When to call a Professional for Home Repairs

A few weeks ago we had a clogged up kitchen sink. Being the frugal family we are, we decided we could just take care of this mess ourselves. No problem. It only took 2 days and almost $100 to realize that we were over our heads. It was time to call in the professional.


When to call a professional for home repairs

We tried pouring boiling water down the drain -then we had to use the wet/dry vac to get rid of the water. We ran to the store and bought drain cleaner – not the cheap stuff, because we wanted to make sure it would work the first time. Guess what happened when we tried to run water and rinse it out? Nothing! We had to use the wet dry vac to get rid of that mess.

We figured a drain snake would do the trick, so we went out and bought a $10 snake and tried that. Want to guess if that worked? Of course not. So we figured it must have been a cheap snake. Maybe we needed to buy the better quality Drain Auger. That didn’t work either.

Next we decided to ask the hardware store workers if they had a suggestion. That’s when they told us about Liquid Fire. Have you ever tried that stuff? It’s insane! After figuring out that Liquid Fire didn’t work either, we decided that it was time to call in a professional.

I made a call and had the professional plumber come to clear our drain clog. Less than 20 minutes later, our sink was clog free and the problem solved.

Sometimes doing a job yourself is the cheapest way to go; but sometimes there are problems that just need a professional who has the right tools. We spent a little over $100 on supplies trying to fix the problem ourselves. The professional plumber only charged $100 to come out and fix the problem himself.

5 Tips to Decide when to call a Professional

Trying to decide whether to call a professional can be a tricky call. Here are 5 tips to help you decide which option is the smarter deal.

Do you have the tools and know how to take care of the situation?
If this is a problem you have seen or dealt with before, then you may be able to fix it yourself.

Talk to the experts

  • Find someone else who has done the job and ask their advice. In our situation, the first person my husband contacts when we have a DIY home project is his father. Since my father-in-law has done a little bit of everything, he can usually tell us whether this is something we can handle or if it is a project for a pro.
  • We then go to the internet and check youtube to see how others are fixing problem.
  • We also go to the home improvement store and talk to the people there. They often have some great ideas for what is involved in the project.

How much do the tools cost to solve the problem?
Do some research to see how much the tools cost for the project. Is it something you can afford to purchase or to the tools cost more than you want to spend.

Will you use the tools again? or is this a one time situation?
Unclogging the hair out of a sink is an ongoing job at our house, so the purchase of a small plumbing snake is a good investment. Another ongoing job at our house is cutting down dead trees and cleaning up fallen limbs. That means a good chain saw and sharpener is worth the cost. But laying down carpet would be a one time project, so it would probably not be worth the cost of purchasing the tools needed to stretch or lay the flooring.

Do you need specific skills for this job?
If the project calls for electrician skills and you don’t know the first thing about a ground wire, you might need to skip the DIY and just go straight to the professional. If you are planning to sell your house, you may need to have the approval of a home inspector.

Do you prefer to DIY when it comes to home improvement and repairs or do you know when to call in a professional? I’d love to hear your tips for knowing how to handle problems around the house.

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