DON'T......use paid lead services. These are companies such as Thumbtack, Home Advisor and Amazon Home Services. They claim to do all the homework for you and find the best services that fit your needs. There a few problems with this.
First, services that do great work and do everything they promise they will do are busy enough through referrals and promoting themselves through their own sources. So you will most likely be getting second fiddle.
Second, these paid services take money from the contractor by either selling credits to bid jobs or they take a percentage of the job cost. The contractor is either going to be less profitable and cut corners on your job or they are going to charge more to make up for it. The winner?....The paid lead service, because they get paid regardless and, by the way, that money will not stay local!
Lastly, these paid lead services offer to find hundreds of different services that suit you best. Really? All they are doing is sending out mass emails to businesses, inviting them to sign up for leads so they can collect millions of dollars a day.
DO.......your own homework. Ask your friends and family for referrals. Find reviews from people in your area.
Google is the leader in online search. Just punch in the keywords that are important to you and enjoy the findings. They also have a review system to make your search experience even better. The companies that want to be transparent and are confident in their ability to create happy customers should have a review section that is open to the public.
Websites. A lot of work goes into putting a website together that helps the customer make an informed decision about who they want to hire. When you find one that makes you feel like you know the company better, you may have found a keeper.
Facebook can also be a great referral source. You can ask your friends who they would recommend and then go checkout their Business Facebook page. Facebook is a great place to find entertainment, inspiration, and gratitude so if your looking for more business oriented information it would be best to click the link to the website on the business page.