Appointments
Just as it might make your life miserable if your cleaners did not show up without notice for a scheduled visit, it is equally frustrating for your team to arrive only to find that you "forgot to call and cancel" this visit. For this reason, NCA has a policy of charging clients who fail to provide 14 days advance notice in cancelling a cleaning visit. Conversely, if your cleaners fail to show as scheduled without notification, you have an equal right to some type of recompense — NCA offers a £3 per hour reduction on your next clean if this does happen. Of course, emergencies can arise which may make it impossible for one party or the other to keep a scheduled appointment. Since those types of emergencies are rare, empathy on the part of the offended party should be the order of the day. It would be a shame to ruin an otherwise good relationship between you and your house cleaner as a result of circumstances beyond anyone’s control.


Security Issues
Since most clients are not home when NCA cleaners visit, there must be some way for us to gain entry into the house. The majority of clients provide their cleaning company with a house key — which will be treated with the utmost security. Leaving a key under the front doormat, in a mailbox, or some other location is not a safe alternative although if this is your preference please let us know.

If you’re not comfortable giving your cleaners their own key, and there’s a chance you won’t be home when they arrive, you need to have some agreeable and viable alternative for allowing them entry into your home. Being "locked out" for a scheduled cleaning visit is a reason for NCA to make a charge for a missed-appointment fee.

Professional house cleaning companies like NCA pre-screen prospective employees prior to sending them out into clients’ homes. A background check that discloses impeccable honesty and integrity is critical to the screening process. The standards demanded of applicants and employees of your cleaning service may indeed be higher than those required by firms employing people in the security field.


Accidents can happen, even with the most careful of house cleaners. Most often they occur because the homeowner fails to notify their cleaners about "booby traps" that may be present: the lamp shade that collapses if you merely look at it wrong — the picture that’s hanging by a thread which falls off the wall the minute the dusting person touches it. Be sure to advise your cleaner about any such potential perils that may be present in your home.

Many client/house cleaner relationships are terminated when something in the home is broken and the "good intentions" of the cleaners aren’t enough to pay for the damage. It’s important that your house cleaner be adequately insured. Insurance is a substantial expense for those responsible house cleaning services who carry it, but it’s worth the peace of mind to you to pay a little more for a service that is properly insured.

Damage to household objects is one thing, but it can be far more serious (and costly) if someone is injured on the job. Your house cleaner could slip and fall on a wet floor or while cleaning a bathtub, and that’s why it’s also important that NCA covers its employees with required insurance. You might be surprised — indeed, shocked — by the increased premium in your homeowners’ policy if someone is injured on your property and a claim is made against your insurance company for bodily injury and/or other expenses.

A major cause of injury to house cleaners occurs during winter months when they attempt to enter a client’s home with ice-covered walkways or steps. Show common courtesy to your cleaning team by making sure that outside steps and entryways are safe to walk on on your established cleaning day.


Family pets can pose a problem for the house cleaner who doesn’t know whether the big, barking dog is excited friendly — or excited angry. Should Fluffy the cat be let in (or let out) by the team? If Fido has been locked in a room, you don’t want the cleaner to drop down with a heart attack when she opens the door, only to be greeted by a lunging Rottweiler!

If possible, leave your pets outside on your cleaning day. It’s a lot easier to clean the house without the cat chasing the mop or having the dog freak out when the vacuum cleaner is turned on. If pets will be in the home when your house cleaners arrive, be sure that they have been warned ahead of time — like, "don’t let the cat out when you come," or "don’t worry about Rex’s barking."


Never Clean Again

07576 745436

“Never Clean Again . . . and YOU set the standards!"



Phillip and Joan Conquest

07576 745436