One of the greatest things about the Internet is that you can access information about anything and everything. You can type a question into Google, and get an answer without having to call the operator or look it up in a dictionary or whatever the heck people used to do before the Internet existed to obtain information. As awesome as the world of online information is, it can be dangerous in this world of do-it-yourself everything. We understand that people want to save a little money here and there, but taking a DIY approach to certain activities can be ineffective, or worse, extremely dangerous. As in, it’s totally fine to try and tile your bathroom floor (if you follow instructions, please), but trying to rewire the electrical wires in your house is probably a poor life decision.
Not only because of the fact that it is dangerous, and there are undoubtedly many elements that you could possibility overlook, but also because the Internet is not necessarily a reliable information source, and it is open to interpretation. As in that really handy guy who made the YouTube video (who “has been an electrician for years”) forgot to tell you about a step because he was distracted—or maybe you couldn’t understand his accent or whatever. The point is that while being independent is wonderful, there are certain things that you should just leave to the professionals. Here’s a list to help you make better decisions:
This one is iffy, because some people are actually good at this, or so we hear (maybe they just have reliable partners who aren’t ‘fessing up). For most people though, waxing is a hairy subject. Especially when it comes to dealing with the nether regions. This is because waxing hurts and the majority of individuals aren’t great at inflicting pain on themselves, leading to a hot gooey mess. They’ve invented those cold strips, which are super helpful with armpits and legs…but by the time you’re done getting all the bits, you’ve spent more money and time on strips than what seeing an actual aesthetician would cost. So just go ahead and make that appointment.
There really is a reason there are so many accountants in the world (and why it is so difficult to find one available once tax season rolls around). While it may seem quick and convenient to file your own taxes, it can lead to potentially missing out on a ton of expenses, especially if you own property, are married or have a child (never mind if you own your own business—you should know better). Which is why accountants go to school to learn how to deal with the ins and outs of the tax world—so shelling out for a professional could actually save you a ton of money. NB: If you aren’t good with numbers, you shouldn’t even be reading this in the first place.
8 Tree removal
We’re not saying don’t do your own yard work. You totally should. Mowing the lawn and raking the leaves are great for getting in a little exercise and fresh air. When it comes to the heavier to work, though, like trimming branches or potentially cutting down a tree, call on someone to help you. This is because a) you’re using power tools (see No.3); b) you could miscalculate the trajectory of the falling tree and; c) you could hit a power line. With about 2,000 people suffering from tree trimming injuries in 2009, you can bet that the next time we need a better view, we’ll just hire an arborist. (That’s a tree expert, FYI. Thanks Google.)
We’re just going to say it—everybody—and we mean everybody—hates moving. It’s long, it’s overwhelming and while the feeling of starting fresh is ultimately satisfying, it’s the getting to that point that is particularly brutal. So why manipulate your friends to help you? It’s mean. Family, fine. But your friends don’t want to move you, and that’s the truth, even if they can’t say it to your face. Since you probably can’t hike the couch up and down a flight of stairs by yourself, just hire some reputable movers (as in not sketchy cheap ones form Craigslist that disappear with all your stuff).
6 Trade work
Learning a trade requires, well, learning the actual trade. Whether it’s electrical work, plumbing, welding or even construction, there’s usually a pretty steep learning curve. We know that YouTube has got everyone in a huff over the DIY movement, but cutting the wrong wire, or adjusting the wrong knob can lead to huge disasters. You know, like your house burning down. If you do have a vested interest in wanting to do more work around the house on your own, consider taking a class first.
5 Pest Control
This is a no-brainer, mostly because you’re dealing with chemicals. That’s right—vacuuming up insects isn’t usually super effective…unless you’re dealing with those poser ladybugs (and in that case, have at it, or at least try throwing the buggers outside). The chemicals that exterminators use can be quite dangerous, and potentially harmful if handled incorrectly. Risks include endangering family and pets, damaging property or the environment, or even starting a chemical fire. So just call an exterminator—it’s not worth the risk…or the nightmares that you’ll probably have for months after seeing that many bugs at one time. (Or just not be able to sleep because you’ll be imagining them crawling all over you.)
4 Cutting your own hair
Unless you’re a professional stylist, this isn’t going to end well. Yes, we get it. You just need to get rid of those spilt ends, and spending upwards of fifty dollars for a trim might seem like a waste of money. Unfortunately, the cutting of hair is one of those things that is a lot harder than it looks. Kind of like paddle boarding. Chances are, you’ll end up paying a hairdresser to correct the bowl cut you’ve given yourself (or your dear child), so just hire a professional. While we’re at it, stay away from those boxes of hair dye, too, because you probably won’t end up looking like the model on the box.
3 Using power tools for the first time
If you know how to use a power tool, then awesome. Good on your dad or uncle or whoever took the time to show you basic life skills. Sadly, the majority of people have no idea how to use a drill, never mind a jigsaw. So instead of ordering a bunch of machinery on Amazon to try and DIY your bathroom renovation yourself, just consult a contractor (or call someone who knows what they’re doing to give you a lesson, if you’re really determined). The truth is, the chances are high that you’ll cut some sort of appendage off trying to be self-sufficient or whatever. Safety first.
2 Handling livestock
Ponies are cute, right? So why not just pet the creature on the nose? But it’s kind of like trying to pet a dog that you don’t know. You probably wouldn’t go there, because the sweet animal with the doe eyes could bite off your hand. If you are at a petting zoo, and the animals are trained to deal with people who have no idea what they are doing, then fine. Go in for a little rub and feed the llama some pellets. In any other situation, it is important to remember that approaching an animal in a way that it isn’t accustomed to can result in, well, you getting your butt kicked. Literally.
1 Anything where your feet aren’t touching the ground
Luckily most activities that require you to be airborne come with supervisors that are highly trained in their super random choice of profession. Parachuting out of a plane, skydiving, heli-skiing, hand gliding—you know, those totally everyday activities that we all do—are super dangerous. So while most of us have enough common sense to let a professional take the lead, just double check that your guide is a bona-fide expert, as winging that act hand gliding off a cliff can be fatal.