Shelter Institute Classes Will Empower You

For over 45 years, we’ve been teaching people how to build, renovate, general contract, or simply how to live well in their homes.

We take a common-sense approach toward teaching and building, integrating timeless, traditional techniques and tools with cutting-edge knowledge and technology.

Shelter Institute offers a wide variety of courses ranging in length and hands-on opportunity. In our classes we take apart the building process and teach each step individually.

Which Class Is for Me?

We offer several types of housebuilding classes to serve your needs. View our Course Offerings to see a complete list of what we offer or view our Schedule to see what we're offering in the coming year.

Our most popular courses are the two-week Design Build Class, which covers everything you need to know about homebuilding, whether you’re starting new or renovating old and our Purely Post & Beam Class, which is a hands-on building class—designing, measuring, marking, cutting, fitting, and erecting a whole 24'x24' timberframe. We recently added an online version of the Purely Post & Beam Class so that students can access the knowledge without leaving their home. Our Contract-It-Yourself course teaches the details to help you plan, budget, and schedule a successful construction project.

Students can receive credit toward college degrees, teacher certification, and real estate certification through our Design Build and Purely Post & Beam classes. Many of our courses qualify for tax credit and state or VA job training reimbursement programs.

We offer dozens of free information classes or weekend workshops throughout the year, so visit our website often, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, join our mailing list, or subscribe to our blog to receive updates on our schedule.

Join the thousands of Shelter Institute graduates building and maintaining their dream homes!

“Graduates leave knowing how to do something most Americans only dream about doing: build a house.” —Time Magazine

"I learned more in the Design Build Class at Shelter Institute than in my Seven Years of College and Graduate School." Graduate Evie Weinstein

  • 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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