Where The Good Contractors Are
Contractors, like lawyers, frequently have a bad reputation. The few who do cause problems for their clients overshadow the numerous excellent contractors who do wonderful work. So, how can one find them? I have frequently said that word of mouth is best, but sometimes you can't find the right person for the job. There are other options than the yellow pages, however.
http://www.homeworkssourcebook.com/ prescreens contractors for inclusion in their journals and on their website. They are located in Massachusetts.
http://www.nari.org/ is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. NARI members are self-selected, but they can go through the NARI certification process. The website offers all kinds of advice for homeowners and contractors.
http://www.bagb.org/ is the Builders Association of Greater Boston. It is also a great resource for contractors and homeowners.
These are examples of some websites that can help you become better educated about home renovation. The more you educate yourself, the less likely you are to have problems with your project.