I did a great deal of research and got several bids, but it was actually difficult to get a contractor to even call me back.
The bids I got to install a mini split system were obscene, there were so over the top it was an insult.
I bought everything, the system and all the tools, then researched how to do it correctly.
It was much easier to do correctly than I expected.
My bids were from $15,000 for the lower priced model, to $20,000 for the better one.
My cost all-in, HVAC equipment, tools and all, was $4,000 for a 36,000 btu 3 zone system that could produce heat down to -22F
I went slow to make sure it was right, so it took the better part of 2 days. Two experienced technicians could have done it in a lazy day.
It was so easy I bought another system for my shop. It took about half a day to install a 1 zone system, and that includes running power from 60' away.
I understand paying for someone's expertise, and I tried to, but not at those prices.