Selecting a contractor for your remodeling or addition project is the most important step you can take! To select the best contractor, first of all, visit one of the many sites that provide prescreened contractors in your area. Two of the best are Reliable Remodeler and Service Magic. Service Magic actually features a rating system, so that you can see how the contractor has performed on similar projects. Secondly, schedule an estimate, which should be free, with three or four different contractors. Pay attention to how much detail they uncover while doing the walkthrough, and how carefully they assess your property and plans. Ask for references, and check them thoroughly. Check each bid not only for price, but also for the amount of detail included. If a bid is not very detailed, chances are that the contractor has left something out that will show up as a change order later. Also check to see if the bid has the payment schedule written out, and all the legal disclaimers that are supposed to be on your contract or bid form (you can find this out by checking the website of your local licensing board). Check the contractor's license to make sure it is valid. Last but not least, make sure that you have good "chemistry" - you will be working with this person for quite some time so it is important that you have a friendly rapport.