We can also give a heartfelt recommendation of Paul. He's done a wonderful job on our house (Sinarades as well) and has really looked after us. Dawn, beavering away in the background, has coped briliantly with officialdom.
Whilst some of the team are English, our plumber and electricain were local. I think the best person to choose is someone who has a good reputation, is sympathetic to what you what, but above all listens.
I agree that if the person has a stake/commitment in the local community that's an added bonus, but it may not always be possible. Someone who has made his life in Corfu and is a professional is just as good !
You need to feel confident in whoever you choose, especially if you are not able to be in Corfu whilst the work is happening.
I think renting in Corfu whilst you look is a very good idea - you could also rent out you place in the UK to give you an income in the meantime - that way you can take you time. The place that you alway go on holiday might not the the best for all year living, whist somewhere that's not so busy might spring into life in the winter.
Best of luck whatever you decide
Jane and Ron