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The Definitive Collection of Home Improvement Lessons Learned from Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.

September 23, 2014 4:36 pmc
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Home Improvement

If you were alive during the ’90s, chances are you enjoyed watching “handyman” Tim Taylor and his assistant Al Borland on the show Home Improvement. The show was extremely popular and won several awards, running from 1991 to 1999.

The show was known for its tongue-in-cheek approach to its namesake, with Tim being a capable, though extraordinarily accident-prone handyman. Tim’s sidekick, Al, on the other hand, was much more even-keeled, often trying to temper Tim’s excessive testosterone.

While not always the best example of handymen and home improvement (see Tim Taylor above), the show did teach us several valuable lessons about home improvement and family life in general.


Be careful. Like, really careful, because accidents happen.

The most repeated lesson from Home Improvement, this one is extremely important. Tim was extremely accident-prone and had dozens of close calls. But that was a TV show: in real life, you can really get hurt, so be careful!

Make sure to always wear proper protection — eyes, hands, etc. You should also double check all of your fasteners and safety equipment before you begin working. You don’t want things moving around after you start. If you need examples of what not to do, see the video above.

Finally, make sure you know what you’re doing. Confirm that you know how to operate your tools, what you want to accomplish, and how to get to that goal. Don’t start a project aimlessly. Have a plan, and double check that you have the skills and knowledge to follow through.


There’s nothing more important than your family.

The Taylor Family

Another frequently emphasized lesson, this is also extremely important. The Taylors go through their fair share of difficulties that arise in every family.

Despite their challenges, though, they always work through them. Whether it’s the changing tastes of their kids, poor decisions (looking at you, Brad), health problems (Randy), or family decisions, they always work together to get through their problems. Regardless of what happens, they always love each other.


If you’re not sure what time it is, it’s probably TOOL TIME.

We’re pretty sure Tim’s watch doesn’t even have hands, because according to him, it’s always Tool Time. Unless he’s on vacation at the Lake Michigan resort. Sure, his show-within-a-show was highly successful, but Tim Taylor never stopped there. It was always tool time wherever he went.


It turns out you can make music with construction equipment, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

This doesn’t seem safe at all, but it sure was fun to watch! Who knew that you could make music with power tools and cans and other stuff you’d find on a job site? The guys from K&B Construction did.


There’s more to being a man than grunting. But grunting sometimes helps.

Home Improvement explores the topic of manhood quite a bit, which is to be expected in a show based on a professional handyman dad with three sons. Tim often puts on a macho front, grunting and using big tools; but deep down, he is also sensitive to his wife and kids and cares about his family.

If you don’t believe me, remember when Tim’s brother Marty’s twins came over? At first, Tim didn’t know what to do with them, but by the end of the episode, he was playing with stuffed animals, pretending to be the queen at a tea party, and was asking Jill if they could try to have a daughter.


Always take excellent care of your tools. And take even better care of other people’s tools.


This is a lesson that the Taylor kids had to learn several times. Despite his clumsiness, Tim always took excellent care of his tools. He cared deeply about his tools (sometimes too much) and took great care of them.


Sometimes the simple solution is the best solution. Don’t try to do everything too big.

Tim never quite learned this lesson. He frequently frustrated people – especially Jill – trying to do too much (remember the bathroom remodel?) when a small solution would have sufficed.

MORE POWER isn’t always better. I’m sure the Taylor family’s eardrums would agree after Tim installed a new, more powerful sound system in the living room, for instance.


Even if they give you a hard time sometimes, friends are important.

Tim Taylor and Wilson

Tim wasn’t always the best friend to Al, but when times got tough, he was always there for his friend. When Al went through a rough patch with his girlfriend and later fiancée Ilene, Tim was there for him.

Throughout the entire series, Tim always had two rock-solid friends that he could lean on as well — Al and the Taylors’ neighbor Wilson. Each of them gave Tim frequent advice and always loved him.


Puns are always funny.

Just ask Al.


Even if you are a “Tool Man,” it’s often a good idea to ask for help.

Tim Taylor and Al Borland

Tim was a very knowledgeable handyman (maybe not on the level of his rival Bob Villa), but he knew that he needed help. Tim always had Al there to help and tame some of his crazier ideas (“I don’t think so, Tim”).

If you have some home improvement work that needs to be done, you can always ask us for help. We’d love to help you turn your home into your dream home.


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This post was written by Jennifer Blunt