Maintenance franchises run on two maxims: Everything gets dirty, and most things eventually break. So whether you're a neat freak, incredibly handy, or just like the idea of helping out home owners and businesses with cleaning and fix-it work, the world of maintenance franchises offers a ton of different options.

We scoured the maintenance category in our Franchise Zone to bring you a list of maintenance franchises that were tops in their industry categories in our 2007 Franchise 500. This is the best of the best when it comes to cleaning, repairing and maintaining homes, commercial locations and even lawns.

While this list is based on our Franchise 500, please be aware it's only meant as a starting point for your research, not an endorsement of any particular franchise.

Top Carpet, Upholstery and Drapery Services Franchise
Chem-Dry Carpet Drapery & Upholstery Cleaning
Chem-Dry is a low-cost franchise that you can start from your home, part- or full-time, and build as big as you desire. The Chem-Dry competitive edge is that they offer a "patented, hot carbonating" cleaning method allowing for quick drying times.

Top Commercial Cleaning Franchise
Jani-King
Regional Jani-King offices offer new franchisees a base of clients to begin with, and offer the option of starting full time or part time based on the amount of clients. The startup fees are also based on the number of clients, offering new franchisees flexibility in their initial investment.

Top Duct Cleaning Franchise
Duct Doctor USA Inc.
Duct Doctor franchise owners provide commercial and residential air-duct cleaning. Franchisees help improve air quality with the help of a power vacuum attached to the specially designed Duct Doctor truck..

Top Handyman Services Franchise
Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC
Franchisees of Mr. Handyman don't have to be handy themselves; they've just got to be good business managers. The job of Mr. Handyman franchisees is to dispatch handymen (or handywomen) out to customers' homes to fix all the things on their to-do lists that they don't have the time or ability to fix themselves.

Top Miscellaneous Home Repairs Franchise
Mr. Appliance Corp.
Mr. Appliance franchisees offer 24/7 service and repair for all makes and brands of appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves, ovens, ranges, microwave ovens, vent hoods, trash compactors, ice makers and ice machines. They service both commercial and residential appliances.

Top Lawn Care Franchise
Lawn Doctor
Franchisees in the Lawn Doctor system offer their clients lawn care, tree and shrub care, and some pest control. Lawn Doctor offers proprietary TurfTamer application equipment and proprietary management software, and the opportunity to work from home.

Top Pest Control Franchise
Critter Control Inc.
Critter Control takes an environmentally and ecologically friendly approach to helping clients rid themselves of unwanted animals. Franchisees offer home owners, businesses, property managers and even municipalities a humane way to control birds and animals, and to prevent the return of those critters. The company works with a staff of biologists, zoologists, certified wildlife specialists, animal control officers and anti-cruelty personal to maintain its wildlife management policies.

Top Plumbing Franchise
Rooter-Man
Rooter-Man franchisees don't have to be plumbers, just hard-workers who are willing to help people 24/7 who need their drains unclogged. Franchisees get both practical and management training, as well as patented drain-cleaning equipment.

Top Residential Cleaning Franchise
The Maids Home Service
Franchising since 1981, the Maids Home Service franchise offers residential cleaning, including window and carpet cleaning. Franchisees manage four-person cleaning teams that use environmentally preferable cleaning products.

Top Restoration Franchise
Servpro
Servpro franchisees offer home and business owners a variety of services, from the cleaning of upholstery, walls, carpets, window treatments and air ducts, to fire and disaster-recovery restoration of carpets and hard surfaces. They even offer crime scene and vandalism clean-up services.

Top Restroom Maintenance Franchise
Aire-Master of America Inc.
Aire-Master franchisees offer business restroom deodorizing and cleaning services, as well as products manufactured by Aire-Master to help those restrooms stocked and odor-free. Clients become repeat customers with bi-weekly service.

Top Vinyl Repair Franchise
Dr. Vinyl & Associates Ltd.
Dr. Vinyl "Certified Automotive Doctors" (i.e. franchisees) can help pimp any clients' ride with fix-it service for cracked dashboards, vinyl and leather seats, windshield dings, dents and paint touch-up. They also offer new items like wood dashboards, rear deck spoiler, graphics, pin striping, molding or custom floor mats.

Top Window Washing Franchise
Window Gang
Window Gang franchise owners provide a wide range of exterior cleaning services, including window and pressure washing, concrete and gutter cleaning. They also sell window blinds and provide chimney sweeping services.

Top Miscellaneous Maintenance Franchise
American Leak Detection
Drip, drip...drip. American Leak Detector franchisees get rid of those drips for home owners, commercial building owners, and municipal clients with sewer and water leak detection and repair services. Using proprietary methods, leaks are located without destroying walls or digging holes, which cause damage to property.

Ready, Set, Research
If you didn't find anything that suits your taste on this list, don't worry: There are dozens of other ideas in the maintenance section of our Franchise Zone for you to browse.

When one catches your eye, begin your research. Due diligence includes thoroughly reading a company's literature and its Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, calling and visiting the existing franchisees, and consulting with an attorney and an accountant. Use our thorough how-to to guide you on your journey.