Having a good reputable contractor can be the difference between a project becoming a nightmare or ending as a success.  The contractor is the third leg which supports the table (your project being the table), you the owner and your architect are the other two legs.  Your architect can assist you with finding a select group of reputable contractors to bid your project.  There are several steps to finding a good reputable contractor.  First, begin by finding the names of numerous contractors to consider for your project; ask family, friends, neighbors or even strangers that are currently or have recently worked with a contractor about whether or not it was a good experience and if they would recommend them.  Second, check with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to make sure the contractors you are considering are licensed, has the correct license for your type of project and to see if they have any open or closed complaints against them and what the details are / were in regards to the complaint.  You can check all this on DPOR's website.  Lastly, reach out to the contractors and set-up a meeting with each one to see how you connect with them on a personal level.  Ask questions about how will the project be supervised & managed, how will payments be disbursed, sequence of work, time frame and how will they maintain the site in a neat, safe and orderly fashion; I talk more about this topic in blog: QUESTIONS FOR YOUR PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR, May 4, 2016.  Get references from the contractors and make sure you check them.  You might even ask the references if they mind if you come and see the contractor's work first hand; most owner's that have had a good experience with their project are wanting to show it off.   If you follow this approach, chances are you will end up with a contractor which will help make your project a success and not a nightmare.