When you need a contractor, it seems your choices are almost unlimited. But how do you narrow them down? As it turns out, price is not your only consideration, nor is it the most important.

There are dozens of new home builders and general contractors in Columbia and Lawrenceburg. Many are well-established and have built a reputation based on quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Others neither have the experience nor the manpower or tools to see a job from start to finish. It can be difficult to determine which is which based on a quick online search. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right contractor, whether it’s for a simple remodeling job or a new home construction project:

  • Ask a realtor. Contact a few local real estate agencies. Many will be happy to provide you with a list of companies they’ve worked with.
  • Look at new housing developments. If you’re planning to build a new home or add to an existing one, check out the MLS for new housing developments. This can give you an idea of the types of home a particular construction company has recent experience building.
  • Check with friends. Your network of friends and family is perhaps your best resource to help you find the general contractor in Columbia. Don’t be shy about asking coworkers, your neighbors, or even your child’s teachers.
  • Take a drive. Many builders and remodeling professionals get permission from homeowners to leave their sign in the yard while a project is being completed. This is a great indicator that the contractor is proud of their work.

Once you have several choices, it is time to narrow down your selection. Start by scheduling an appointment to discuss your project. If it’s an addition or remodeling job, your contractor should come fully prepared to survey the area to provide a quote. If they do not have a pen and paper, smartphone, or tablet and measuring tape in hand, they’re not prepared, and that’s a good sign you should move on.

Get at least three quotes and compare them side-by-side. Make sure they are “apples to apples,” meaning that they are similar in quality and materials. They should also include an estimated timeline to completion.

Finally, you should feel comfortable with your general contractor. If you get the impression they are being anything but completely upfront and honest about their company, keep looking.

Finding a general contractor in Columbia is not difficult, but finding the right one for your project is. Do not fall prey to the idea that the lowest price equals the best value. Your contractor’s experience and integrity are worth far more than the dollars you think you might save.