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Custom Timber Frames & More

We offer a wide range of services- including design-build, custom and kit timber frames, and real estate brokerage. Tackle your own building project and enroll in our accredited classes in home design and construction. The very best selection of woodworking tools, even hard-to-find ones, is also available in our shop.

More About Our Timber Frames
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Shelter Design Build offers a full suite of design build and engineering services. We got your innovative yet practical building solutions.


Teaching people to design and build their own homes since 1974! Fuel your learning desire by attending our virtual courses.


Hard-to-find tools. Easy to find.


Shelter Realty will find the right piece of land suitable for your needs throughout the Midcoast Maine region.

Online Timber Framing Course

Get to know the techniques for enclosing and insulating timber frame structures, foundation styles, siding, roofing and general weatherizing materials, wood selection, and how best to finish the timbers. Be skilled at wood craft on a grand scale. Learn at your own pace within 12+ hours of recorded video, downloadable PDF cutsheets, 10% off the store, and more. Learn at your own pace within 12+ hours of recorded video, downloadable PDF cut sheets, 10% off the store, and more.

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The Very Best Selection of Fine Woodworking Tools

If it's in our tool shack, it's superior quality and don't crack! We aspire to provide excellent quality equipment, tried and tested in our lifetime. With capable hands and proper care it will last you a lifetime. Browse Timber Framing Tools, Hand Saws, Carving Knives, Axes, Work Benches and more.

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  • Pete Neidhardt
    After taking their Design & Build course, I had the confidence to build this timber frame house, from a version of their stock plans. And you will too.
    Pete Neidhardt
  • Chasen Gillies
    We drove thirteen hours through a blizzard to take the timber framing course and it was worth it. You can tell this family has been teaching people since the 70's. 70's?! These guys are great. I hope to be back to learn but just saying "HI" would be a win. They've probably mapped out every minute of the week for the students but it still feels relaxed. Best of all, I can say with confidence, I can build a house. A timber structure. And I will
    Chasen Gillies
  • Matt Anglin
    Excellent course on house building. Teaches about every aspect of house including good design principles.
    Matt Anglin
  • Laurie Palagyi
    Shelter is a phenomenal resource of skill, intelligence, and good people. I took the two week design/build course and it was wonderful. I left with the confidence to assess my own home and any future home that I may build or purchase. Shelter is the real deal.
    Laurie Palagyi
  • David H T Kane
    Instructors make sure their lectures are clear and understandable to the students. Great follow through.
    David H T Kane
  • Deborah Caldwell
    Nothing can beat the hands-on experience that my daughter and I enjoyed for three weeks at the shelter institute. I have kept in touch ever since. I am disappointed that I cannot leave a comment on Pats chainsaw videos. The system does not seem to acknowledge our presence.
    Deborah Caldwell
  • Enzo Talladira
    As a second generation carpenter/joiner Shelter Institute's online course is a must for all who are interested in Timber Framing and the enjoyment of life.

    I have found the team to be responsive, caring and helpful. A pleasure to deal with.
    Enzo Talladira
  • Kristina Rae Bolduc
    So far our online courses are phenomenal!!! We love Pat, Gaius, and Blueberry! Gabe is pretty awesome too!!
    Kristina Rae Bolduc

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