General Question

funkdaddy's avatar

Is the answer usually to hire an expert?

Asked by funkdaddy (13378 points ) July 10th, 2011

In the course of most questions here someone will make the suggestion to hire an expert to handle whatever the asker’s dilemma is. Whether that expert is a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, realtor, roofer, salesman, nutritionist, or counselor.

Is that usually the best bet when we have a problem we don’t know how to handle? Should we find someone who does know how to handle it and pay for their advice? What situations do you handle on your own with research and when do you seek someone to help? How do you make the distinction?

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13 Answers

DrBill's avatar

simple problems (my cabinet door won’t close) go ahead and ask for assistance

serious problems, (I may have a broken bone, I have a temp of 104) you need the professional

Lightlyseared's avatar

No the answer is to never ask random idiots something if the question is important.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Lightlyseared – are we all random idiots?

mazingerz88's avatar

Personally, the better bet for me is to research all what I can about something and then see if I could do it without asking pro help. But you could only go so far obviously. Still, even if you end up hiring a pro, all that research would not go to waste since you are now better informed and able to discuss the issue better with the pro.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree that that is an answer given to “most questions.” It is usually given when the problem or question that the OP has is such that consulting a professional is the best way for them to get the help that they need.

lillycoyote's avatar

It really does depend on what the question is. There are certainly people here and in the world in general who can fix their own cars, do their own plumbing, put a roof on their own house and do electrical repairs; people who know a lot about a lot of things. My dad used to do all that stuff himself when I was growing up. But if you don’t know how to do those things; don’t know what you’re doing, you should hire or at least consult the experts because you can really mess those kind of things up if you don’t know what you’re doing and make things 10 times worse and 10 times more expensive than if you had just gotten an “expert” in the first place. You can also injure or kill yourself or someone else if you try do something you don’t really know how to do. The same with doctoring and lawyering. Additionally there are some things you simply can’t do if you don’t have a license in that particular profession; doctors and lawyers of course but even in the trades. For example, you might be able to do certain repairs and renovations around your house but some electrical work won’t be considered to meet code unless it is performed by a licensed electrician.

prioritymail's avatar

Depends on the person I’d think. I am uber DIYer so I actually prefer NOT to hire someone else. I have done my own (non-emergency) medical diagnoses, legal interpretation, furniture restoration, car fixes, etc. Still, I have boundaries and there are definitely some things I would hire pros for either because I don’t enjoy the work or because I know I don’t have the level of skill needed to do it right.

athenasgriffin's avatar

For most problems I have, I go to the internet first and try to figure out if anyone else has had my problem, and learn how they solved it. If there is no information, or the solution doesn’t work, I go to the people I know for their advice on who I would contact to get the problem fixed.

filmfann's avatar

I think enough good advice has been given here that I can say no, not usually. Often it is.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it’s incredibly arrogant to think any one person can figure everything out on their own through research. Doctors spend years going through undergrad, medical school and residency and rigorous testing before they are allowed to give medical advice, and then they all specialize in a particular niche (a dermatologist wouldn’t ever think of diagnosing ovarian cancer).

Likewise, lawyers take about as long learning law and again, they specialize. I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I wouldn’t dream of defending myself in court or diagnosing anything but the most benign of conditions myself.

YARNLADY's avatar

Since we have no way of knowing anything about the skills of the person involved, that is the best fall back position.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Hire a professional only when there may be serious consequences for not doing so, such as the high probability of missing or misinterpreting esoteric data or laws.

woodcutter's avatar

here’s what I do when someone calls me to look at a situation. And it will be obvious to me that they or somebody else has made an earlier attempt to fix it, and botched it. It’s going to take more time and more than likely, more materials to make it right. Especially if I need to carefully disassemble what they did with much diligence in order to save and reuse the items. Taking things apart slowly for the purpose of saving them money so they don’t have to buy the thing new again is excruciatingly slow. It’s going to cost them. I can’t seriously be expected to eat that extra time to make it right. So do your homework before you open up a can of worms because it doesn’t take long at all for things to go South after much effort and grief.
Some DYI’ers may think they are being punished by the contractor for not getting them involved from the start but the fact is, redoing what somebody else has flubbed is among the least favorite things to do since they may have been left with a big mess to untangle and it really is time consuming and we all know time is money.

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