A serious question here…without an answer. Does anyone have the mathematical equation?
Over the last few weeks, my garage door opener has been acting up. Door goes up…won’t come down. Goes up half way…won’t open at all. In my expert “garage door opener” opinion, I decide it’s probably the opener. I’ve used the door before, so I’m pretty sure this is a no brainer.
I drove down to Home Depot, purchased the latest-and-greatest Genie model and began screwing it together. Never mind that I know nothing about the difference between a “screw drive” and “chain drive” opener. I figured I could get this thing done easily. Since I had installed my previous garage door opener, I though, “Hey, I can do this!”
After six hours of tinkering, I was ready for the test run: Hit the button…drum roll please…and viola! It opened!
Press the button again…it’s going down, down, aaannndddd….stopped. Half way down. Six hours of work (or rather six hours of not working) and it’s still as broken as it was before I began on this project.
Advice From a Friend: Call the Professional
A friend happened to stop by and while we were playing around with it, suggested I call a professional. I had been convinced I could do this without help! I really wanted to be able to do it right! But, alas, I finally had to wave the white flag and admit: I have no clue what I’m doing. So I sheepishly make the call. The door guy came by right away and strode like John Wayne into my garage. You should’ve seen his face and head shake as he saw each and every tool I owned spread across the garage floor helter-skelter.
I began to explain the problem, what it would and wouldn’t do, blah, blah, and he’s not even listening. He grabbed the door, shook it, lifted it, and it slammed down.
Without even asking if I would stop talking he cut me off and said, “The spring is broken. Gonna be $289 plus $35 per ½ hour labor. Oh, and your garage door opener is broken. That’s another $450, but that includes labor…and it’s the best opener on the market. We take check or credit card and I can be out of here in under an hour. OK?”
What’s the Cost of Pride?
I now know the cost of my pride:
$250 for the “new” but now broken garage door opener,
$450 for the new one I now have to buy.
Oh, and here’s the best part: The old one hadn’t even been broken.
I can only laugh at the irony: I plead with people every day to outsource their crucial financial decisions to a professional: and sometimes I can’t even take my own advice.
When’s the Right Time?
Is a broken garage door the right thing to call a pro over? When is it time to call in experts? What’s the ultimate cost? In my case I would have saved the cost of the two new openers and just replaced the spring for $289. But our financial lives are much more complex, aren’t they?
The truth is, a lot of people can do their own simple financial planning and investment work, but statistically, most don’t. Sometimes we hire professionals to do work because we don’t want to do it (mowing the lawn, house cleaning, etc.) and other times we hire a pro because we don’t know how (taxes, mortgages, etc.) and then there are times we need to hire a pro so we don’t screw it up (garage door openers). Don’t let pride get in the way of accomplishing the goal: a fee or commission is a small price to pay for goal attainment.
…but I still think I would have been happier if I’d been able to fix the door myself.
When do you call in the pros? When do you DIY?