Author Topic: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?  (Read 12836 times)

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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2013, 09:12:20 PM »
I think this is something that your BF and his sister (as the joint owners) need to sort out themselves. I personally wouldn't cave into Tom's demands and get up before 6.30am to shovel snow, simply on his say-so.

I also like the suggestions of everyone chipping in for a professional, or even a neighbourhood kid to clear the snow. But I do think that you and your BF, and his sister and her DH, have different attitudes when it comes to maintaining properties. Getting your own place might be the ideal solution.

magdalena

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2013, 08:23:46 AM »
I agree that it would be best to either suck it up and join in the shoveling or pay someone to do your share.

I'm in Germany (not sure where you are, OP, I think I missed that) and here we have a legal responsibility to make sure our property and even the side walk in front of our house is safe to walk, and as the snow quickly turns into ice here and we don't want to be responsible (either legally or morally) for our lovely mailman or a neighbor breaking his leg or worse, we pay for a professional service to clear the sidewalk and get up and shovel the walkways and the driveway ourselves. This way, the sidewalk is always clear (and if it's not, we've turned the legal resposibility over to someone else) and we can make sure the walkways are by the time anyone might be coming to our house.

Even if this is not a legal requirement where you are, I think there's a general responsibility that comes along with property to make sure no one's in danger because of it (mailman, neighbor walking their dog, kids playing).

...and this is also reminding me why we bought an older house instead of a brand new duplex that was going for the same amount of money - shared house almost always means that everyone has to do things they don't see as necessary or deal with the others not doing what they think is crucial...




guihong

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #62 on: February 22, 2013, 09:24:38 AM »
Agreed that there seems to be too much of a clash around chores to make this living arrangement viable long-term.

In the meantime, is there a reason that Tom's wife doesn't shovel?  If I were Tom, I'd be resentful, also. 

I see two possible solutions: One, each of you takes a turn at shoveling (or lawn mowing and tidying up).  That's once every 8 days, or less.  All four of you have to sit down and come up with standards in between "let it go" and "fussy".    Two, all of you chip in for a lawn service or neighborhood kid. 




Visiting Crazy Town

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #63 on: February 22, 2013, 10:12:30 AM »
Agreed that there seems to be too much of a clash around chores to make this living arrangement viable long-term.

In the meantime, is there a reason that Tom's wife doesn't shovel?  If I were Tom, I'd be resentful, also. 

I see two possible solutions: One, each of you takes a turn at shoveling (or lawn mowing and tidying up).  That's once every 8 days, or less.  All four of you have to sit down and come up with standards in between "let it go" and "fussy".    Two, all of you chip in for a lawn service or neighborhood kid.

Why does it matter that his wife doesn't shovel,  they probably share household chores the OP and her BF are a separate household. who apparently dislike doing anything to assist with the upkeep of the outside of the home.

TurtleDove

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #64 on: February 22, 2013, 10:24:05 AM »
I live in an area that is quite snowy in the winter.  I think timing is important for the shoveling.  My condo board hired a service that is contracted to have our areas shoveled by I think 7 am, and then continuing through the day as needed.  This is because we need to be able to get our cars out, walk, etc.  Really, I don't think Tom is out of line.  It isn't like it snows 365 days per year, or probably not even 20.  I think a comprimise can and should be reached, and if it cannot, I agree this isn't an ideal living situation.

Sharnita

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #65 on: February 22, 2013, 10:24:39 AM »
Somebody form Tom's household is already doing their share.  The question is when/who from OP's household will be doing their share, apparently not just shoveling but summer work as well.

guihong

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #66 on: February 22, 2013, 10:38:41 AM »
Somebody form Tom's household is already doing their share.  The question is when/who from OP's household will be doing their share, apparently not just shoveling but summer work as well.

That's a very true point.  I misspoke.  It still stands that each household has to pull their weight on the outside chores.

Maybe this is a great example of not mixing business with family.



Winterlight

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #67 on: February 22, 2013, 10:48:11 AM »
With the update, I'm thinking that this is an issue between OP's boyfriend and his sister, and it is not the OP's to solve.

Is there a neighbor kid (or adult) who might want to shovel the driveway for you in return for money?

Agreed.

Personally, I'd look into hiring someone for this stuff if you don't want to do it.
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Twik

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2013, 10:51:46 AM »
I think that doing chores that you do not like is just part of sharing space with other people. You might not be sharing your actual living space, so you do not have to do chores like dishes and such, but you are sharing the yard so you should be doing your share of the shoveling/yard work.

I agree with this 100%.

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Virg

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2013, 11:00:06 AM »
I agree with the others that you need to divide up the work, and getting past the idea that he's making you do "unnecessary" work is the first step.  Working out a schedule is the best approach to this.  For the snow, perhaps he can trench the driveway (that is, dig out enough to get his car out without driving on the snow) and the  you do the rest that evening.  He gets a driveway without packed snow, and you get to do it later in the day.  For mowing, split the tasks evenly, being aware that cutting the grass twice a summer really is too seldom for reasons stated above.

Once you've worked that out, bust out the shovel/mower, or bust out your wallet.  Others have suggested hiring someone to do the work, but I'll add the suggestion that you offer to pay Tom for the work directly, assuming he's amenable.  It bleeds off a lot of resentment for doing all of the work if he gets ten bucks (or whatever) from you every time he has to crawl out of bed and do it.  So talk it out and find out what's a good compromise.

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sparksals

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2013, 11:12:27 AM »
I am in Wisconsin, and so am quite well versed in snow etiquette. On my street, in a rural, small town (1500), every driveway is cleared by 7 am. Your neighbors will view you somewhat disdainfully if you leave it. It is similar, I guess, to mowing the lawn. Like you want your neighbors to maintain their lawn, you also want them to shovel.

There is also the problem that when the plow comes through, they will leave a huge bank at the end of your driveway. The bank must be cleared for a car to make it out, even if there are only a couple inches of snow.

I live in Minnesota and everyone on our street promptly shovels their driveways.  There is no time requirement.  We just do it. We had a largish snowfall last night.   My neighbours go to work early, so they haven't shoveled yet.  She will do it when she gets home.   My husband usually does it when he gets home from work, not in the morning .

We have a very long and wide driveway.  My husband normally shovels it, but he is away on business.  I only shoveled enough for me to get out b/c it is too big of a job for me with a hip replacement and a herniated disc in my neck.   My neighbours won't fault me for not doing the full drive.  In fact, I bet Mr. Neighbour will come over and finish it with his blower.  I would use ours, but it is too hard for me to start. 

I, too, equate it to yardwork.  I hate it that we spend money to treat our lawn every month of the summer to prevent weeds, only for the neighbours across the street to allow their dandelions to go to fluff and fly to our yard... or our next door neighbour with all the thistle along their fence that creeps into our yard.  It is a reflection on the entire street (ours is a court) if one home doesn't do what is necessary to maintain a nice landscape.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:39:54 AM by sparksals »

sparksals

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2013, 11:16:23 AM »
To address a few issues people have brought up:

There's no "our side" of the driveway. The way it's set up, everyone uses the whole thing, and it makes no sense to clear half of it.

I already have to get up at 6:30 to get to work, so it's not a question of "sleep in and clear the driveway at 9:30", which I also wouldn't have a problem with, and am happy to do an weekends. I'd have to get up even earlier to make time for shovelling, and it's already killing me to get up at the time I do.

My boyfriend and his sister jointly own the house, so there's no issue with any leases. The driveway is already heavily ice-damaged and rutted, so while it can certainly get worse, it's not a question of preserving a nice flawless surface.

There's no legal liability. This isn't the place to get into a discussion of local laws, so please take my word for it.

So far, it's only ever snowed overnight for some reason. I'll certainly take over shovelling if it does ever snow in the afternoon, but it would not be an equal division of labor at all, and I don't think Tom would be satisfied with it - his problem is he hates shovelling snow at 6:30 as much as I do, and doesn't want to do it either, but unlike me he believes it has to be done, and so he wants us to do half of it.

I'm aware snow is a lot harder to clear once it's been driven over and melted and refrozen, but I'd rather work three times as hard at 19:00 than get up a minute earlier than I have to in the morning.

My boyfriend refuses to do any shovelling whatsoever. If it gets above a foot and becomes an actual inconvenience to the cars, he'll pay for the neighbor to come with the snow plow. This was a point of contention before I ever moved here, but unlike me my boyfriend doesn't care if people get pissed at him.

There's also a summer version of this argument, where my boyfriend and me think that a garden needs to be mowed about twice a summer or so and looks fine as a wildflowery meadow, while SIL and Tom keep a fussy flower bed and a vegetable garden they want our help with. (I have zero guilty conscience towards our neighbors for our slightly messy garden. One has as giant junk heap of might-be-useful-at-some-point car parts, and the other one, a farmer, has a literal dungheap right up against our fence that stinks up the place in the summer.)

I'm aware that I could give in and do the shovelling and mowing on occasion to keep the neighborly peace, but, well. Half the reason I moved here was to get away from my mom and her insistence on me doing chores I considered unneccessary, but did anyway to keep the peace. So I guess I'm not in an entirely rational mood about this kind of request right now
. :(

I'm certainly happy to do other small neighborly favors for them, like pen their chickens, or be available if their kids need someone while the parents are out at night. We'll also cook for each other sometimes. This isn't a giant friendship-ending argument, but it does create tensions.


I think you are not being very compromising at all.  You move into a home half owned by his sister and it sounds like you don't want the responsibility that comes with living in a home that requires such maintenance. 

I agree with Tom, you and BF should be doing half the shoveling and half the yard work.   I do think it can wait til you are done from work and you shouldn't have to get up earlier to do it.  However, since you live there, you really should be helping out with the undesirable tasks. 

Why does your desire to have a long lawn  and a snow covered driveway trump their desire to have a manicured lawn and driveway shoveled?   Since you don't have any ownership in the home and you are not married to your BF,   I would think you would want to help around to pull your weight.  Since you have no ownership in the home, the way you are trying to change things in terms of the joint tasks really isn't your place to change.  I can see why this situation is causing tension.   I personally think you are stepping on toes when you have no business doing so.   
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:24:48 AM by sparksals »

sparksals

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2013, 11:29:32 AM »
Your boyfriend is being childish and a twit by refusing to shovel at all, ever, but I think you knew that already.

Why does Tom feel the shoveling MUST be done at 6:30am as opposed to 7pm? Because I stand by my assertion that he has a right to insist you guys do half the shoveling, but no right to insist you do your half at 6:30am.

They also have a right to insist that you guys do half of reasonable mowing in the summer - and "reasonable mowing" is a whole lot more than 2 times a summer.

I completely agree that sometimes doing chores you don't care for is part of being an adult and a considerate neighbor. On top of 'neighbor', you all are joint owners. I can't fathom *why* your BF and his sister are joint owners, as they clearly have wildly different ideas of what reasonable property management entails, but for the time being, compromise is necessary - whether you personally enjoy the chores or not.

Just a note, the OP is not married.  Therefore, most likely has no ownership in the property. 

sparksals

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem. 

CluelessBride

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Re: Am I rude for not shoveling the driveway?
« Reply #74 on: February 22, 2013, 01:28:11 PM »
Driveways and walkways need to be shoveled.  It's part of what you sign on for when you buy a house.  So is mowing your lawn.  Your wildflower meadow is attractive to snakes & vermin.  It doesn't look good.  It sounds like your boyfriend wants the benefits of owning a home without doing any of the work.  At the very least, talk with Tom or pay a neighborhood kid to shovel and mow when needed.  If Tom knew that it would be shoveled before he got home after work, he probably wouldn't shovel at 6am.

I disagree with the first part of this.  When you buy a house, within law, you get to decide what you do with it; that includes mowing the lawn and shoveling the drive.  Also, it obviously does look good to some people; many are proponents of natural lawns.

I do, however, agree with the second part.  If you cannot come to some sort of compromise with Tom about who does what when and how much AND you still don't want to do any of it, the least you can do is to hire someone.  It is rude not to pull your weight and that is what is happening.  Sure, both sides disagree on a fundamental level, but it is unfair to expect Tom to do it all just because you disagree.  Try work something out with him, even if it means you exclusively shovel on the weekends and hire someone else to do it two of the other days of the week so Tom only has to do it three days himself.

If I were house hunting and there was a house on the street you described with overgrown grass and weeds, I would immediately remove the home I was looking at off my list. In fact, I wouldn't even look at the home if I hadn't seen it yet.  That type of property on the street would be a deal breaker.   I wouldn't want to live next to what would be an eyesore for us.   While home owner can usually do what they want with their property, going so far as not to properly maintain it to the detriment of the neighbourhood or neighbour's ability to sell, that is a problem. 

To be fair, I think "overgrown" may mean different things to different people. Weeds probably also mean something different to different people (I have a wildflower garden that I love, but some people would call it weeds - but in my case its in a flower bed, not the entire lawn so its clear that it is intentional-ish).

An overly manicured lawn may turn off other buyers just as much as an overgrown one (for example, I wouldn't buy a house in an area where everyone was mowing their lawn every other day to keep the grass short enough and where a single weed in the garden would look out of place - I don't have time for that and I don't want a fight with the neighborhood). So I think there is a wide range of acceptable lawn care standards and it is very possible OP and her BF are just on the other end of the spectrum from his sister and Tom.

Knee high weeds and grass covering the entire lawn and obstructing the sidewalk? Not okay. Demanding that OP and her BF trim help trim the lawn with scissors and a ruler to exactly 1.5 inches for each blade? Overly demanding and not okay. But I suspect the actual situation is something in between - which means you need to come to a house compromise on what is acceptable. Maybe that is agreeing to mow at least once a week - even if you don't think the lawn needs it. Maybe it means compensating Tom for doing your half of the yard maintenance and snow removal.

For the snow situation, I personally think it's unreasonable to insist on driving over non-shoveled snow unless there is only a little snow and its warm enough that it will all be gone by the afternoon. So I don't think leaving it until you get home from work is reasonable - especially if Tom has no way of knowing you will actually do it when you get home, only that it will be much harder for him to do it when you don't if he waits until the evening.

I also think its worth considering your own attitude towards chores. It is absolutely possible that your mom and Tom are both unreasonable in their expectations of you as an adult. But since its two separate unrelated people, it is worth considering that the problem is with your expectations as opposed to theirs. In which case, you might find that in the future you prefer living in an apartment or condo, where some chores are taken care of for you. Or perhaps budgeting for hiring outside help. And that's not a bad thing or a value judgement, just something you need to know about yourself.