Hire a licensed contractor if you are renovating a large area, adding hardscape, structures, or electrical fixtures and you do not have experience in construction.
Get referrals by asking friends and family for names of contractors.
Check credentials and licenses - verify that their insurance and licenses are current.
Meet with prospective contractors at your home so they can see the site and get a clear idea of the project.
Ask for several client recommendations, then call or visit. You may want to visit both a finished project and one in process. Ask questions - How does it look? Are they happy with the completed work? Would they hire the contractor again?
Get a signed contract, even if it’s a small job. Make sure the expectations are spelled out clearly, including budget and schedule, before you sign it.