Our History

Big Timberworks, Established 1979.

The Big Timberworks legacy began in 1979 as a business that was informally known as “a coalition of log building Gypsies.” Simply put, they built log buildings, learning and honoring a traditional building method based on humble materials used to build personalized and functional structures.

In the learning process, late owner Merle Adams and his partner were building nomads, moving around the country for the sake of mastering woodworking techniques. After gaining valuable skills, they moved back to the Bozeman, Montana area, and by 1983, they transitioned to timber framing, what they considered to be “a very honest form of construction, in which everything shows.”

In search of dry timber, the BT team came across a load of reclaimed lumber from an old industrial building on the West Coast. By 1995, BT was the largest end user of reclaimed timber in the U.S., starting a trend in sustainable building materials. At the same time, BT grew to incorporate a design team, including architects and general contractors, allowing them to build homes from scratch. Shortly after, BT began infusing metal and stone into many projects, enjoying the challenge and design aspects offered by different materials.

Today, BT has evolved and expanded to include timber design, timber framing, wood furniture, custom metalwork, and the reclaimed lumber sawmill. Still clinging to our roots as passionate craftsmen and women at heart, we are now a coalition of designers and builders focused on sustainable building materials and personalized designs with character and soul. Our goal is to always be moving ahead and trying new techniques, without losing sight of age-old traditions.

We are forever linked to the past, but excited about the future.

Learn more about Merle Adams, Founder

Merle Adams cofounded Big Timberworks in 1983, and was CEO until his passing in August, 2016. Merle was born and raised in North Dakota by a hard working couple who were the first children of their respective families to move from post-depression era dirt farms into the big city of Bismarck. Because of this, he was extremely grateful for the opportunity to create places, spaces, structures and many other useful things to improve the quality of our client’s lives. His passion, ability to find unique solutions in the process of designing and building, and love of creating useful beauty from items that might be thrown away, leave a timeless legacy. Lastly, one cannot forget his love of getting dirty, or his love for his family including all of the dogs. Merle’s workmanship, ethics and cool demeanor have left a lasting impression on the buildings in the Gallatin Valley, his business, employees and clients, and the people around and closest to him. He will be sorely missed.