Meet Amos Shirato

I was born and raised in the west side of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I attended Scattergood Friends (High) School in West Branch, Iowa, where I had my first experience with carpentry, building barns and various out buildings around the school farm, in fine Quaker building tradition.

After graduating, I took a job with West Side Builders in Ann Arbor, and was thoroughly schooled in building skills by owner and master craftsman Bill Levleitt. During the next 5 years, I wandered around the world and in and out of Ann Arbor, and carpentry brought me work wherever I landed. My wide range of experience includes commercial framing on the West Coast, custom cabinetry making in NYC, construction for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans and Zapatista homes in Mexico, and deck building in New Zealand. During my travels, and here at home, I have had the pleasure to work with, and to learn from, carpenters and tradesmen of all sorts. I am grateful to all of these people who have learned me in ways of both life and carpentry skills.

For more than five years, I have been an independent contractor and woodworker here in Ann Arbor. With the addition of a new shop this year, I and my faithful crew have been able to focus on my real passion: custom woodworking. Cabinets, built-ins, bars, and freestanding pieces are what we love doing, especially during the winter months. In the summer, our work site moves outdoors. Although we take on projects of all shapes and sizes, our specialty is custom renovations and additions. Porches, decks, additions, siding, and exterior trim are perfect jobs during the warmer months. We have a special fondness for historic reconstruction.

By The River’s goal is to actualize dreams through quality craftsmanship and personalized customer service. It is our passion and our commitment to do so on every project we undertake.

- Amos Akira Shirato