Permit: Get permits for the work to be done, its your property and if there’s a visit from the local building inspector, its your responsibility to have proper permits. If you want the contractor to provide permits, be sure its in the contract and clearly states that all permits and costs for obtaining the permits, will be arranged by the contractor. And all work will be completed to building code standards by certified and licensed trades.
Insurance: the contractor should have valid insurance, including liability insurances, but that only covers you in case of accidents on the job site. When planning a renovation, call your insurance broker for additional coverage. because if there’s damage to a neighbors home or public property, its likely that the contractors insurance wont cover it. They will look at you.
Contract: make it a written document of “Agreements” based on your renovation plans. it should outline all the work details and include information about materials, products, subcontractors (if any), start and finish dates,. and a payment schedule. Review it carefully. Verbal agreements lead to failure and money disputes.