The dictionary defines professional as "a person who is expert at his or her work." This would, i suppose be open to interpretation to what the definition of an expert is. In my mind, one who is an expert is a person who has had many years of experience in making mistakes and learning what to do and not to do. That is what makes someone an expert. So back to my question where are the professionals? I think as it has been easy to engage in something as a business and claim that you were a professional as whatever, that is exactly what many people have done. This seems especially true in the mechanical areas of expertise. I find many home owners who have moved into a "professionally built" home and the plumbing or heating and cooling system does not operate anywhere close to acceptable. It is my frustration to have to report to them that unless they want to tear out walls and sometimes ceilings, they are stuck with a system that simply will not do the job that it was supposed to do. On occasion I can salvage the system but the fact that the home is only a few years old and they are having to totally revamp the system is beyond frustrating both to me and to them. So again having a professional install your mechanicals in your house is to me of paramount importance. Often to a builder, however, only the cost is weighed and not whether the contractor is a true professional who knows what they are doing. We are professionals who come in many times and fix what has been inadequately installed. This is what we have done for many years. It is what sets us apart from the other contractors out there. It has long been my hope to find a builder that I could work with that cared more about the quality and professionalism of the mechanical contractor than about the cost. I am not saying they are not out there, I am just saying that I have not found one yet. If you are looking to build a custom home I would suggest that you as least meet with the mechanical contractor and discuss the systems with him before just allowing the builder to pick
the mechanical contractor for you. Professionals are out there but they do cost more to have them install a job. My opinion is that it is worth the cost to get a quality system that does what it is supposed to do.
One other point that I forgot to mention, often those "professionals" that leave a home with an inadequate system are often not in business a few years later when all of the problems begin to show up. So look for a contractor that is not just builder focused but is also service focused and has been in business for a number of years.