Ever have a plumbing problem and you thought you knew what it was but just didn’t have the skill to fix it yourself? So you call in the plumber to do his job. The plumber guy gets there and says, “Sure. I can fix this but the real problem is this other thing and you really should get that fixed.” Or, maybe, “Hey, I fixed your problem. While I was working on it I noticed this other thing that you should really have fixed while I here (or not very long from now).”
Electrician? Roofer? Auto Mechanic?
Hey, it doesn’t matter who the contractor is or what their specialty is, you know and they know that you don’t know what they know. You know. As a result they make all kinds of suggestions and some of them may be valid and some may be designed to make them a couple of bucks. How do you tell?
The fact is: for most stuff you really can’t tell. You have to do a little calculus in your head that involves trusting the guy (or gal), maybe a little bit of how much money you have and how immediate it really sounds.
This happens to me with auto mechanics all the time. I take my car in for an oil change and they always find belts that need to be replaced or some other thing – major or minor – that needs some repair in addition to the original oil change. It never fails.
I’ve had it done to me by an electrician and almost by a plumber. After all, these guys are supposed to know what they’re doing and if they make a recommendation it might be something important. In reality, most of the stuff is usually fluff that they ad on to make money. But, you never know. You have to take it on faith. Blind faith.