Homes that Stand the Test of Time
A local father-son team builds log and timber frame homes across the country and world
When a neighbor wanted to put a log cabin guest house on her lake property, she asked her builder friend Dave Carter if he would do it. It was 1981, and while Dave had never built a log home before, he had been building custom homes in the region for years.
“As we built it, I was drawn to the type of craftsmanship that was required to build something so unique. Even though it was my first time, it felt very familiar, and I really enjoyed the process.”
Before long, Dave had his second log home build on the calendar and within the year he purchased Appalachian Log & Timber Homes. His journey into building log and timber homes was well on its way.
Around this time, his son, Dave Jr. was growing up working for his dad’s other company in residential home building.
“Once the log home company got so busy, my dad needed some help,” Dave Jr. says, “and I was able to transition over to it. I’ve always been attracted to old structures, barns, and being outside. It was just a natural fit with my lifestyle, really. Some of my favorite things wrapped into one great opportunity.”
Fast forward to 2023, and Appalachian Log & Timber Homes has a couple thousand log homes under its belt, several thousand homes across the country, as well as many projects abroad, in countries such as New Zealand, Japan, and Jamaica. They’ve built everything from rustic tree houses and tiny 400-square-foot cabins, all the way to 13,000-square-foot log homes.
“Most people who build with us are building a vacation home designed for those weekend getaways or the home they want to retire in,” Dave says. “We never take for granted that these are lifetime dreams of our customers and we are honored to be able to help them fulfill it. It’s really something special.”
In their line of work, it’s a fair split of clients who want to be in a true log home versus clients who lean toward a more modern timber frame home with sheet rocked walls inside.
“We’ve had a lot people asking for a Mountain Modern style—still that rustic appeal with the warmth from natural surroundings but cleaning up the lines to give it a more contemporary feel,” Dave Jr. says. “Timber frames are still a very popular style that we really enjoy creating.”
Timber frame homes can be finished on the outside with brick, stone or siding, so in many ways they look more like conventional custom homes with breathtaking accents such as wooden arches framing the entry.
On the inside, they’re dramatic and beautiful with tall, open ceilings featuring wood beams and sometimes a complete end wall of windows set in wooden arches.
“My favorite success story are the relationships that have been created through this business,” Dave Jr. says. “Working one-on-one with someone, you create a rapport, and I’ve been lucky that a lot of those have grown into friendships — going to football games, family vacations, or just a quick call to check in. My hope is to create a strong legacy for our name and what we are about: high quality homes and products that stand the test of time. Our forefathers’ homes are still standing; we want that as well.”