1. Ask around
The best recommendations are word-of-mouth. Ask your family, friends and neighbors who have had recent contracting work completed on their house. You can also contact your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau to check for complaints on your candidates.
2. Hold interviews
Pick up the phone and start your phone interviews, or meet them in person (if you have time). Good contractors will be able to provide proof of insurance, references, and memberships in trade organizations. They will be willing to answer any questions you may have with regards to their business. Ask to see examples of previous work.
3. Take bids
Hopefully you will have several good bids for your project. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bid, but they should all be in the same range of prices. The final decision on a contractor should be based on the quality you feel they bring to the project, not just the lowest bidder.
4. Draw up a contract
The general rule of thumb is, put it in writing. If it isn’t in the contract, it might not get done. Every contract should have a start/finish date, the contractor’s information (name, address, insurance, etc.), payment method, detailed description of the work to be done and materials used, guarantees/warranties, and information on permits.