Now is the time to build
There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. What IS certain is that the world needs churches and the ministries they provide now more than ever. The church definitely has a large role to play in society.
Industry experts are predicting a construction boom in the 3rd quarter of 2020, despite the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic. The facts are, interest rates are at all time lows, making financing more affordable than ever before. Real estate prices are dropping. Churches are re-imagining the ministries they provide to the community. That means that churches can take advantage of a "perfect storm" of circumstances in their favor.
Now is the time to design and build your new church facilities. Now is the time to move your church into the future. Now is the time to be creative and to maximize the potential of your physical plant to meet the needs of those in your mission field.
But, before you decide to just jump off into a construction project there are a few things you will want to consider:
#1 - Consider Funding:
What is the financial position of the church? What size project are we capable of funding? Do we have the cash on hand to pay for this project? Do we want to initiate a capital campaign? Do we want to run the campaign before we build or concurrently? Do we want to finance? How much can we afford to finance? How do we seek financing (hint: churches are different than commercial businesses)? A qualified consultant will help you decide how to fund the project and see you through to completion.
#2 - Consider Design:
There is much more to church design than drawing a floor plan on graph paper. Choose a reputable architect WITH CHURCH EXPERIENCE to help you design your facility. Whether you are remodeling or building a new structure from the ground up, a registered architect WITH CHURCH DESIGN EXPERIENCE is a must! Don't get your friend who designs custom homes to design your church facility. Don't get your church member who works for an architect to design your church facility. Find an architect with experience designing for and working with churches. The architect can also help with engineering, construction, and construction administration.
#3 - Consider Construction Delivery Method:
Each church's situation is unique. What works best for one church may not work best for another. And, what worked best when your cousin remodeled her office space may not work best for your church. Some churches will benefit from a Design-Build. Others will benefit from a Job Order Contract method. Others will benefit from a Competitive Bid / Negotiated Contract with Guaranteed Maximum Price. Others will benefit from a Cost Plus Fees delivery. Each church is unique. A qualified consultant can help you choose the right method for your unique circumstances.
#4 - Select a Highly Qualified General Contractor
Just because a General Contractor has experience in commercial construction does NOT mean he / she will be the best fit to build a church. Churches pose unique challenges in the built environment. A General Contractor needs to know how to properly navigate legal / permitting / code issues unique to churches. And, a General Contractor needs to understand how to properly navigate the intricacies of church administrative and bureaucratic structures. You might consider retaining the services of a qualified Construction Manager with experience in church construction to manage and coordinate the project on your behalf. A Construction Manager works FOR YOU and will place your best interests above those of the other stakeholders in the project. They can also help you select an appropriate architect, the best delivery method, and a qualified General Contractor. The Construction Manager will hold the other partners accountable throughout the life-cycle of the project.
Engaging in a construction project for a church can be a frightening thing. However, we have been presented with an unprecedented opportunity to re-evaluate the type of ministries we offer as a church and to leverage favorable industry market conditions to move our churches into the future. Don't be afraid to be bold and look to the future. Now is the perfect time to start the design process & build.