Building a new church is a very exciting initiative that will be rewarding for generations to come when it’s complete. However, if you don’t properly plan, design, and choose the right partner(s), the process can turn into a headache really fast. We recommend that your church do some form of feasibility study to identify what you need to build, where you should build it, and how your church will pay for it.
One of the first considerations of building a new church is how much property you will need for the church, parking, and growth. In our experience, we estimate that for every 300 congregants, two acres of land is recommended. This includes the construction of the sanctuary, educational needs, and relative size parking lot. When making your site selection and budget, consider purchasing additional acres for outdoor activities and future expansion.
The easiest time to save money in church construction is in the planning process. The key is to understand what you need to build, what you can truly afford to build, and how you will pay for it before you retain an architect or builder. The money you save by getting an objective understanding of needs and feasibility will save your church money, time, effort, and stress.
During the planning phase, ask yourself a few questions with regards to your needs and budget.
Should the church build a center aisle in the sanctuary?
We have found that a center aisle is completely optional. However, we always strongly recommend a center aisle if the church will offer the location for weddings.
How tall should the church steeple be?
The steeple should be the approximate height of the roof at the peak (from the ground to the top of the ridge) and the base at 1 tenth of the building width. Aesthetically the height is actually more important that the width. You also don’t want to forget to consider a lightning rod.
When do we involve an architectural firm?
Most building committees feel more comfortable partnering with a Design Build or Construction Management company during the discovery process in order to assist in matching an architectural firm to the project.
Are all Foyers/Narthexes about the same?
Absolutely not, the Foyer should be designed to create a predetermined atmosphere. This entry space could include a coffee bar, reception area, worship overflow, fellowship area, etc.
Can we use a Multi-Purpose Room/Gym for a Fellowship Hall?
If proper consideration has been given to acoustics, lighting and access to the food preparation area, a Multi-Purpose Room makes an excellent fellowship area. (Acoustics are most neglected.)
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when building a new church. It is important to have an experienced and reliable construction management company in your corner. If you are exploring the possibility of building a new church, please give us a call so that we can help you from the beginning.