If you are trying to make sure that you aren't hiring a spotty contractor or handyman it is helpful to follow a few guidelines.
A great post over at LifeHacker.com has some wonderful tips. The first one was probably the most true and important. Be prepared by inspecting your home early and often. This way you can budget for and anticipate work ahead of time. This also gives you time to have several people come in and bid on the job. If finding a professional residential contractor is your goal then starting early is your best bet. To read the rest of the tips click here.