Church Building

The 2nd Generation: More on the 50-Year Church Building Story of the McKnight Group

September 1970, fifty years ago this month, is when Homer McKnight launched the McKnight Group. As we commemorate our 50th anniversary, we present more about the company’s history through a limited-edition church building podcast. In the episode of the podcast titled “Pathways,” we learn about the second generation of church building leaders at the McKnight Group, starting with current President David McKnight.

Getting an Early Church Building Start at the McKnight Group

In the episode, David tells the story of how he first began working on church building projects during summer break in high school—and how no one liked him because, in his words, “I was the owner’s son and a teenager who didn’t know anything.” Fortunately, he experienced a lot, doing everything from foundations to roofing, and pushing the broom (because construction sites always need to be carefully cleaned).

During college, David got into radio and television, and thought he would pursue that career—but, as he says, “something wasn’t sitting right” with the idea. As he mulled it over, he realized that what he really wanted to do was ask his father if he could major in business and come work for the McKnight Group full-time. Homer McKnight was enthusiastic about the idea, so David finished his degree and entered the McKnight Group office.

Learning Church Design and Building by Example

As David recounts in the podcast, the shift from field to office took a while. He had a lot to learn about the church building construction process from the office and management side. Fortunately, as David notes, “My dad, the way he teaches is by example, so I was just spending a lot of time with him, learning how to handle situations, different issues that come up, how to plan, how to do all that.”

Eventually, David realized that his father “could do only so much himself. [But] the way God wired me is I’m an organizational person. I can see organization and put things into categories and put things into processes.” He began to create systems and processes for all aspects of the church building projects and worked with church leaders to think about their own processes and how those would impact church design and construction.

Recognizing How God Uses Everything in Our Lives

David’s college days spent studying radio and television didn’t go to waste either. As he began consulting with churches on their multi-ministry buildings, he recognized how all his understanding of audio, video, and lighting systems would come in very handy in the church design process. In the podcast, he shares stories of how his personal volunteer work with his church, building Easter and Christmas program sets and serving as lighting director, taught him even more about what churches need for effective audiovisual church design.

Listen to the full podcast to learn about an influential book and how it led David to dive into leadership development, personal development, going to conferences, talking with other people to understand the ins and outs of leadership, and more.

We hope you’re enjoying these windows into the history of the McKnight Group. You’ll find the entire podcast series here. Next post, we’ll feature another of the next generation of McKnight Group leaders: Philip Tipton.

2020-09-22T22:19:08+00:00 September 22nd, 2020|50th Anniversary, Church Building, Church Design|

Answering Some Church Building Interior Design Questions

From time to time, we share questions and answers from our free i3 webinars so church leaders can learn from others facing similar situations. Recently, our Interior Design expert Jennifer Snider answered participants’ questions about different aspects of church design interior finishes, including interior walls and design renderings. For those of you who might have missed this webinar, below are Jennifer’s responses to these questions.

We also invite your interior design and church building questions at any time. We are happy to talk about the scope of your church design project and the best way to approach your new church building or remodeling plans. Perhaps we can help you determine the resources you would need. To request a consultation, simply reach out to us by phone at 800-625-6448 or by email at request@mcknightgroup.com.

Question 1: Should Church Building Ceiling and Wall Textures Be the Same or Different?

The short answer is that there’s not necessarily any firm rule about it. Depending on the size of your church building, you may have ceilings of different materials, such as acoustical tile, alongside a smooth wall finish. Depending on how old your church building is—if, for example, you’re doing a renovation to update an older building—you might have popcorn drywall ceilings. We typically see a preference to smooth out those older ceilings.

Most church leaders’ preferences, at least in the Midwest, are for a smooth wall surface and a smooth ceiling surface, both of which are drywall. However, there are parts of the country where textured walls are more common. Texture is also an easier finish to complete and can be a nice way to hide an uneven surface during remodeling. In terms of your budget, if you’re going to have a smooth finish on your ceiling, you will likely need to spend a little bit more money to get an experienced dry-waller who can work at a level sufficient to prevent any seams or imperfections showing.

Question 2: Stone or Wood Accent Wall: Which Will Last Longer, in Terms of Style?

Wood has become really popular lately, especially the barn wood look or the pallet wood accent walls. From a longevity standpoint, in terms of church design, we believe that stone is going to have a longer life. Some of the wood looks are trendier, whereas stone is a natural product that always has that same test-of-time look to it. So, between the two, for longevity of style, it’s preferable to integrate stone accent walls into your interior design.

Question 3: Do We Need an Interior Design Rendering in Our Church Design Portfolio?

We do always recommend at least some interior design rendering. It is very helpful for people to be able to see what the proposed church building space would look like on the inside as well as the exterior. So, a rendering may be an important option to consider when you’re preparing to present your church building project to your congregation. It helps everyone buy in to your new church design and more easily connect with your church vision for the space.

As we mentioned, these good questions came from one of our free i3 webinars. Sign up for our upcoming webinars to learn more about church building and design and to ask questions of your own.

2020-09-15T20:51:00+00:00 September 15th, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

The Influence of Missions: More on the 50-Year Church Design Story of the McKnight Group

The McKnight Group is commemorating its 50th year in business in 2020. We have introduced a podcast reflecting on our history as part of the commemoration. In episode four, The Mission Trips, we share how Homer McKnight, our Founder, first realized the importance of creating church design that helps the church building become a tool for ministry in the community. His mission trips drastically changed the way the McKnight Group designed and developed each church building and became a catalyst for a major trend in new church facilities. Here are some highlights from the podcast episode.

A Different Kind of Vacation

By 1974, Homer McKnight had been working hard to grow his company for 4 years straight. As Homer admits, “I hadn’t taken a family vacation, a break, done anything other than build the company and do what we started out to do for four years.” Then his wife heard that the central district of their church was planning a mission trip to Haiti and needed volunteers. When she suggested this to Homer, he first shrugged it off. “I don’t have time to do that. We haven’t had a vacation. I don’t even have a weekend off. How can I go to Haiti for two weeks?”

But it seems that Mrs. McKnight didn’t relent in wanting to join the trip. Eventually, he gave in and went to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. He’d never left the USA before, or saw communities where the vast majority of people were illiterate and had no jobs. For Homer, it was a life-changing experience. To hear more about what it was like, listen to the podcast. For this article, however, the important thing to know is that Homer was hooked.

Understanding How a Church Building Functions in Haiti

Part of what engaged Homer was the fact that the church building in these small Haitian towns served the “hub of the village.” It was usually the only permanent building, constructed by mission groups like Homer’s. It wasn’t just used for Sunday mornings, like each church building that Homer was building back home. Instead, the church building served also as a meeting place, a storm shelter, and a clinic when doctors came to the village.

For Homer, this was a revelation. He saw how a church building could function as a key tool for ministry within a community. He began to realize that his business experience as an architect, contractor, and successful company owner gave him the wisdom to help with church design and construction around the world. But he was worried that if he spent more time on missions, his church building business would suffer. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and he explains why in the podcast.

Innovating Church Design Back Home in the US

Homer McKnight had a second revelation from his mission trips to Haiti. He began to ask why church buildings in America were not used as a community hub too. When he would meet with teams at various churches, he would find them focused only on the worship space. In his words, “as I would meet with church boards and building committees, they were arguing for hours over the color in the stained-glass window or the color of the carpet or the padded pews.”

God then gave Homer the opportunity to transform how his own church building could be used. Grove City Church of the Nazarene was relocating. As a member of the board, Homer told them, “We need a building that’s going to allow us to meet the needs of Grove City, Ohio, and our youth. “God gave me a vision,” he explained, and he went home to create a church design that would become a transformative tool for ministry and lead to many more such church projects in the future.

Over a 50-year history, Homer McKnight and the McKnight Group have been involved with hundreds of mission trips to help build churches internationally. To learn more about how those experiences helped forge the vision of the company for churches here in America, listen to the full podcast here.

2020-09-01T21:13:10+00:00 September 1st, 2020|50th Anniversary, Church Building, Church Design|

Bright Options for Children’s Interior Design in Your Church Building

Usually we know it immediately when we enter the children’s space in a church building. The colors are vibrant, the themes are bright and energetic, and the furnishings are designed to be attractive to children. For children’s areas to be both fun and successful, it’s important to understand what’s possible, and within your budget, with interior design for children’s spaces in your church building. It’s also important to appreciate how a church design that includes attractive children’s spaces will draw families to your church building.

An Interior Design with Bold Colors Sends a Bright Message

If families with young children are searching for a church home, parents will want to know that you are investing in children’s ministry. One easy and relatively inexpensive way to do this is to decorate the walls of the children’s area in your church building with bold colors.

As you can see in this image from Evangelical United Methodist Church in Greenville, Ohio, you don’t want to be afraid to use color. While the colors in the worship space of your church building will be muted in order to focus attention on the message of Christ, children are drawn to bright colors. The use of color here draws children in and tells their families that you are investing in the next generation. Even the furnishings echo those bright colors and create a welcoming theme with little additional investment.

Another advantage of this simple, but clear, use of color in your interior design is that it’s just paint, so it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to repair or update. This means that if your budget is limited, you can still create and maintain an inviting children’s area in your church building.

Improving Your Children’s Area Church Design by Stages

If you’ve got a little more money to work with, you can set the basic point for your children’s area and improve it in stages over time. Here at Blue Grass United Methodist Church in Evanston, Indiana, we began with a simple paint job of blue sky and green grass. The clouds, tree, and children in the scene are graphics applied to these walls. In this way, you can get started on a theme with a limited budget, then add additional graphics over time. With a basic wood-look floor and cheery outdoor scene, children and their parents are drawn in toward the check-in station, then to the brightly colored classroom doors.

Making Your Church Building a Magnet for Children

If you can make a more major investment in the interior design of your children’s spaces, consider floor-to-ceiling wall graphics. As you can see in this photo from Crossview Church in Grabill, Indiana, there are bold and engaging graphics available with biblical themes. In this interior design, you can see toward the rear of the image that we also integrated flooring with a water-like appearance and a check-in desk fashioned like a ship. With a holistic view toward children’s church design, you can make a bold statement to all guests that children’s ministry is an integral part of your church vision.

Whether it’s a bold and fun space with color, a wall-graphic based theme, or a more dramatic theme for the entire children’s area with 3-dimensional elements, interior design for your children’s space should clearly fit in with your vision of ministry with children. To learn more about other aspects of interior design and your church building, sign up today for our free i3 webinars.

2020-08-25T19:37:50+00:00 August 25th, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

The Early Years: Part II in the 50-Year Church Building Story of the McKnight Group

This year, The McKnight Group is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. One part of the celebration is a series of podcasts reflecting on the history of the company. In this post, we bring some highlights from episode 3, “The Early Years – Part 2” as we look at how our work began to grow in those early years, along with the opportunities and challenges our founder overcame.

Pioneering a Different Church Design Approach to Working with Church Leaders

As with most young companies, the McKnight Group began by giving customers exactly what they asked for. In the words of Homer McKnight, our founder, “When we started, we did church building like everybody else. We would ask the board, the building committee, whoever was in charge, ‘What do you want?’ And they would tell us, and we would try to give them that.”

Soon, however, Homer and Bill realized that church leaders were just seeking to copy church design ideas from other churches. They wanted what they’d seen others do with their church buildings, rather than paying attention to what their specific church and community really needed. So, they changed tactics. Again, in Homer’s words:

“Money spent for study and for ingenuity and for church design drawings is much less costly than building a church building incorrectly or not doing what they want to do. So, fairly early on, we realized we were the ones with the most knowledge of church buildings, and particularly, we had new ideas. So, we became bolder and bolder on sharing those ideas, asking questions and solving problems, and building church buildings that really worked.”

Church Building Turning Points and New Tools

A major turning point for the McKnight Group came in 1986, when they helped Grove City Church of the Nazarene relocate to a new church building which was the first of its kind and worked out amazingly well for them. As Homer says, “As far as our knowledge goes, in the United States, it was the first building of that kind that worked that well. And from then on, we became known as church growth experts.” Their understanding of the church building as a tool for ministry really helped them take off.

This success meant that they were asked to build churches farther and farther from their home base, which brought challenges (in an age before fax machines, computers, cell phones, or even digital images) because they had to visit every site to understand what church leaders needed in a church design. Their solution was to get pilots’ licenses and a single-engine Rockwell plane (later called a Cessna). You can tune into the podcast to learn about their adventures with that plane, which became a critical tool in their church building toolkit.

Trusting in God and Persevering Despite the Obstacles

Everything wasn’t always smooth flying during those early years, however. There was a time when they had nine church design and building contracts, which was work enough for a year and a half. Then mortgage interest rates began to climb, reaching a high of 22 percent. Within a month, every single one of those nine church building projects was cancelled. Obviously (since we’re commemorating 50 years) they made it through, and you can learn how they survived by listening to the podcast [link]. In Homer’s words, “God always brought a solution and an answer, and that’s how we knew he was in charge. And here we are, 50 years later, with a bigger and better company.”

Learn more about the history of The McKnight Group and how it has evolved to the forefront of Design-Build experts in the field of constructing churches. The complete series, along with other details of The McKnight Group’s 50th anniversary celebration, can be found here.

2020-08-18T21:20:42+00:00 August 18th, 2020|50th Anniversary, Church Building, Church Design|

Learn About the Latest in Carpet Technology for Your Church Building

When considering how to make your church interior a welcoming space, one key element is the flooring choices you make. Carpeting is a common and great choice for church interior design, but in recent years the options have changed considerably. In this post, we share the latest information about carpet technology and explain why carpet tile is a good option for the interior design of your church building.

What is Carpet Tile?

Traditionally, carpet was manufactured and transported in 12-foot-long rolls, called broadloom. You’ve probably seen carpet rolls like that along the back wall of home improvement stores. While it’s easy to create a uniform look, broadloom carpet has disadvantages, especially if a section gets damaged and you need to replace it. Fortunately, carpet tile has developed into a superior product that provides a number of advantages over broadloom.

Carpet tile generally comes in square or rectangular shapes, typical sizes are 24”x24” and 18”x36”, although some patterns are available in other sizes, such 9”x36”.  More complex shapes are also available, such as hexigons. It installs easily and there is less waste with the installation process, but unlike ceramic or vinyl tile, it provides a welcoming warmth and softness, along with better acoustics. You can also more easily create patterns with carpet tile that can help convey your church design and vision for ministry.

Being Good Stewards with Your Church Building Carpeting

Choosing carpet tile is good stewardship for a number of reasons. As noted above, there’s less waste in the installation process. It’s easy to replace just one or two carpet tiles if there’s stain or damage to the carpet, rather than needing to replace an entire section. The vinyl backing on carpet tiles also helps keep spills from seeping through to the floor.

As with any interior design materials, you get what you pay for. You don’t want residential quality carpeting, because your church building will have a lot more traffic than you would have in your house. Code also requires commercial grade carpet in your building.  With commercial carpeting, you want to avoid the commercial grade carpet that’s considered “tenant improvement” grade. These carpet tiles are designed only to last five years, presuming that new carpeting will be installed with each new tenant in an office building. Good stewardship requires an investment in better quality materials that will last longer.

Creating and Maintaining that Perfect Church Interior Design Look

As you can see in this photo, carpet tiles don’t have to look uniform or appear as tiles. Patterns can be highlighted or minimized, depending on how much interest and focus you want on carpeting in a particular area of your church building.

Other reasons to invest in superior quality carpet tile are related to warranty and maintenance. You will want to purchase carpet tile that includes warranties against edge ravel (where the yarn pulls off the backing and the weaving unravels), delamination separation (where the carpet comes off the vinyl backing), and wear. You can also be good stewards by investing in carpet tile with stain resistant qualities. All carpets can stain, but stain resistance allows for easier cleaning, because the carpet yarns are treated in such a way that they release the stain more easily.

To keep up with the latest innovations in every aspect of church design, sign up today for our upcoming free i3 church building webinars.

2020-08-11T22:13:21+00:00 August 11th, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

How Much Should Your Church Building Interior Design Feel Like Home?

It’s important to make your new or remodeled church building feel welcoming and for it to create a great first impression. We associate home with welcoming and comfortable.  While having a homey feel to the interior design of your church building may be a great idea, home looks different to everyone.  The key is to create a space that makes people feel welcome, comfortable, and safe. A space that is hospitable and friendly. To accomplish that goal, you may consider design elements that feel like home, using materials that are found in many homes though is not a good idea. Even the most home-like church interior still needs an interior design with commercial grade finishes and furnishings.

Why Your Church Building Needs Commercial Grade Furnishings

For a number of reasons, it’s not wise to install residential finishes and furnishings in your church building. First, while your church building may feel like home, it comes under the codes and requirements for commercial spaces, rather than residential building codes. This means that many types of flooring and furniture that you might use in your home cannot be used in your church. Commercial grade products have different fire code ratings, for example, which make them required for church interior design applications.

Other reasons you need commercial grade finishes in your church building relates to good stewardship. You get what you pay for, to a great extent. Commercial grade interior design furnishings may cost a little more, but they will also last longer, especially since you will have a large number of people using your church building every week. Good quality commercial grade finishes will also be easier to maintain.

Getting Inspiration from Interior Design Site Observations

So how do you make your church interior design feel welcoming, but still use commercial grade products? We strongly suggest that you make site visits to other church buildings in your area, along with other welcoming professional spaces such as real estate offices, restaurants, and retail outlets.

The idea with these site visits is to get a sense of what people in your community are accustomed to, in terms of interior design. These are all places that locals are visiting. Therefore, if they see other spaces—like your church building—that look similar, they will feel at home. We suggest taking pictures of interior design elements that you like. This will help you convey those images to other members of your team.  It will also allow you to compare ideas and images to help come up with a design plan that fits your community but is also unique to your church and ministry.

One more important element to your site observations is the question of your church vision for ministry in your community. Will these interior design elements fit with your vision for your new or remodeled church building? Will these finishes and furnishings fit with the vision you’re trying to achieve, to bring people to Christ?

Is Now a Time to Involve Professionals?

As you are gathering images and ideas for your church building, it’s also a good time to ask the question of whether you could benefit from the expertise of a professional. Such experienced leaders can guide you in the process of integrating your ideas into a cohesive whole that will indeed welcome to your guests.

One good way to experience more site observations is to sign up for our free i3 webinars. With each webinar, you get to see more of the interior design of church buildings that we have worked on. These glimpses could give you even more ideas to incorporate into the interior design of your own church building.

2020-07-28T18:43:17+00:00 July 28th, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

Including First Impression Spaces in Your Church Building Interior Design

First impressions are so important when remodeling a church building or creating a church design for a new structure. Whether people are driving by your church building or walking in the doors for the first time, they will unconsciously make judgments and decisions about your church community based on what they see. While it’s obvious how important the façade of your church building is to make all feel welcome and help them want to return, the interior design is also critical, especially certain areas.

The First Interior Spaces Guests Encounter in Your Church Building

Every inch of your church building will make an impression on worshipers and guests. But there are specific areas that make more of a difference than others. Your lobby is the key area for making a good first impression. Whether you’re going for an impression of old-fashioned comfort or sleek, modern style, you will give guests a sense of your church and where it places value by how clean, attractive, and well-kept your lobby or foyer appears. If you’ve got a café located off of your lobby, that draws in people if it’s inviting—but not if it’s dark and dingy and appears old or unclean.

Focusing on Interior Design Deeper in Your Building

Once guests move beyond the lobby and café, they will continue to assess your church community based on how other parts of your church building appear. Restrooms are one key component to making a good impression. Perhaps there was a time when you went to a restaurant and the restroom surprised you because it looked run-down, it wasn’t kept clean, or some of the light bulbs were dark. The same kind of reaction can happen if you don’t take care with the interior design and upkeep of restrooms in your church building.

Two other areas that tend to focus guests’ attention are the worship center children’s areas. The worship center needs careful attention to its interior design. You want guests to feel comfortable and safe in your worship space, and to feel free to worship. If the floor is sticky or the carpet worn, or if it’s difficult to safely navigate in semi-darkness, guests might decide to worship elsewhere next Sunday.  The design of your worship center can also help enhance the worship experience.  Children’s areas are also important first impression spaces. Parents will immediately decide whether you value children based on the interior design and upkeep of your children’s areas. Walls that need repainting and dark areas that aren’t well-lit or kept clean can cause parents to decide to take their children elsewhere. A vibrant, kid-oriented space will not only attract kids, but also encourage parents that you care for their children.

Making Smart Interior Design Decisions with Every Step

You might feel that the entryway to your church building is the least exciting part, but it’s as important as anywhere else to invest in smart interior design. For example, rain, or if your church is located in an area of the country that gets a lot of it, snow, can easily ruin a first impression right at the front door. You can make your entryway attractive (and avoid costly lawsuits) by installing walk-off carpet tiles, like the ones seen here, in the entryway. These tiles are designed to absorb as much as 80% of moisture and soil that people bring in on their shoes when placed effectively. When installed to allow for the recommended 6 to 8 footfalls, you won’t have to lay down rugs (which are a tripping hazard anyway) or worry about falls on slippery porcelain tile or vinyl floor surfaces.

As you can see, every square foot of your church building can benefit from intentional application of intelligent interior design. Stay tuned for more on this topic and sign up today for our free i3 webinars to keep up with the latest interior design and church building trends.

2020-07-21T20:27:07+00:00 July 21st, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

Getting Interior Design Off to a Good Start for Your Church Building Project

We often share on this blog the many processes, and best practices, for putting together and successfully executing a church building project. There are always multiple elements that must be woven together to create a successful church design. Interior design is an integral part of this process; as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This is why we recommend putting together an interior design team very soon in the church design process.

When to Form Your Interior Design Team

Many church leaders can mistakenly believe that, since the interior of a church building is completed last, you don’t need to work on interior design until later. However, we believe it’s important to keep the whole picture in sight throughout the process.  The extent of your project will determine the best time to form your interior design team.  For a remodeling project you are planning on your own, we suggest that as soon as your vision for ministry has been determined by your church’s leadership team, it’s time to form an interior design team. When your project involves architectural changes or is new construction, your interior design team will jump begin to get involved during your construction drawing phase. Completing a successful church design project depends on good planning and making the right decisions from the start.

Key Elements to Composing the Best Interior Design Team

You want a small group, so that decisions can be made efficiently. The most important qualification for members of the group is that they have a clear understanding of your vision, and for them to be outwardly looking.

It’s easy for team members to become focused on what they like and want in a church building interior. If potential team members tend to say, “I don’t like this,” or “I don’t like that,” they’re missing the purpose of the interior design team. You want team members who can concentrate on what you’re trying to accomplish as a church and focus on the best decisions for your ministries and who you are trying to reach for Christ.

When it comes to choosing members of the team, you may have some people with some professional experience, or a background in some element of interior design that can be helpful. You will also need a member of the construction committee on your team so that communication and updates flow freely in both directions. It’s not important to recruit people who have renovated their own homes and therefore feel they have interior design expertise. There are a number of critical differences between residential and commercial finishes that will be especially important to understand.

When to Integrate Church Building Professionals into Your Process

The differences between residential and commercial design are just one reason we suggest involving professional consultants in your interior design process. Professionals will be able to offer resources and expertise to both the church design and the church building process. Exactly when you introduce professionals into the process may depend on whether you’re constructing a new church design from scratch, or undertaking a building renovation or “face lift” of existing space in your church building. The important thing is to recognize the value and wisdom that knowledgeable professionals, such as The McKnight Group, can bring to your interior design team.

We’ve been sharing best practices like these on every element of church design and construction for many years now. One of the most effective ways has been through our free i3 webinars. To learn more, visit our i3 page and sign up for our next webinar.

 

2020-07-14T19:45:23+00:00 July 14th, 2020|Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

Get Ready to Reopen Your Church Building with a Summer Church Maintenance Checklist

Summer has arrived and parts of the economy are starting to reopen as well, which means many states are allowing church services to resume. While church leaders focus on what needs to be done inside their church building to prepare for social distancing requirements and the return of worshippers, it’s also important not to lose sight of church maintenance to the exterior of your building. Here are some checklists to make sure HVAC and roofs are well-maintained as we enter the summer months.

Church Maintenance of Your HVAC System

Many churches haven’t had a worship service since it was still cold enough to need heat. Now summer is here, and your HVAC system needs to be ready. Here’s a thorough checklist of items to address in preparing your church building cooling system for summer worship. While you might need to involve professionals in some of these tasks, you probably have knowledgeable individuals in your church community who can handle most of the items on this list.

  • Clean or replace all filters. We’ve noted elsewhere that it’s a good idea to keep a maintenance log where filter numbers and their cleaning/replacement schedule can be tracked.
  • Clean evaporator and condenser coils.
  • Flush out drain lines and clear out any clogs so that water doesn’t back up into your church building.
  • Remove any water from HVAC drain pans so they don’t overflow.
  • Make sure the refrigerant is still charged and that there are no leaks.
  • Check all pulleys and belts and replace anything that’s worn out, or close to it.
  • Check the electrical system and make sure no connections have come loose.
  • Inspect the fan motor and lubricate the moving parts and bearings.
  • Check all blowers and fan blades to make sure they’re turning and supporting proper airflow.
  • Make sure that the HVAC cabinet is sealed and clean, and that the door closes or locks securely.
  • Check for debris around the outdoor portion of your HVAC unit.
  • Take a look at the airflow ducts and remove any mold, dust, or debris. If you find debris, figure out where it came from and patch that hole or opening.
  • Run the cooling system and check the rooms of your church building to make sure humidity levels aren’t too high.
  • Change the batteries and check the schedule on your various thermostats and other controls to make sure you’ve still got the church building cooling down at the right times, and the temperature set a bit higher when the building is empty, so as to conserve energy.

Thoroughly Inspect the Roof of Your Church Building

One other part of your church building that needs attention in the summer is your roof. While you might think things are okay because there’s no snow and ice, winter could have left a toll, and summer storms can still loosen fasteners and leave debris on your roof and in your gutters. Here’s what to check to make certain your church building roof is well-maintained.

  • Look at all flashing and surface membrane to make sure the caulk is not cracked and that there are no stains from rust.
  • Check shingles to make sure they are all in good shape and none have come loose or blown off.
  • Inspect the rubber boots around vent pipes for cracks or wear, and make sure vents are clear and undamaged.
  • Check that your chimney caps are still in place and intact.
  • Ignore black algae stains, but any green moss or lichen could indicate that there could be decay beneath the surface of your roof.
  • Clean out gutters and make sure all drainpipes are flowing freely.
  • If you have HVAC units on your roof check to see that the unit doors are fastened tight after the HVAC maintenance is completed. Also check to make sure any coil cleaner is completely washed off the roof.

Whether churches are allowed to reopen in your area now or not, church maintenance shouldn’t be delayed. Take good care of your church building and it will be ready for you when worshippers are allowed to return. To learn more about church building best practices for all church leaders, sign up today for our upcoming free i3 webinars.

2020-07-07T20:49:49+00:00 July 7th, 2020|Church Building, Church Maintenance|