Not long after my husband and I began the building process for our new home, we realized our general contractor knew absolutely nothing about plumbing, electric or HVAC. While he was super knowledgeable about the design, framing and actual build of the home, he couldn’t answer any of my questions about the essential systems. Since the water pipes, drainage, power, heating and cooling are vital and directly impact our budget, I didn’t want to live with mistakes. We needed to make sure the electrical wires would meet code, and the water pipes wouldn’t corrode or leak. We hoped to have the thermostat located in the right spot and the furnace and air conditioner sized to provide ideal comfort and peak energy efficiency. One of my biggest concerns was the integrity of the duct system. I’d read horror stories about the problems and expense resulting from poorly designed and implemented ductwork. I checked around and found a local company that combines licensed electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians. With one phone call I had access to licensed and certified professionals who could work with my general contractor and make sure all system were installed properly and in a timely fashion. These contractors consulted with my husband and I to determine our budget and expectations for the various systems. They helped us choose everything from the furnace and air conditioner to the faucets and overhead light fixtures. We relied heavily on their knowledge, and took their recommendations for make and model of furnace, air conditioner, and water heater. Along with the installation of the various appliances and systems, these contractor also guided us through the warranty requirements and familiarized us with operation.