On Interstate 77, just north of Charleston, West Virginia, is the site of a log model home built by Appalachian Log Structures that is seen by thousands every day. Jerry Watson, a local businessman, had passed it many times. When the time was right, he would stop in and take a closer look.

In 2004, the time was right. Jerry had downsized a few years back and was not happy with his current home. He’d found 11 acres that bordered the Kanawha State Forest. All he needed was the right inspiration.

When Jerry decided to take a closer look at the model, Appalachian Log Structures sales rep Tom Bush was there. “I could see that Tom was very knowledgeable about the construction of log homes and he helped me through all the phases of design,” says Jerry. “I was very grateful for Tom’s understanding and patience during this first step.”

Jerry selected the 8-by-12-inch double-notch white pine log with dovetail corners. The profile allows for chinking, but Jerry opted to keep it all wood. “I love the look of chinking, but once I saw the shell in place, I felt that chinking might take away from the look I was going for,” he says.

Once the foundation and driveway were in place, Jerry followed Appalachian Log Structures’ recommendation of a local general contractor to build the log shell. “Robert Lyons of R & R Construction was excellent and had the job done on time,” says Jerry. “He was even able to help me with a few revisions during construction that made the home more livable.”

One revision was to use a steel support beam instead of wood for the floor structure. This enabled Jerry to have a completely open open space in the basement, rather than several posts throughout. He also had Lyons plumb in three separate washer/dryer locations for more convenience. Lyons also built a unique stairway with the excess stone left over from the fireplace.

Once the shell was complete, Jerry was able to hire someone for the finish work. “I love how everything turned out in this home,” he says. “I built it for myself, but always had resale in the back of my head.”

Watson requested several built-ins throughout the home, including a lighted display case in the kitchen for a pig collection, another for Civil War art, and a sideboard cabinet in the dining room for added storage and serving.

Jerry Watson loves to share his love of nature and the outdoors with his family and friends in his new wooded retreat. “I’m so happy I made the choice to build a log home and look forward to many years here in the hills,” he says. 

More about this home, including a floor plan and some advice from Jerry, ran in the March 2008 issue of Country’s Best Log Homes, available here.