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how many hours for a changeover?


candide

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Those of you who have experience of gite changeovers :  How long on average does it take to turn around a two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage (occupancy 4 people with 1 double bed and 2 singles)?

Have just started renting, and my changeover people claimed it took 13 hours to prepare after guests A and before guests B.

This is after they did a 21-hour 'thorough clean' before arrival of guests A because property had been unoccupied for a long time.

Am I right in thinking this seems excessive?

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    Of course it depends how much outside stuff they do as well - do they cut grass, sweep pool terrace etc?   We have a 2 bedroom house (although the rooms are quite big) and I normally take around 6 hours on a changeover day to do the house (husband does the outside) - can be more but seldom less because if it's not too bad I do things I don't do each time like all the lamp shades etc.  It can't take any longer cos in theory is only empty from 10am until 4pm so you need to develop a routine.

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If I'm lucky and the guests leave on time (10am), I can just about get the changeover done by 3pm, have a shower and a breather before the next guests arrive, hopefully not before 4 pm. (I have had guests arrive at 2pm and I have asked them to leave the luggage outside and take a drive around until 4pm!)

The changeover includes changing / airing and making beds for 5 or 6, 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom takes the longest (loo, bath, shower doors, tiled surfaces, windows, floor), so I usually start there whilst the beds are airing.

Mr Clair does the outside (grass, pool, terrace) and I do the washing and ironing during the week.

As Suandpete says above, you develop a routine.

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[quote user="candide"]

Have just started renting, and my changeover people claimed it took 13 hours to prepare after guests A and before guests B.

Am I right in thinking this seems excessive? [/quote]

Are there 2 people in your changeover team? I ask because perhaps they are claimng a total of 13 hours ie 2 people @ 6 hours each, which, while still a lot, is not so excessive.

Where we stayed when we first arrived the lady who did the changeovers took 10 mins - she walked in took a quick look round upstairs and down and then carefully shut all the shutters ' à clé' and left.* For this she charged the owner 30 euros. He thought she was actually cleaning.

* I only know this 'cos when we were waiting for our (proper) rented house to become available someone we know lent us their holiday home, which happened to be next door the gite mentioned above and we could see everything that went on next door.

Sue [:)]

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We have a 3 bedroom farmhouse and it takes 2 of us about 6 hrs each to clean before new guests. We work as a team, my wife does the beds, kitchen crockery and bathrooms. I do the cobwebs, dusting hoovering windows etc. Don't now what we will do next year when we let the Gite as well.

 

nichthewood

www.howittgites.com

 

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I've never had a gite but I find this interesting.  I used to clean houses for a living (for a year or two before I left the UK).  Most clients expected to have their houses cleaned from top to bottom in 4 hours max. (And with a lot of personal belongings about, they were very fiddly to do in some cases.)
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I personally would say that is excessive. I have five apartments, admittedly very modern and minimalist inside, so not a huge amount of dusting, etc. Plus we are tiled throughout so easy for mopping, etc.

But we allow - 2.5 hours for the larger apartments (around 70m²) and 2 hours for the smaller ones which are around 63m².

They are easy to clean and all have two bedrooms, one bathroom (a wetroom so again, easy) open plan lounge, kitchen and diner.

We do garden, lawns etc in the week also the linen, and then Saturday is chaotic, and really hard work, but worth it!!

 

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Personally I think it depends on how the last people left it.......we have a 2 bedroomed place at the coast, sometimes it's spotless other times it takes both of us several hours. One time I arrived and the people had stripped the beds, done one load of washing and another was in the machine plus the place was spotless, we only had to make the beds!! Another time all cutlery, china, pans etc. needed cleaning + the rest of the place was filthy.

aj

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[quote user="cooperlola"]I've never had a gite but I find this interesting.  I used to clean houses for a living (for a year or two before I left the UK).  Most clients expected to have their houses cleaned from top to bottom in 4 hours max. (And with a lot of personal belongings about, they were very fiddly to do in some cases.)[/quote]

Having worked occasionally as a cleaner myself, I have to agree with you. Unless outside work is included, I can't possibly see how it could take anything like this amount of time. Perhaps the people who take this long to do things have never been directly employed by somebody who wanted the work done efficiently and speedily!

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[quote user="Nich1"]

We have a 3 bedroom farmhouse and it takes 2 of us about 6 hrs each to clean before new guests. We work as a team, my wife does the beds, kitchen crockery and bathrooms. I do the cobwebs, dusting hoovering windows etc. Don't now what we will do next year when we let the Gite as well.

 

[/quote]

Assuming you have 6 rooms to do, this works out at 2 hours per room. I appreciate that you can spend that long on a dirty kitchen but what could possibly take that long in a bedroom?

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[quote user="KathyC"]

[quote user="cooperlola"]I've never had a gite but I find this interesting.  I used to clean houses for a living (for a year or two before I left the UK).  Most clients expected to have their houses cleaned from top to bottom in 4 hours max. (And with a lot of personal belongings about, they were very fiddly to do in some cases.)[/quote]

Having worked occasionally as a cleaner myself, I have to agree with you. Unless outside work is included, I can't possibly see how it could take anything like this amount of time. Perhaps the people who take this long to do things have never been directly employed by somebody who wanted the work done efficiently and speedily!

[/quote]That must be it.  We've rented a lot of cottages in our time.  When I left one of them - 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and 2 bathrooms - two girls arrived to clean.  They were doing 5 cottages between 10 am and 4 pm on a contract basis.  Similarly the owners obviously weren't expecting them to take 2 hours a room!
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[quote user="cooperlola"][quote user="KathyC"]

[quote user="cooperlola"]I've never had a gite but I find this interesting.  I used to clean houses for a living (for a year or two before I left the UK).  Most clients expected to have their houses cleaned from top to bottom in 4 hours max. (And with a lot of personal belongings about, they were very fiddly to do in some cases.)[/quote]

Having worked occasionally as a cleaner myself, I have to agree with you. Unless outside work is included, I can't possibly see how it could take anything like this amount of time. Perhaps the people who take this long to do things have never been directly employed by somebody who wanted the work done efficiently and speedily!

[/quote]That must be it.  We've rented a lot of cottages in our time.  When I left one of them - 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and 2 bathrooms - two girls arrived to clean.  They were doing 5 cottages between 10 am and 4 pm on a contract basis.  Similarly the owners obviously weren't expecting them to take 2 hours a room![/quote]

You should see the speed they have to do caravans on the Isle of Wight! Not too sure of the end result though.

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Our cleaner takes between 4-5 hours to clean a 4 bed, 3 bathroom house. Occassionally she will charge a little more if the house has been left excessively dirty or more than expected laundry has been used etc. In this case I normally charge the addition to the tenant, ( I have a clause in my T&C about this) thankfully this is rare.

My costs are as follows:

Gardens mowed once a week 15 euros + about 7.50 to weed the small flower beds

Caretaker 15 euros per changeover to check for damage etc. + 15 euros p/h if pool requires cleaning.

Cleaner 50 euros + any excess cleaning charges.

Total per handover 80-120 euros but I know the house is looked after and kept clean for my guests - so a very fair price I think. 

 

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[quote user="Smiley"]

Our cleaner takes between 4-5 hours to clean a 4 bed, 3 bathroom house. Occassionally she will charge a little more if the house has been left excessively dirty or more than expected laundry has been used etc.

[/quote]

Now that sounds more like it!

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[quote user="KathyC"][quote user="cooperlola"][quote user="KathyC"]

[quote user="cooperlola"]I've never had a gite but I find this interesting.  I used to clean houses for a living (for a year or two before I left the UK).  Most clients expected to have their houses cleaned from top to bottom in 4 hours max. (And with a lot of personal belongings about, they were very fiddly to do in some cases.)[/quote]

Having worked occasionally as a cleaner myself, I have to agree with you. Unless outside work is included, I can't possibly see how it could take anything like this amount of time. Perhaps the people who take this long to do things have never been directly employed by somebody who wanted the work done efficiently and speedily!

[/quote]That must be it.  We've rented a lot of cottages in our time.  When I left one of them - 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and 2 bathrooms - two girls arrived to clean.  They were doing 5 cottages between 10 am and 4 pm on a contract basis.  Similarly the owners obviously weren't expecting them to take 2 hours a room![/quote]

You should see the speed they have to do caravans on the Isle of Wight! Not too sure of the end result though.

[/quote]

From vague memory we had about 3 hours to clean a 6 bunk charter yacht........baring in mind that for about an hour of this the hatches were battened whilst a team member cleaned the outside, this was in Turkey in july and August. phew...hot!

the paid money was also topped up with the added bonus of as much water as you required to drink and a lunchtime meal at a quayside resto. Plus any leftover goodies the holiday makers left behind.

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I'd say to the original poster to clean the cottage themselves if possible to see how long it takes, then agree a fair price based on their changeover experience and pay the caretakers that price for the job for each changeover. Then if they take 13 hours (which I think is excessive) or 4 hours it's their problem.

I look after a three bedroom, one bathroom cottage which is rented out occasionally and usually, only one or two of the bedrooms are used. I charge 50 euros per changeover, which includes mowing the two small lawn areas with the owner's Flymo, and ensuring the gravel drive is weeded. I also charge 8 euros per bed set (including towels) for laundry. Any extra gardening when the cottage isn't rented out is charged at 15 euros per hour.

The owners know how long they spend on the house and garden so had a timescale/ price in mind when we discussed the job. If I told them I'd taken 13 /21 hours or whatever they'd sack me and find someone much more efficient/honest or whatever!

I really hope that the OP wasn't paying their caretakers an hourly rate!
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  • 1 month later...

Until 2 years ago I was working as a housekeeper looking after 2 properties, one of which was a Grade 2 listed Building on 3 floors and the other a barn conversion. I charged £20 for 3 hours and could clean from top to bottom including mopping 4 stone floors in the barn and 2 in the house.........and if necessary stripping beds and putting stuff in the washer.

The grade 2 listed building was always full of visitors at weekends and the barn had 2 teenage boys in residence..............

I think who ever did your clean was taking the mickey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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[quote user="toots"]

Until 2 years ago I was working as a housekeeper looking after 2 properties, one of which was a Grade 2 listed Building on 3 floors and the other a barn conversion. I charged £20 for 3 hours and could clean from top to bottom including mopping 4 stone floors in the barn and 2 in the house.........and if necessary stripping beds and putting stuff in the washer.

The grade 2 listed building was always full of visitors at weekends and the barn had 2 teenage boys in residence..............

I think who ever did your clean was taking the mickey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[/quote]

Provided your standards are the same as ours, would you like a job?

Steve

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Prior to looking after the two houses locally to where we now live I was housekeeper for a family in The South of England who had very high standards........he was High Sherriff of the County..............

Provide accomoadtion and I might think about it.OH was a jobbing gardener!!!!!!!!!! LOL

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Hi,

we have three gites (3,3 and 2 bedrooms, one of which is considerably larger than the other two gites) and we manage to clean all three every changeover day between 10 and 4.  Quite often, when we are all cleaning (the kids help me in the summer when they are over for their summer breaks from uni etc) we can get the lot done in a morning, as we did last week.  I also have a friend who comes and helps clean and whom I pay.  If it's just her and me then we obviously take longer, but it's great to be able to delegate.  There are four shower rooms, three kitchens, patio furniture etc.  We have a routine, starting upstairs and working down, each time doing one or two extras that don't need doing every week.

However, she also has cleaned (and still does clean some) very bad gites.  Firstly none of the cleaning products are supplied (we have two enormous plastic crates stuffed with everything you could possibly require), not even a mop!  This owner, on being asked to buy one, said she would only sweep between tenants!  Ugh!  She has also had to cope with electric problems (she had to clean in the dark once, as there was also no key to open security shutters as well as no power downstairs) and wash the floor with a cloth on her hands and knees.  She didn't get paid petrol money either, even when she had to go back and sort out problems.  One gite was stuffed full of cockroaches at the beginning of the season, some alive, some dead, and which she had to gouge out from nasty nooks and crannies!  Then the owner asked her why it had taken longer than two hours to clean!  Ugh again!

Another friend looks after a gite and is treated by the owner as a manager (clean the house, mow the lawn, trim the hedge, sort out all gite problems at any time of the day or night, welcome the guests, return to collect the keys before they leave, take a damage deposit and give it back after checking) all for about €44! 

Cleaning should be €15 per hour, but the first hour should be more, to cover travelling - €20, if the cleaner lives at a distance.

Grass cutting should be €20 per hour plus travelling and extra if you have to take your own mower, strimmer etc.

Gite Management should be alot more!  Some people treat their cleaners like managers for cleaners' wages, as I said above.  They should pay the going rate if they don't live on site or in France themselves.

I know alot of you reading this will think 'oh no, we wouldn't do that with our gites' and you are probably right.  But there are lots of people out there who do, and I know some of the people who clean for them.  The other obvious problem with gites like the above (my second friend gets embarassed showing guests round the one she 'manages' as it is so substandard) is that once people stay in a substandard one, they then think all gites are like that, and bang, there goes another potential client for those with nice gites. 

Better go, changeover to do today!  And only six hours to do it in!  However, luckily, lots of help today, so I foresee an afternoon in the swimming pool all by ourselves, before our next guests arrive at 4pm!  Goodoh!

Fil

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This is our first year.  I know I am slow and thorough and me and MOH do it together.  Our guests yesterday checked out at 10.15, the two of us worked solidly (without even stopping for a cup of tea!) until 3.45pm when the next family arrived.  It wasn't particularly dirty, and perhaps we are over the top - I also have all the bedding and towels ready in advance so as not to waste time, but reading this perhaps I need to be quicker!

I do know though (as I fell asleep in front of "the empire strikes back" at about 9.00pm!) that the place was faultless, not a grain of sand or a crumb to be found....and after all, working like that one day a week is no hardship compared to renovating in the first place is it???

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