My awesome country neighbors!! Update #3 in the OP!!


Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Dover, TN
The thing is THEY are country, we live in town. LOL Anyhow, I was talking to them over our fence yesterday admiring their new rabbit hutch. The man had been recently laid off and he has been keeping busy by making a beautiful hutch for his granddaughter from scratch. I mean it. He even planked his own wood.
He is incredibly talented and offered to help me build my chicken run. I kept telling him thank you, thank you, thank you! And then said just name your price. Actually I said that a few times and he wouldn't give me a number. He kept telling me we will work it out. Don't worry about that now. Then he offered to give me all of his saw dust for our coop for free.

So here is my question: Clearly the man is SKILLED. (He will be planking the wood for my new run...hehe.) He is laid off and I am sure money is tight. I want to pay him what is fair but to be honest, money is tight everywhere and I don't want to overpay. Does that make sense? much should I pay him? He will be building a 10x10 run, providing all the wood, nails, and man power. I will be buying the fencing.

What do you think? Help! I am just a city girl who isn't used to down home hospitality and folks not worrying about the bottom line. Super nice people though. Did I mention his son built his own home from scratch? Even built all of his own cabinetry?



Well...I decided I didn't want to take advantage of our neighbor and so I went out and bought some stakes and fencing. LOL I had started putting the posts up when he caught me. he he "Dag it. I *told ya* I was going to help ya and that is what I am going to do. That wood cost me $2 and that I what I want back. I don't want no kind of payment! And don't buy any more stuff!" LMAO!! He told me!

Since I can't convince him to take any money, we are going to send over some very nice steaks. Our steer will be processed and ready to pick up tomorrow so I thought maybe a couple of juicy t-bones might be appreciated!
BTW, yesterday I sent over homemade chocolate chip banana bread. He said it was the best he ever had!

I am never moving!

Update #2:

Wow! You should see this thing! 10x10 with a custom built screen door.
He is taking tomorrow (Sunday) off but thinks we should be done Monday or Tuesday! So far I owe him $20 for materials. LOL In the mean time I sent over some t-bones, a roast, and a few packages of liver from our steer. (He said he LOVES liver. Works for me.) I forgot to add he is building a row of 5 nesting boxes too!

Update #3:

I wanted to cry this morning. I went outside to check out the progress (moving slower than expected due to bad weather) and it hit me. This was the single nicest thing anyone has ever done for me (outside of my fabulous husband). Owning chickens is a dream of mine. I badly, badly, badly want to move towards self sufficiency and Mr. George unselfishly helped me in a huge way. He even added a 6 seat laying box.
Total charge? $30 for materials. I will definely post pics is so much better than anything I ever could have done.

Grateful doesn't begin to cover how I feel. Blessed is closer to it. What he did for us was a blessing. My paltry steaks and liver I have given him are not enough. I hope there is some way I can repay him and his wife some day.
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I guess it depends on how the run is made and how it turns out
Too much or too little is hard to gauge. If he wants to wait till it's done to work it out, then I'd let him set the price. More than likely it's going to be a fair price if I had to guess.
Eggs. LOL

But seeing as how I only have 3 layers I would be giving him all of our eggs for the next year to make it a fair trade. LOL
Sounds like you may have some really great neighbors. To keep them that way, I suggest you have a firm agreement on price and exactly what they are going to do before anything starts. Even put it in writing as best you can.

Is he going to pick up the material or are you responsible to get it delivered? Who provides the hardware, hinges and locks for the gate? Is it metal T-posts, wooden fence post, telephone posts, railroad ties, whatever for the fence posts? Welded wire or hardware cloth? Is it covered? If so, how? What will the gate look like? Are you just talking run or are you also talking coop? If it includes coop, you really need to get the information down. I'd discuss schedule too.

I grew up in East Tennessee. I know you can find some great people there, but you can also find people that are not great. Especially with the gentleman being out of work, there is a real chance that you will feel that he is trying to make money off you by claiming extra. He may get upset that you are not living up to what he thought you said or implied you would do. When you build something, it is not all that unusual for something extra to come up.

If you have to agree in writing, then both of you know what is expected. Maybe if you explain that you think they are going to be great neightbors and you want to keep it that way, he'll agree to be very specific. You can do a word of mouth, but I think you are taking a chance.

I cannot give you a fair price. It sounds like you are going to get custom work that wil be very nice and very hard to get any type of comparison with anything else. He is obviously planning on spending a lot of time doing a very good job, but it is most likely more expensive than other options. I'd think you need to get a price from him and see if it is within your budget.

Good luck. It is a great opportunity but, like a lot of opportunities, it carries some risks.
Food treats are alwyas nice , do you can or bake.. Chances are hes not going to take much money he sounds like my folks' neighbor (great guy) .. Suprise them with the lil things...
How about maybe a gift basket, with some baked goods, and a gift certificate to somewhere like a supermarket, or a hardware store?

That is if he wont take money. If he will take money, I would give him a fair price on a daily wage. See how much time it takes and figure it out that way.
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I would ask him flat out what are his initial expenses and tell him you would like to give that to him in increments-so you are not overwhelmed with a big bill yourself and then "gift" him food-cookies, casseroles, cakes soup or stew.
Just be sure you get some cash numbers before he does too much. You don't want him to resent you accidently by not doing something timely.
I agree with everything Ridgerunner said. It's tricky combining business and friends/family/neighbors. Come to a firm agreement before ANY work gets done.

When I built my house I had my uncle do all the kitchen cabinetry. He did a beautiful job... but he didn't finish the job. Ever. I am still waiting for the rest of my cabinets. I have been asked by my aunt to pay him for the work he has done up to this point, but I refused to do so until the job gets finished. Six years later, I am still waiting.
My father in law is like this...he is exceptionally skilled at carpentry and he built my coop for us (we bought all supplies) so we asked him what we owed him and he said nothing (relation is of course different from non relatives) but what we did was tell him he has eggs and home made fresh bread AND butter for life
We only make home made bread and butter and NEVER buy the store stuff. He was SO very thrilled with that. Your situation is much harder since he is not related but I would for sure pay him what you can afford...remember this is hard labor work he's doing and I don't think I have met another person who would do something like this yet.
Wonderful neighbors you have there! They are keepers!
I do like the grocery store gift certificate idea. EVERYONE can use something like that

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