Neighbors complaining

Had an interesting afternoon today. I've been on a cedar shingle roof for a couple of weeks now. First I wash the house roof of 60 Squares and pulled off for a couple of days to let the roof dry out before I sealed it and the owner calls me up and wanted the Garage of 35 square done too. Today I was filling up my burner when a home owner from down the street comes walking down to complain about the noise. He said that I had a comercial unit and I should not be allowed to operate in a residental area. I have an 18 horse vangard, that's only 1 horse more than the home owners lawn mower. He said he was calling the city to get me out of there. I told him if he would wait 15 more minutes I would be done. He got pissed and walked off.
Now the job is 90 minutes away from me and I take the kids to daycare @ 7 am that means I don't get there till 8:30, unroll the hoses, apply wood wash and it's between 9 and 9:30 before my machine even starts. Since I try to have a life with the wife and kids I shut down between 4:30 and 5. The washer does not run that much and it's not that loud at the whiners home. What would you guys tell him?
Thanks, Jim
When he walked up I would have shut the machine down and said, "Thank you sir for telling me, I'm very sorry, I'll reduce the engine rpm's, idle it down and only run one pump, that should quiet things down considerably, and by the way my name is Jim, here's my card and if I can ever be of service please call. Thanks again." Give him a couple minutes to get back down the street, crank back up and go back to work.
I'd tell him to stick it up his..............

Then pull out my cell phone and call the cops for him.....

Please, there's no ordinance against it........not within reasonable hours.

David Saulque

<b>PWN TEAM - Hood Moderator</b><br<b><font color=
Mike is right on target, some people just like getting into things that just don't concern them. Don't backdown, you are doing a service for your customer.



New Member
You go Mike!;)
And I thought I was ornery at times....

Seriously, if you are working withing the hours outlined by local ordinances, he can't do a thing. Some people have too much time on their hands.



New Member
Guess I am in the wrong town,

Used to be laws about noise, now anyone can call the cops and have you shut down for "disturbing" their peace and quite at any time of the day or night.

I kid not, happened to me, since most my work is night and not even in areas people live it is hard to fathom anyone complaining about the noise.

Well someone did, cops came, opened their window, determined I was not that loud and went on their way. Next month manager says he got a complaint so could I please do the work in the early moring, ok not a problem. Following month I start at 7 am, guess what, the same SOB calls the cops again and again they drive by, I wave at them and they move on.

I checked with the city to find out about noise laws, well I'll be, there is no longer anything such as after 10PM or before 6 AM, it is now any time anyone says your bothering them they can call and we can shut you down.

So much for free enterprise. Just another thing to add to being a business owner and what we have to deal with.

No I don't have that account anymore either and being honest I don't miss it.

Hey I can hear just fine, I hear my equipment running!!
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Larry L.

PWN TEAM - Moderator Emeritus
<b><font color=green>Also Jon alot of the houses areas have their own ordinances as what can and cann't go on in that area,even on what days.

By him pointing out the comercial unit tells me something nomatter what size motor it has NO comercial in that are.Or OR or.

I agree with Andy's post,besides he could have even owned the houseing area and said something like that to see how you would handle his housing area""you never know" who you are telling to stick it,,,I think that shows bad bad to your trade and OURS as in professicals,shame on ya'll.



New Member
Andy just how far "down the street" did this guy live?

One or two homes away or several?

Just having one HP more then his lawn mower means nothing, the noise level does and your machine most likely was much louder, still I cannot see someone complaining during normal hours.

Unless he is a night worker trying to get his sleep I would say he needs to find a hobby or something.

Now what really can any of us do when someone says we are making to much noise? quite, ask the customer to talk with his neighbor and let them hash it out while we continue working?

What happens if we did what Andy says give him our card and the next thing we know we are being sued? Could happen.

What if we said we are only trying to make a living and when we are done would you like me to clean your front porch, driveway or some other quickie for free? Would that shut the guy up?

I will admit there is much more noise then I hear, heck I don't hear birds chirpping, volins playing and any other high pitched sounds so I know I miss a lot, but again not my equipment, it is loud to me too...

Gee guys/gals, just think how I could call the cops and complain about the freeway noise and all those trucks using their Jake Brakes to slow down on the road behind me, hey I need my sleep too and they are disturbing me.

Think I have a case?
You said it Mike....some people just complain about everything because that is all they have to do with their lives.
Jim, what I would do is find out where this guy lives. Go next door and tell the homeowner that you are doing free house washing for advertisement. It might take you a couple days to complete a thorough job. hehehehehehe then crank it UP!!!
Then give him one of these for good measure........
You caught me on the wrong day to answer this.... :p

I'm not sure how far down the street this guy lived and if it wasn't the business card that got us sued, it would be the lettering on our trucks. I'm really not into free work but I'm sure this guy would never see any from me.

My point is that we should TRY to de-escalate the situation. I'm sure none of us wants to make enemies or cause conflict on a job site. We all know that there are alot of difficult and unreasonable people out there - just like this guy. Tell him something that will make him happy and get him out of your hair so you can get back to work.
I positively love the idea of doing a freebie next door to him to piss him off even more..........great idea Den.

Most likely, I would not really tell him to shove it.......but I would be thinking it for sure. I bet that guy is a daysleeper........why else.........that's the only excuse for being that way! Oh well.
Take it from a guy who responded to these types of calls for about 22 years.
You can try all you want to please this type of guy, but let's face reality, you won't. There comes a time when there is simply no solution to problems like these. You can't please him, the Police can't please him, a jury can't please him, nor can a Judge please him. This is probably a guy that has a general desire to make people feel as bad as he does. Misery loves comfort. If he can make you as miserable as he is, then and only then does he feel comfortable. Most likely, the whole neighbohood has had to deal with this guy a time or two and the Police Department are very tired of responding to this guys complaints. This type of guy couldn't hurt your business if he tryed because he probably has very few friends as it is. The only hope for this guy is prayer. I think I'm about as kind hearted as most people, and I've been through senstivity training and spent many years dealing with violent and irate citizens, but I'm here to tell you, no matter what you do, your going to have problems with one party or another.
You have one party that is paying you for a service and one party who could careless if you dropped off the face of the earth. Which party do you satisfy first? Now if the guy down the street wants to beat the customers price, maybe you could shut your machine off and walk away, but as long as the customer is buttering your bread, your going to have to be loud. All jokes aside, you probably handled the situation the best you could, so I wouldn't worry about it.

"In the Name of JESUS, May GOD give this man patients."

Jim, For you to be concerned about this problem and to want to find a solution, tells me a whole lot about your character. You must be a really nice guy.
I doubt there is a court in this land that would convict you of any wrong doing.
If you still have a problem, contact the Justice of the Peace or probably in your case, the city procecutor. She or He can tell you the law or at least it will warn him/her if he trys to file charges on you.
If he approaches you again, you can at least tell him you have spoke to the local procecutor. That pretty well puts and end to it.

Take Care

Richard R.
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New Member
Leave it to an Ex-lawman to set us all straight.

Richard, sounds like the poor soul needs more help then anyone can give him.

Mike, I think we all know you wanted to tell him to shove it but being the businessman you are you would deal with it diplomatically.

Would be a good research on noise laws around the USA.

In some cities you can go to city hall and apply for a noise permit so you are able to do your work or you can just ask the party which is upset what time it would be ok with them.
I have run across this problem but in manny cases if it is between the hours of 8am and 5pm ,normal working hours, there is nothing much they can do.
There are cities that have passed laws against noisy equipment and if you don't have that permit they can site you.
My advise is, if is a big job get a permit and post on your truck window where is in clear view of the public that way there wont be any problems.
The ticket sucks if you don't have this permit.
I like how Andy would handle it,but i feel like Mike.I had never this happen to me till a couple of weeks ago.I was washing a deck and man drow up and started complaining,shotgun in his truck,old fart,you best shoot me or when i get down i will use some of that karate i am learning.Any way he said ,who put you up there,water is running in my yard and i dont like that,his yard was half a mile away,and water was running down the deep country road.What does he do when it rains?? said sorry sir,i am on the job,cant help it,unless you pay me to quit ,i will keep on working.Just ignore ,apologize ,but cant be rude,old people get that way,who knows might shoot before i get down

Thanks for all the replies,
Before I even started this job I spotted a great fence that I really wanted for the publicty, just happens it is next door to the whiners house. Now I want to hit them up and give them a discount just to get the job. Lots of decks and fences in this nieghborhood that I would like to get.
I talked to the home owner today (he was out of town when this happened) and asked him if the nieghbor talked to him yet, he said no--why? I told him. He laughed and told me to tell him where to go.
this house is like 5 homes away
Your right about the elderly.
We had an elderly man shoot a State Trooper just for writing him a speeding ticket. If they will do that, they will shoot you for anything.
I had a girlfriend that told me one time she broke down near a busy intersection and it was the elder men that gave her the most problems. She said they would drive up behind her knowing she had her emergency flashers on an would finally go around her and flip her off and start shouting at her.
It was my understanding that more than one elderly person did the same thing.
What a crying shame.
Maybe it's a Texas Thing Huh?

Richard R.
No, its just the fact that they couldn't even SEE the flashers until they were stopped behind her........ Of course, no danger of hitting her, because they were only going ten miles per hour anyway.......
Mike, it's funny because your so right.
One year, I attempted to get a little old lady to pull over because of phone and CB complaints of her impeding traffic or for something simular. (Not Sure)
Anyway, I would drive for a long distance behind her with my lights and sirens on and she would be driving about 10 or 20 mph with no clue I was behind her. Finally after she realized where the sound of the siren was coming from, she stopped in the middle of the road, cars swerving everywhere trying to miss the stupid policeman that was harrassing the little old lady. As I approached her drivers window, she would slowly start pulling away as if I wasn't even there. I'd run back to my patrol car and the 10 to 20 mph persuit would be on again. This went on for quiet a few times, me trying to approach her window and her pulling away before I could get to her window. Finally, after this totally exhausting episode, I pulled in front of her, blocking her from going any further. First words out of her mouth was, "what'd I do wrong officer?" I said to her. "Ma'm didn't you hear my siren and see my lights flashing behind you?" She replyed. "Yes I did sonny, but I thought you were trying to go around me." :confused:
Needless to say, it wasn't long before she was requested to take another driving test.
Now, for the elderly men, they would chew me up one side and down the other for stopping them. They'd inform me that they were driving automobiles long before I was born and that they didn't need some snotty nose kid telling them how to drive.
What a mess these folks would put me in.

Richard R. :)

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