I cannot stress enough how much every homeowner should research the people they have working on their home.
You should check your local lumber yards ask the people at the desk if they know these companies.
Ask for and receive references from any company you are considering for your project.
Ask the companies you call who else they would recommend for the work you need done. Any reputable company will not be upset about giving you multiple options and they should not be afraid of competing for your business.
Check your states builders licensing division and make sure that the company is licensed for the project you need done. Michigan for instance also lists any negative reports listed under the licensed company. Check it out www.michigan.gov/builders go to this site and click check license.
Ask the owner who they have worked for. Not customers but previous employers. Remodeling is not a business best learned by books but by experiences. Any reputable builder should have years of experience in the field working with other people with even more experience. I personally have worked under over 5 other licensed builders and owe most of my knowledge to them.
The most important thing you can do is research your project and ask as many questions about what you need done as possible. Doing this will let you know how much these companies know. Are they more salesman than worker? Do they know what their doing or should their employees be running the company? Sounds funny but there are alot of companies that fit this description.
I will be setting up categories for different types of remodeling work and giving you a list of questions you should ask every company that comes to look at your project.