Being told to stop midway through

Has anyone been told midway through a section to stop because they (homeowner) didn’t like the results? I’m reasonably new to pressure washing, doing small stuff for about 3 years, but just started doing it as main source of income for the past 3 months.

Yesterday I had a first. The man who called me to clean his pool deck asked me to stop about 10 minutes into me washing and asked me if this is what the end results were going to be like. I let it dry and showed him the difference between what I had done and what wasn’t done yet, he told me to pack up. He wasn’t mean, or rude really. Just said he didn’t want to waste my time and didn’t want to pay for something he wasn’t happy with.

I was kind of dumbfound but cleaned up my equipment and took my leave. about 20 minutes later he called me asking for someone to come out and clean his deck… I let him know this was the same company that had just left and he hung up.

Anything I could have done better?

A better job cleaning it??? Do you have any pics? How about some more information on what equipment, chemicals, process used, etc. Not sure how anyone is supposed to answer you on what to do better when you never said what you did and didn’t do.

1 Like

My bad. I have a 3200 psi 2.5gpm machine with a 12" surface cleaner. 50/50 SH solution and let it sit for 5 minutes. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures. It was noticeably cleaner but the homeowner asked why it wasn’t white, and that he can get the same result from buying a good pressure washer. I apologized, asked him if he would like me to wait until it dries further and he said no so I took my leave.

:joy::joy: this is hilarious. Welcome to “dealing with the public” setting expectations is the key here.


Maybe he was underwhelmed with the fact that he could have done the job with the same home depot equipment and was upset because he thought he hired a pro.


You’re right he could have. It’s worked well for me for the past 3 years and this is the first time I’ve gotten that. But it is what it is I guess.

Just move on from him. Some people are just miserable and want to complain about anything


Yeah man, hate to say it but at least in my area my #1 competitor is the homeowner. They pride themselves on DIY so if you don’t differentiate yourself from whatever they can rent from Home Depot it won’t be a pleasant experience.


It’s been 3 years and you haven’t moved past a homeowner 2.5 gpm unit?

Save your money, invest in a minimum of 4 gpm. Better yet 5.5… get an 8! If I hired a professional window cleaner and he showed up with windex and paper towels, I’d tell him to stop too…

If someone told me to stop halfway through cleaning, they would still get an invoice for full price. Short notice /same day cancellation (already in my terms that they sign and accept when accepting my estimate) plus I’m already on the job site and cleaning is halfway done? Yeah, they will still get the Bill and that will be mentioned to them right after they asked me to pack up with many “are you sure”s following his request… sorry that happened to you

1 Like

Ya. Hoping to upgrade by fall. For the past 3 years I did maybe 6-10 a month doing sidewalks and driveways out of my hatch back. Got laid off in January and now trying to get this started off as at least a decent side hustle. It’s been going pretty decent the last few weeks but this was a first.

Thanks for the advice. I think the initial shock is what got me.

1 Like

It would shock me too.

How much were you charging and how big was the area? Not that it really matters now but just curious.

I had a customer tell me at the end of my job that his gutters weren’t white. I politely reminded him of our walk around conversation where I stated they would be organic matter free and clean but he would have discoloration due to neglect… he payed and I left! Like mentioned before, expectations need to be established.

First thing is to quit considering it a side hustle. You were laid off. So you all in or not should be your question

1 Like

Have it in the invoice or contract. This was a rare instance where someone was very rude. I’ve had people cancel day before, and even some move day of, but only one asked me to stop midway through a clean.

It was a long time window cleaning storefront (which I no longer do) and it was owned by 2 doctors. The one who made the original agreement (verbal) moved and opened another location. The doctor who stay was on good terms with me I thought. I always tried to say hi in passing when picking up my check when I cleaned them every 4 weeks. A few months in to the other doctor being gone, the other one comes out after I was a few panes in and told me he thought we were every 3 months (I had been there every 2 weeks for over 2 years…) He asked me to stop and treated me like I was trying to cheat him. I told him the price would go up 50% (not too uncommon for less frequent cleaning) and then after the next clean I told him it wasn’t worth it to me come out every 3 months so he would need to find someone else.

Point is, you can never know how clueless someone will be or rude. Even if your customer could do it, he was paying you for the ease of not having to do it himself. Service agreements, contracts, or whatever you want to call it are what protect you.

1 Like

I was charging $179. As it was a smaller built in pool. And a small area where they had some lounge chairs. I let him now all the mildew would be gone and that it would be significantly cleaner, it was definitely cleaner, but I guess not up to his standard.

Lesson learned. Seemed fair priced to me. I always point out the possibility of discoloration due to neglect. I clean, not paint! Lol


Decent side hustle and your getting 6-10 jobs a month for 3 years!?? Damn, with those numbers I would call that a business. Good job at making me feel bad. I guess I’m overvaluing this business

California is very expensive for insurance, chemicals (if you can even use them) and finding jobs on thumbtack adds up. But if I can double my jobs I can make it work.

Where are you located?

I guess I shouldn’t tell you that I do this on the side and do 130-140 a year for the past 4 years :rofl:

Full time I’m an engineering manager, so I really have to bust my butt, weekends and evenings to keep up with all the requests. I don’t advertise at all, it’s all word of mouth for me. Last year I had to push jobs out over a month and gave a few away.