3 dirty jobs best left to the pros
by Angie's List staff
Ever hear anyone complain about having too much time to play with their kids, catch up on their reading or just relax? Know anyone who would rather scrub the toilet than take a nap?
“Too many of us assume the cost of hiring a pro is so high that it can’t be justified,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “But what we’re doing is undervaluing our own time, as well as the stress relief even a little help can offer.”
Angie’s List did the math on three common household chores that never seem to get done: house cleaning, lawn mowing and cleaning up after pets.
“Consumers tell us all the time how much easier life became when they gave up some of their chores to a pro, Hicks said. “For some families, hiring a reliable local service company ends the fights over who’s cleaning up after Fido, who’s on toilet detail and whether the grass really needs mowed again. Often, these service pros became like part of the family.”
1. House cleaning. Why pay for it? Most of us can keep up with basic tidiness, but giving your house the good scrubbing it needs takes a lot of time and cleaning supplies. It’s a job that’s never truly finished, and, and it’s one of those issues always at the top of the list of things that cause family disharmony.
- Average cost: $80
- Time spent by average homeowner: at least a few minutes every day/hours on the weekends
- Frequency for a pro: every other week
2. Lawn mowing . Why pay for it? Your lawn is a huge part of your home’s curb appeal and taking care of it eats up a lot of precious summer time. Few homeowners enjoy the sweat and mess, keeping the gas can full and messing with the upkeep a lawn mower demands to be in top chopping shape. Leave the mowing, trimming and yard waste collection to the experts and you won’t have to store or maintain the tools and equipment.
- Average cost: $35
- Time spent by average homeowner: at least three hours, including trimming, bagging and personal clean-up.
- Frequency for a pro: weekly
3. Cleaning up after pets. Why pay for it? Leaving these deposits to break down naturally in your yard is unhealthy for your family and your dog, and let’s face it: it’s an icky job that some of us put off until we just can’t take a step outside without risking a shoe covered in poo. A professional has equipment that makes the task quicker, and some pros say they develop skills that let them sidestep the waste but still find and pick up every bit of it.
- Average cost: $20
- Time spent by average pet owner: at least an hour, two for those who tend to put off the job, including disposal and personal cleanup.
- Frequency for a pro: weekly
“For some of those dirty, do-it-yourself jobs, if you don’t hire a reputable, reliable professional, you’re going to add to your stress level rather than reduce it,” Hicks warns. “But there are lots of great service professionals out there who would love to take on your chore list. Budget the cost of hiring a professional versus doing it yourself. Then do your homework to find someone with a great local reputation who will make your life easier.”
Costs for these services vary across the country by size of house, yard or dog. Average costs and job duration were derived by reviewing Angie’s List data and surveying highly rated service professionals in the nation’s biggest cities.