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TV Handyman Eric Stromer's Family Affair

Do-It-Yourself Family: Fun and Useful Home Projects the Whole Family Can Make Together by Eric Stromer
CBS/Bantam
Eric Stromer thinks there's "nothing more attractive than a tomboy." In fact, he already has his 2-year-old daughter holding a screw gun.

"She's actually hacked up my dining room table really effectively," Stromer told The ShowBuzz. "I've already got a screwdriver in her hand. She knows how to use a power drill. She doesn't really know what she's doing, but she's getting the feel of it."

Seeing his three children enjoy working with tools is one of the reasons the host of the HGTV show "Over Your Head" decided to write "Do It Yourself Family."

"It's a family-friendly book that unifies the family system, gets the kids off the game boy a little bit," said Stromer. "The book teaches kids how to participate in reinventing and reimagining their own space so they actually honor that room."

Stromer says something as simple as a shelving unit is a good first project because anyone can "utilize a screw gun and some wall anchors and before you know it you're as good as gold."

The former actor has traveled a circuitous route to become a TV home improvement guru.

Twenty years ago, he was cast on the daytime drama "Santa Barbara." Soap stardom eluded him once his character was abruptly killed off the show.

"One morning I came to work they put the soot make-up on me and I died tragically in a sytrofoam boulder earthquake," he laughs.

He began to support himself as a building contractor and went on to create a successful home remodeling business in Los Angeles.

Five years ago he landed a spot on the TLC home improvement show "Clean Sweep," which re-launched his TV career.

On his show "Over Your Head," Stromer rescues do-it-yourselfers whose home improvement projects have ground to a halt or spiraled out of control.

One episode featured a man who never completed renovating his bathroom and had taken to showering in his backyard.

"I feel like I saved the neighbors from having to see this gentleman without his clothes on, yet at the same time effectively got him back completing a project," said Stromer.

Helping people on camera is a long way from his early demise on the soaps, and Stromer couldn't be happier.

"What could be better?" he said. "I'm able to perform on television, teach people what I know and love how to do, and at the same time inform them in all sorts of situations when it comes to remodeling and design."