A little bit about us


Shelter by Hand Inc. is a small artisanal company specialising in building traditional timber frames and artistic wooden elements using hand tools as much as possible. To complement our love of natural materials, we also work with a variety of heritage plasters.


We have a beautiful homestead outside of Low, Quebec (about one hour north of Ottawa), where we tend our gardens, care for our chickens, have fun with our daughter, and oh yes, we craft beautiful timber frames too! 


We are:


Denis Drouin- With building experience spanning over 30 years, Denis' focus has been centred on timber frames for the past fifteen years. He moved to Quebec over a decade ago, where he felled the red pines that make up the timber frame and floor joists of our abode. Denis combines his eye for artistic detail with a clever and practical approach to his woodcraft, resulting in beautifully functional unique buildings and elements. All of the shop design work is carefully drawn by his capable hands. 


Tina Therrien- Tina has been building and plastering straw bale houses for fifteen years as owner of Camel's Back Construction. Co-author of 'More Straw Bale Building', and former chair and co-founder of the Ontario Natural Building Coalition, Tina has been instrumental in the growth of the natural building movement in Ontario. She has travelled to France, New Mexico for building ventures,  and volunteered in Haiti on some natural building rebuild efforts. Since moving to Quebec, Tina has fallen in love with woodworking. And with a timber framer! Tina is currently co-writing a book on Natural Plasters with colleague and expert plasterer Michael Henry


Each frame is finished with the elegant strokes of a hand plane, resulting in a beautiful, organic sheen.

We strive to do as much of the shop work with hand tools as possible. Here, Denis scoops out a timber using an adze.

gallery/book cover

More Straw Bale Building
How to Plan, Design and Build with Straw

by Chris Magwood, Peter Mack & Tina Therrien