Deal with a "specialty" company for this, you may pay a little more, but the worries about insurance claims, liability, workmen's compensation, etc. are worth it. verify MHIC licenses, ask for insurance certificates, "BEFORE" contracting/ deposits are in place.
Reputable companies will appreciate your caution ( well, not really.....but, it shows you are somewhat knowledgeable about the process of protecting yourself.) Plus, it will scare off the wannabees, and cause their prices to be out of range. Get 3-estimates.
Companies like Lowes and (I think) Home Depot have local contractors they will recommend. If there is a legitimate problem with them the company won't recommend them any more so the contractor has incentive to do good.
Of course the recomendation of a friend for a contractor is a good thing too.