They have lots of people on their payroll and they would never make ends meet if they only worked on your job. Knowing this, try to be a little friendlier to your contractor when they are running late for a job, or if they can’t make it on a particular day.
Contractors are very close with their subcontractors. They work very closely together. Actually, it’s very likely that you’ll see more of his subcontractors than you’ll see of him throughout the project.
Therefore, it might not be an awful idea to meet all of them before you decide to hire the contractor. However, keep in mind, they’re not the boss, the contractor is. It would be like not hiring a law firm because you aren’t fond of some of the associates in the building. Doesn’t make sense, if you have the #1 lawyer, does it?
The contractor must be licensed. Don’t ever hire a contractor who doesn’t have an active license. As well as liability insurance. Don’t just assume that he is licensed and insured. It only costs about a hundred bucks to run a background check, and you’ll likely regret it if you don’t. Check to see that he has no prior complaints with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
In order to decide if the contractor is an ethical, honest person, you’ll have to meet him in person. This is the only way you can really tell who someone really is.
In conclusion, come up with a list of prospective contractors, get some bids, meet with them, check their references, license, and insurance, and then make a judgment call as to whether or not he is the right one for your job. Good luck!