The series centers around the antics of Taylor's family, which along with Tim included his wife Jill, and their three sons, Brad, Randy, and Mark. The other important side of the show (and explanation of the series' name) comes from Tool Time, the fictional handyman show-within-a-show hosted by Taylor and his mild-mannered assistant Al Borland (Richard Karn).
The show featured a few unique gimmicks. During scene changes clever "wipes" were used to comically remove the current image from the screen. For example, the current scene could shatter like glass, fall over like a piece of wood, or deflate like a balloon. The other gimmick was the character of Wilson (Earl Hindman), the Taylor family's sage, advice-giving neighbour. For reasons that were never explained Wilson's entire face was never seen on the show, and was instead constantly blocked by various props, such as fences and trees. When it came into question whether 'Wilson' was the character's first name or last, he explained that his full name was actually Wilson Wilson, Jr.; his father's name having been Wilson Wilson, Sr.