How to Tell if You Need to Call a Specialist

Woman on phone

In an ideal world, absolutely nothing would break. Your car would run forever, your dishwasher would continue to clean your dishes perfectly, and fixing a power outage in your home would be as simple as flipping a breaker. Sadly, almost everything that you rely on on a daily basis will need to be either serviced or replaced at some point in its life. Cars break, dishwashers break, and even your coffee maker will let you down after a sleepless night when you need it the most.

At least you can rest assured knowing that you’re not the only one who has to pay for costly repairs out of desperation when you’d really rather be spending that money on a family trip to Disneyland. We’ve all been there. When the rainy day fund gets spent on getting the transmission replaced on your mini van, just remember that you’re not alone.

Sometimes, a fix like this is easy. And even, something that you can do yourself. We definitely live in a generation that likes to do things ourselves. This is usually a good thing. We’ve learned to change the oil in our cars, unclog the shower drain, and how to replace the flooring of our homes. We wish we could repair absolutely anything that goes wrong in our home, but sadly, we’re not always able to.

Years of expertise

Before tackling a task yourself, it’s important to ask yourself if it’s possible that you’ll make the situation worse. If you can live without whatever you’re trying to repair, go ahead and try to fix it yourself before you call a specialist. If at any point you could cause harm to yourself or someone else, you should put down the wrench, and pick up your phone.

A professional in any field will have years of experience under their belt. When you’re dealing with something potentially dangerous, like repairing your garage door, it’s best to step back and let the professionals do their job.

Signing documents for contractor

Warranty and legal restrictions

Before taking on a big DIY task, you should consider whether doing so will void your warranty. That’s not to say that it might not still be worth it, but it’s an important factor. For example, if there’s something wrong with your computer and you decide to try tinkering with it instead of sending it in for repairs, it might disqualify you for help from the manufacturer to cover costs. This is also something important to watch with car repairs. Things like vehicle safety inspections just can’t be taken care of yourself. You need a licensed provider and an experienced eye to get the job done.

How to tell if the job is too big to do yourself

Take a step back. When something breaks, it’s natural to instinctively roll up your sleeves and get ready to get dirty. Ask yourself a few questions. Have you ever fixed this before? Do you have any idea what you’re doing? Is it possible that you could get hurt if you tried to fix it yourself? Is it possible you could make the problem significantly worse if you tried to fix it yourself? Do you have the time to try to fix it yourself?

Some things are relatively easy to fix or replace yourself. Other things, if you spend enough time working on it, you could also repair alone. But often, you’ve overambitious about how much time you have to spare for it.

Remember, if it’s a task that you don’t mind learning about and working on for a while, it’s probably fine to do yourself. However, the same task that takes you a month or two of Saturdays could probably be taken care of by a pro in a couple of hours.

You can’t do everything yourself

It’s important to remain safe, no matter what. If your toilet is overflowing and you have no idea how to stop it, call a plumber. If your air conditioning breaks and it’s the middle of July, call an HVAC repairman. If your car starts making a noise you’re not comfortable with, go to the nearest garage. You’ll end up being grateful that you invested in someone who knows what they’re doing, instead of suffering through a miserable situation or putting yourself at risk, for the sake of saving a few dollars to try to do it yourself.