I grew up in a family of do it yourselfers. All of my uncles bought houses that were fixer uppers and they did all the work to improve them on their own. I would stay around and help them by handing them their tools or hold pieces of wood in place while they nailed them up or cut them to size. Of course I would bombard them with questions. I found this to be more interesting than going out with the other kids and playing ball in back yard. This early education in home improvement paid off handsomely because when I became an adult I used this childhood experience to go and build some of the most complex projects you can imagine. I got married in 1981 and my wife and I bought our first house in Brooklyn. It was a fixer upper and the first place I started was on the bathroom. This room was in bad condition. The wax ring at the base of the toilet bowl had been leaking for many years. The wood rot was so bad, even some of the beams had to be replaced. You can see what I did to fix it up here.