Andy Engel grew up near Belvidere, NJ, in a house that his father nearly always had under construction. Woodworking and carpentry were just what you did. When other teenagers were dancing to The Bee Gees and Donna Summer, Andy was in the shop building a dulcimer inspired by a chapter in The Foxfire Book. For a few years after high school, he alternated between college, dead-end jobs, and travel. In 1982, he found his feet and hired on as a woodworker in a pre-hung door shop. From 1985 through 1996, he was self-employed as a carpenter and home builder. In 1996, Taunton's Fine Homebuilding magazine offered him an assistant editor's position. Andy left Taunton in 2005 to chase a living as writer, carpenter, and building consultant. He now lives in Connecticut, with his wife and two sons, in a house that's nearly always under construction.