Thursday, July 20, 2017  

Terry Construction, Inc.
taking risks and building dreams

A person’s home is usually their largest investment. David Terry, at Terry Construction, Inc., recognizes this and declares it the number one reason he is so passionate about his work. He pours himself into the homes he builds and plays a large role in every home; from the plans to the paint finishes. He says that one of the reasons he takes the responsibility so seriously is because people are trusting him to build their homes, in most cases with money they have saved their entire lives.

There are so many facets that go into building a custom home, there are even more when you are building a person’s dream home that they could be in for the rest of their lives. David says that when he starts drawing the plans for a new project he utilizes the homeowners as inspiration for the plans. The first thing he does is try to get an idea of their individual personalities, tastes, and preferences. He also wants to know about their lifestyle and how their home will function best for them. Then he works to incorporate all of these characteristics in the drafting and building of their home. His thought is that by personalizing each home he can create a sense of lasting excitement for the homeowners each time they walk through their front door.

David Terry is the president of Terry Construction, Inc., which employs full-time personnel, and sub-contractors that he has worked with many years. He also utilizes the expertise of suppliers in regards to product information. It’s hard to believe that this construction business began as a job David took with his sister’s husband when he was in high school over the summers and during breaks. In college, he continued this schedule building homes for faculty members behind Wake Forest University.

After college, in 1989, David decided to move to Tappahannock. Once here, he built a few spec houses and sold them. When the locals began to realize that he had drawn the plans for the homes they began to ask if he could modify or draw them a plan to meet their needs. It was no time before Terry Construction, Inc. had become known for drafting homes and custom home building.

Shortly after David came to Tappahannock he was joined by his father, Sonny Terry, who was living in Tappahannock at the time. It was David’s move to Tappahannock that prompted his father to retire from the insurance business. Together, they have done hundreds of specialty wood trim applications and finishes in their custom homes. They have also mastered many types of paint finishes; including faux painting, antique leather finishes, and countless other custom designs.

David credits his attention to detail for many of the extraordinary homes he has been asked to build. When designing a home he looks to maximize the outside views from the inside and the curb appeal from the outside. Serious attention is paid to design elements, from the selection of the foundation material to the finishing touches on the interior.

Before the plans are drawn for a new home David sits down with his customers and works to get a better understanding of what they would want the space to look and feel like and what elements are on their wish list. He encourages his clients to bring him pictures of homes and ideas they have found in magazines or photographs. He also asks for a list of features they would like incorporated in the house plans. His next step is to actually go to the lot and get a feel for the property. This gives him a better idea of how to utilize the lots features; such as views, trees, and embankments. It is during this time that he can use his years of experience to begin drafting sketches and offer suggestions to clients. Ultimately, the final decisions are made by the homeowners, but he works diligently to give them guidance.

David will build his clients’ dream home from their own plans or draft a plan for them. He believes that it is very beneficial to have custom plans drawn when you decide to build a home. Custom plans instead of pre-drawn plans will ultimately leave the clients more satisfied with their home. Important factors such as family size, lifestyle, and even existing furniture can be incorporated very easily. Bottom line—custom plans can be drawn to meet your specific individual wants and needs. David will work closely with his clients during the drawing process to ensure this.

David knows that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is in the details. For this reason he spends a lot of time working on drawing the plans. The biggest part of creating something breathtaking is to not be afraid of challenges. David really listens to his clients’ ideas and thoughts to turn their dreams into a unique reality. It is that attention to detail that really sets him apart. He also gets his inspiration on design elements from his library of architectural books. A lot of time is spent self-educating on the style of homes he is drawing so as not to miss out on any of the design elements. For example, if he is drawing a home that resembles a Louisiana low-country home he will add long windows, tall French doors, wide porches to the plan to keep in harmony with the architecture of that period.

In each drawing the design elements should not limit themselves to the exterior, but should run throughout the home to add consistency. The period style of a home should be as apparent from the exterior as the interior. In an old English style home he may choose to use heavy stone floors. Whereas, in a Colonial style home he is most likely to recommend wide plank heart pine flooring.

The challenges of certain design elements not only lead to something extraordinary, David says they are also the most rewarding aspect of his job. There are times when turning an idea into reality can be a real challenge. One of the homes he designed and built was a French Chateau style home. In this home he designed a steep sloped roof and swooped it at the eaves as would be common in this style home. This type of roof was complex and time consuming to install, but the finished product was breathtaking.

Once David and his father were asked to paint an antique leather finish in a timber framed style house throughout the great room, with cathedral ceilings, kitchen, and breakfast room. In order to create the desired look they used two old fashioned shaving brushes. On this particular technique David wanted the same two people working on this to keep continuity with the brush strokes. If several people had worked on this project the differences from brush strokes would have been obvious. It took the two of them two weeks to apply the necessary layers to achieve this look.

Another challenging plan David is currently working on is for an interior designer who wants to add an addition and remodel her waterfront home to better suit her family’s daily needs. She wants to capture the wonderful water views, but also wants plenty of wall space to decorate with. Windows need to be strategically placed to allow the outside beauty to come in. Half walls will be used to create barriers between rooms without blocking the views. This will give the client space to put furniture against walls without blocking the natural light and beauty from outside.

One of David’s favorite projects is drawing and designing custom cabinets. He loves it when his clients step out of the box and go beyond ordinary. Some of his favorite cabinet installations have incorporated stained glass panels, exotic woods, and stone countertops into the design.

He also really enjoys being able to incorporate natural materials into a project. The textures and beauty that come from natural materials can rarely be beaten. He enjoys using different natural hardwoods for flooring, stone on fireplaces, or even salvaged beams when appropriate. When these design elements are paired with various paint colors the homeowners get different feelings as they move from room to room.

David also enjoys when his clients want to take risks with design elements. He is very practical in this perspective and realizes what he can teach himself and when he should solicit the help of an expert. Some of these risky design elements should be done in phases. For example, if installing a decorative coffered ceiling or an artistically designed tile application in a kitchen or bathroom, by bringing the homeowners in at various phases you can better incorporate their suggestions into the design as you go. Communication is key in any design aspect, but especially so when risks are being taken.

Terry Construction, Inc. is a local company that has been based in Tappahannock for nearly twenty years and serves the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. David has played an active role in this community, not only through his business, but individually. He has helped create several college scholarships for local high school athletes.

David is lucky enough to have a wife and two daughters that he can bounce ideas off of. His wife, Annette, has a keen eye for design and her input is invaluable. His oldest daughter is a designer and co-owner of Busy Bee’s Children’s Boutique in Virginia Beach. His youngest daughter is studying interior design at Highpoint University in North Carolina. If you are interested in meeting with David to discuss a potential project, please call him at his office, 804-443-3499, or on his cell, 804-512-9490. You can also visit his website, www.terryconstructioninc.com.