This step in our Start to Finish church building series wraps up the church design phase. It’s a very important step because you must be able to afford the new church building or remodeling project you have so carefully designed. A well-thought out budget will not only tell you if your project is affordable, it will also let you know how much money you will need to raise when the time for funding arrives (in our next step).
Your Project Budget Covers Much More than the Church Building
Many church leaders just focus on the construction costs for a church building as if that is the only part of a budget, but there’s more to it. You will also need various permits and pay several fees during the process of approval and construction. If you’re creating a new church design from scratch, you will have expenses involved with preparing the building site for construction. If you’re remodeling an existing church building, costs will be associated with making sure that the old building meets newer building codes and safety restrictions.
Four Elements of Your Church Building Project Budget
- The Cost of Construction. The largest and most obvious part of the budget includes site development (preparing the ground, installing utility lines, laying in pavement and sidewalks) and the construction itself. Whether you’re starting a new church design or embarking on a remodeling project, construction includes everything that could not be moved if you were to vacate the building, such as the HVAC system, elevators, paint, and movable walls.
- Fees, Permits, and Assessments. These costs cover the requirements to create a church design that meets applicable zoning and building codes for your city. They include soil testing, building permits, and the various types of architectural and engineering drawings during construction as well as permitting once the building work is complete.
- Contingency and Inflation. These numbers reflect the likelihood of changes during the course of the project. While everyone hopes that the approved church design will be final, things come up because of the church’s vision and the realities of construction; changes have to be made. We suggest that every responsible project budget include a contingency figure and account for the cost of inflation for construction materials and labor over the course of time it takes to start the construction project. The amount of contingency you set aside depends upon the type of project you are proposing. Current inflation for the last 12 months has been near 6%.
- Owner-Supplied Furnishings. A new church building is great, but an empty shell will not support your vision for ministry in your community. Once the construction phase is complete, you will need to supply furnishings—everything from tables, chairs, and audio-visual equipment, such as screens and speakers, to kitchen appliances and nursery cribs.
Moving from the Church Design Phase to Funding
Once you have well-researched estimates for each of the four budgetary elements above, you are ready to move into the second phase of the church building process, which secures funding for your church design project. In the next post of our Start to Finish series, we will discuss these various elements of funding.
This step-by-step series is inspired by one of our 2018 free i3 webinars and we are currently outlining our 2019 webinar series. If there are topics you would like to see addressed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.