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Domestic services

Below you will find information about finding home services including finding a house maintenance and repair company, a handyman, a babysitter, or housekeeping.

Babysitter
Many Dutch people just ask neighbours or students to babysit their children when they go out for the evening. By the age of 14, children normally start looking for babysitting jobs in the area. Ask your neighbours for a recommendation. Babysitters normally get paid between €4 – €7 an hour, depending on the age, the number of children and the amount of time your babysitter needs to be present. Information boards in supermarkets often announce private babysitting services.

Gardener
Flowers in all colours and all varieties are available in the Netherlands — not just tulips! Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, and others produce food crops, and sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. Family-life gardens usually look like big play areas, with climbing racks and sandboxes, and only few flowerbeds or decorations.
There are many garden centres in the region Twente. They sell a large variety of plants, trees and shrubs, houseplants, water gardening, seeds and bulbs, fertilisers , pottery, garden tools and garden decor. Some also sell pet-related products and small pets. Many centres also sell outdoor furniture and barbecue grills; they may also offer landscape design and landscaping services. To find a garden centre closest to your house, you can best check internet and look for “tuincentrum”. Most Dutch people will maintain their garden themselves, as the gardens are usually not very big. If you need professional help maintaining your garden (if only for pruning trees or large shrubs), search for an official gardening service (hoveniersbedrijven/tuinierbedrijven).

Handyman
Handymen do not just fix squeaky doors and holes in the drywall; they are in fact carpenters who can do almost anything. A good handyman can do plumbing and electrical work, build small additions and walls, paint, and tile. He can also help you with common small repairs, childproof your home and garden, and deal with flood damage repair. The modern handyman and home-repair firm usually work on an hourly basis, just like a plumber or electrician would. In order to get the best value for your money, have as many little repairs as possible done at the same time. Finding a handyman can be done by recommendation from neighbours or friends or using internet and search for “klusjesman”.

Tips for hiring a handyman:

• Ask for a list of references and call them
• Communication is the key word (does he speak English?)
• Do not hire someone just because he/she asks the lowest price
• Check the contractor’s quality standards
• Check how long the contractor has been in business
• Verify insurance
• Check the contractor’s level of education
• Look for a contractor who is a member of an applicable trade association
• Check if the contractor needs a license, and if so, if that license is valid
• A dispute resolution system should be included in your contract

Housekeeping
In the Netherlands, many people have someone who cleans their house 1-2 times a week, but it is not easy to find a person you trust. Here are a couple of tips to help you:

• Ask your neighbours if they can recommend someone
• Ask the property owner or relocation agency if they can recommend someone
• Check the information boards in the supermarkets. (They sometimes have names and telephone numbers of cleaning ladies from the neighbourhood.)
• Check websites such as Marktplaats (search for “huishoudelijke hulp”) and ikzoekeenwittewerkster.nl
• Before handing over your keys, make sure that you make at least two referral checks!
• The going rate for house cleaning is between €10 and €15 per hour.