The best and most common way to find a local contractor is through word of mouth, that is how most of my clients find me.
As much as I would like to work on your project, I can't be everywhere. Neither can you, with a few exceptions, send the work to me. There is a way though for you to find local contractors to look at your project and offer quotes.
I have been telling my clients for years that one of the best ways to gather solid workable ideas for a remodel is to interview various contractors, on site if possible, and ask them for their input.
I know I have spent many an hour of my own time performing this service. It is an opportunity for me not only to inform a potential client of their project options but to sell myself and my abilities. I have used the Networx referral program myself and had good results. I am confident that you will have a similar experience.
You would be shocked to know how few people have asked me for references over the years I have worked in people's homes. Not only should you ask for references, you should ask for current references.
In my state we have the oversight of the CCB, [Construction Contractors Board]. Their mission is to protect the consumer and in doing so help us who seek to serve the consumer to compete on an even playing field. My Oregon CCB number is 46846, a call to them will let you know that my license, bond, and insurance are all in order.
Avoid deciding on the basis of price alone. Everyone wants to hire a person of integrity, such people typically bear responsibilities. They meet these responsibilities by working for profit. Contracting is like anything else, you tend to get what you pay for.