As you collect names of suitable renovators, you need to think about how you will judge the renovators you choose to interview.
Professional renovators operate in a business-like manner. They respect your schedule and show up for appointments on time. They present themselves well, are organized and deal with your questions and concerns directly. They earn your confidence because they follow through on promises - if they say they will call you back tomorrow, they do. How a renovator deals with you before a contract is signed tells you a lot about how you can expect to be treated once the job begins.
Renovation is a "people business" and good renovators are good listeners and communicators. Professional renovators must "translate" your ideas and goals into a workable plan and a pleasant experience. This requires a solid working relationship and good rapport. If you're not comfortable with renovators you interview or don't feel you can communicate with them effectively, you should keep looking to find the right person for your job.
Renovating a home can be a far more complex task than building it in the first place. It takes years of experience in the business before most renovators are ready to manage a major project on their own. It also involves a lot of different types of work, some of which require specialized expertise. Whatever the scope and nature of your project, your renovator needs to have solid experience with that type of work.
Established renovators will provide you with references from previous customers, and in fact, you shouldn't even have to ask for them. They also work with a network of other businesses within your community-banks, material suppliers and trades. It's a good idea to ask a renovator for references to any of these people to find out about their reputation within the industry itself.