11 Things to Do Throughout Your Building ProjectCategory | Construction
Church construction projects can be stressful and taxing whether you are considering a new multi-million dollar campus or just replacing the carpet in the sanctuary. Regardless of the project type, the following best practices apply:
- Make every decision with your church’s divine mission and vision in mind. In other words, be and do what God called your church to be and do. Facilities should enable and compliment ministry.
- Count the cost before building, not during construction and definitely not after it. Define the scope of the project(s) and count the cost of every detail. Too often, churches base decisions on assumed cost-per square-foot, another church’s experience, or a contractor’s last project.
- Start with immediate needs before moving on to new improvements. Address critical items that impede ministry and building use, such as a leaky roof, broken air conditioner, or storage space that could be repurposed for ministry.
- Once costs are confirmed as much as possible, add a contingency factor of at least 10% of the total project cost. This will cover unforeseen costs, as well as changes, overruns, and extras you may wish to tack on.
- Get fixed price quotes, bids, and contracts in writing. “Time and material” or “hourly” agreements are often thought of as having the potential to save the church money but typically have the reverse outcome. These types of agreements offer no incentive for the contractor to look into the project and count the cost ahead of time or keep costs to a set amount once it gets underway.
- Carry adequate insurance on the church that will cover construction-related activities, both builder’s risk and liability. Most liability policies cover accidents at the church, but many policies contain an exception for construction-related activities.
- Do NOT hire a contractor without proof of their workman’s compensation and liability insurance.
- Someone must manage and schedule work, order materials, and ensure fluid operation of ministries during the project. Even if you have a contractor, someone needs to represent the interests of the church. It’s best to hire a dedicated project manager or owner’s representative for this role, so the pastor and staff can remain focused on ministry.
- Facilities management and maintenance is part of good stewardship of church resources. Schedule regular maintenance on buildings and new components and systems installed during your project.
- Factor maintenance costs, upkeep, and renovation costs into your annual operating budget.
- Create an inventory of all furniture and equipment, with manufacturer’s product numbers, warranty information, and photos if possible, stored off site. This will be helpful if something were to happen to your building that requires an insurance claim.
These are just a few of the many steps involved in a successful church building project. If you have questions about a specific issue, feel free to contact us at 888.829.6877 or leave a comment below. We are happy to help.