How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost? Really.
Carpet Cleaning Canberra – This question is about as easy to answer as asking “how much does a house cost?” The short answer is, that depends. The longer answer is the following.
Carpet Cleaning – Every job is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all price however, carpet cleaners should be able to give you a ball-park estimate over the phone, but may need to inspect your carpet in person to firm up the quote. There are two common ways to price carpet cleaning services – per room rates or per square foot rates.
Carpet – Per room rates are designed to make it easier to price cleaning services over the phone without having to send a technician out to your home to measure each room. You may find advertised prices as low as $20 or $25 per room, but beware of the lowest rate as you usually get what you pay for. There are many ways a carpet cleaner can cut costs to lower their price, but none of them will benefit the customer.
The per room rate is usually limited to a maximum size and/or larger rooms are charged as two rooms. The rates are calculated to average out over many jobs to an acceptable net rate for the company to remain profitable. Customers with smaller rooms often pay a premium, while customers with larger than average rooms may get a break.
Per square foot rates are designed so that companies can custom tailor each job price more closely to the actual value of the service. If you have smaller areas to be cleaned, you will pay less and if you have a larger than average sized rooms you will understandably pay a little more. This method allows the company to make their required margins on each job, however it also requires them to make a special trip to your home to provide a quote which may add to the cost.
The rate per square foot charged may also vary depending on the size of the job, smaller jobs will likely be charged a higher rate while larger jobs may be charged a lower rate due to the fixed costs of travel and equipment set up, etc.
The average net rate for quality carpet cleaning services varies considerably region by region, and depends on many factors, but on average, at the time of this writing, you should expect to pay approximately $0.30 – $0.45 per square foot. Whatever the rate, it should include all cleaning solutions, materials, and labour required to complete the job to IICRC standards of care.
Usually (well hopefully) you’ll get what you pay for so, just as with any other major purchase decision, it’s buyer beware. When you do your homework you’ll find all carpet cleaning companies are not created equal.
Beware of additional charges or surcharges for fuel, disposal of waste, environmental fees, use of spotting solutions, or any other hidden or surprise charges. Prices quoted prior to the start of the job should be inclusive of all these costs.
Of course every cleaning situation is different, and there are valid business reasons for charging higher cleaning rates for extraordinary circumstances, and additional charges for additional services that are not included in the cleaning rates should be expected. Services such as carpet protection treatments, pet odour removal, and extreme spotting or stain removal processes are not generally included in regular cleaning rates.
Beware of the lowest quote, cheap per room rates, or huge discount offers. These may be warning signs that the company may not be entirely “above board”. There are, unfortunately, many carpet cleaners operating with less than impeccable ethical business practices.
Some carpet cleaning companies, probably most, pay their technicians a commission based on the total dollar amount of the jobs they do. This naturally motivates them in two ways: to up-sell as much as possible, extracting as much money from your wallet as they can, and to rush through jobs to get as much work completed, or more precisely, collect as much revenue in a day as they can. This can lead to sloppy workmanship, high pressure sales tactics from the technician for you to pay for additional services, and poor service attitudes from technicians who may feel they are not being compensated properly if you decline the extras or if your job situation requires more time than average. Make sure the company you deal with has strict quality standards in place that they will adhere to regardless of the size of the job.
Here are of few unethical marketing practices to watch out for:
Bait and switch selling. Some unscrupulous carpet cleaners will quote a super low price per room over the phone or in an advertisement (the bait) only to change the price when they get to your home (the switch) when the technician pressures you to pay more, claiming that the original quote didn’t include the cleaning solutions or the processes required to do a good job for your situation.
Bait and switch selling is illegal in Canada and the United States. You can report offenders to the Competition Bureau of Canada or to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Continually running deep discount offers. Some companies advertise huge discounts, 30%, 35%, even 50% off, week after week after week. Of course, discounts that sound too good to be true usually are. If a company offers deep discounts on a continual basis, you may wonder, when does anyone ever pay the regular price? It may be that the “discount” isn’t a discount at all, and perhaps their original prices are inflated to allow for the continually offered “sale prices”.
The Competition Act of Canada prohibits this practice. You can read the “Advertising Dos and Don’ts” section at the Competition Bureau of Canada website and judge for yourself.
The FTC in the United States has similar standards for truthfulness in advertising to protect consumers, which can be found on their website.
Telemarketing. The best advice here is never to book an appointment or give any personal information to a telemarketer and ask them to remove you from their list. While some companies using this marketing strategy may be reputable, the overwhelming majority are not. Get the name of the company calling you then do your homework. If they check out, you can always call them back to book an appointment.
You can add your phone numbers to the Do Not Call List in Canada and the United States if you want to stop telemarketers from calling you.
Here are some helpful tips to finding a quality, reputable carpet cleaner in your area.
The carpet cleaning industry is largely self regulated and only a small percentage of technicians receive any formal training at all.
1. Check with the IICRC at www.iicrc.org for a list of Certified Firms near you. Certified firms are required to have a certified technician on every job. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Even certified firms have been known to send technicians to homes that have no formal training. When discussing your cleaning project with prospective firms, insist that they send a certified technician to your home, one that is certified in the area of expertise that you require. Which leads us to important tip #2…
2. Conduct a brief, informal interview of your technician before he (or she) starts. Confirm that they are IICRC certified specifically for the type of service you require. If he is, he will be happy to produce his certification card for your inspection. Also make sure that your technician has at least three months of full time experience working along side a more experienced certified technician. He should be able to confidently answer basic questions about carpet cleaning, routine maintenance, spot removal and other questions about your carpet.
Note: For upholstery cleaning or more technically challenging jobs such as cleaning wool carpet, make sure your technician has several years of experience and many IICRC certifications to ensure your dealing with a top professional.
3. Get a quote in writing before committing to the job. Make sure the quote includes everything necessary for a complete job and top quality workmanship to the IICRC standards of care. Then get at least one other quote for comparison.
4. Review a written copy of their guarantee to ensure that if you are not satisfied with the cleaning results, they will stand behind their work and happily re-clean any unsatisfactory areas. Also check that they are insured so that you are fully protected in the event that something were to go wrong. Ask what will happen if something gets damaged during the cleaning process.
5. Get more quotes if you’re not comfortable making a decision with what you heard from the first two.
Here are some helpful tips that might help you minimize the costs of carpet cleaning.
While professional carpet care is not inexpensive, consider the substantial investment you have in your carpet. An average home has thousands of dollars worth of carpet installed and proper maintenance will extend the life of the carpet for years, avoiding the high cost of premature replacement. Not to mention keeping all that used carpet out of our landfills.
Clean for health. Regularly cleaned carpet contributes positively to the quality of the air your home by filtering out and capturing harmful particles that would otherwise be floating around the air for you and your family to breath in. Healthy carpets help create healthy home environments.
Regularly and frequently cleaning your carpet has so many benefits beyond mere aesthetics, improved indoor air quality, and the economic and environmental benefits. Well, actually that may be about it, but these are all really good reasons for you to feel better about the cost of keeping them clean.
But who doesn’t want to save a few dollars when you can, so here are some tips to help keep the costs down…
1. Carpet manufacturers and industry experts recommend that you clean your carpets annually, yet the average homeowner cleans their carpets only every 5 years, if at all. By waiting until carpets are visibly soiled before cleaning, they are generally considered overdue for professional attention. If you have your carpets cleaned frequently and regularly most carpet cleaning companies will reward you with a discount as the cleaning job will require less time and effort to restore them to their original clean condition.
2. More is less. The more areas you have cleaned during the same visit, the better rate per square foot you will likely get. For every cleaning job there is a fixed amount of time required to drive to your home, set up the equipment, and pack up the equipment. These fixed costs must be factored in to each job so you can expect the square foot rate will be higher for smaller jobs.
3. More, more is less. Most carpet cleaning companies offer a range of additional services such as upholstery cleaning and tile cleaning. Have more services done during the same visit and benefit from better rates for the same reasons as mentioned above.
4. Prepare the work area or empty rooms of furniture. A well prepared work area makes the cleaning job easier and faster for the technician and by clearing the furniture out of a room, many companies offer discounts or special empty room rates. You can also save by cleaning only the main traffic areas in lower use areas.