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House-Dreams: The Story of an Amateur Builder and two Novice Apprentices and how They Turned an Overgrown Blackberry Patch, Ten Truckloads of Lumber, a Keg of Cut Nails, and an Antique Staircase into a Real Home

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Imagine a house built and tailored to your every need and personal taste. Hugh Howard dreamed of such a house, and when he and his wife, Betsy, learn that they're expecting their second child, he seizes the opportunity to build a home for their growing family.

Fifteen months later and just in time for the winter holidays, Howard, exhausted and wildly over his budget, completes their home-a fine 2,500-square-foot Federal-style house. And each piece has a story, from the cut nails that come from Howard's old elementary school janitor to the staircase that comes from a parsonage built just after the Civil War.

Howard discovers that all his planning and hard work earn him a house, yes, but he also gains a community of new friends-the people who help him along the way. There's Charlie, whose ancestors helped establish the upstate New York hamlet where they build the house; Ralph, a third-generation mason, who constructs a remarkable Russian heater; and Robbie, an eccentric Irish landscaper who has his own peculiar way of designing a garden.

HOUSE-DREAMS is for readers who spend weekends improving their houses, hardware store die-hards, and the millions who regularly tune in to the Home Garden Network and PBS's This Old House.


Our Promise To You.

If it is for sale in our store -- it is because we use it and love it!

We are happy to share our experiences with these tools which may enhance your own. Given care, maintenance, and love, each of these fine tools is capable of lasting a lifetime. We do limit warranties to those offered by our supplying manufacturers. If ever you have a question or concern regarding any of the tools we sell, please let us know.

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These tools, toys and supplies are in constant use by our students, timber framing crews, and family. At Shelter Tools, we have a working knowledge of every product we sell. Graduates will find particular items recommended in class and on site.


If you don't see the tools or items you need, we can find it for you. Write us or call us anytime.