We often hear this from pastors. After all, churches routinely assemble volunteers to execute special projects—so why not a commercial real estate initiative? Any do-it-yourself project is possible! Sure, there will be a learning curve. Just keep in mind that this will likely be the riskiest project your church has ever undertaken. You need to get it right without backpedaling to the congregation.
If you have a superstar leader with both commercial real estate development skills and full-time available bandwidth, then it’s certainly possible! The scope of this project goes beyond the skills of most architects or general contractors. You will also have fundraising, real estate, land use, and financing waters to navigate. It’s rare, but possible, for you to have church experienced subcontractors. For example, you’ll need a skilled mechanical engineer to design and install mechanical or electrical subsystems for an assembly use with sensitivity to audio quality in a worship environment.
There are a few areas where unskilled, untrained volunteers will be able to contribute. This might be installing equipment (provided it doesn’t void the warranty). Or perhaps painting classrooms (before the carpet is installed!). Certainly moving from your old building into the new one.
Employed Volunteers and Your Staff
Please don’t try to execute a project with employed volunteers or your staff — they are already overburdened with full time responsibilities. You don’t need the brain damage! This project will require a full-time commitment.
The General Contractor (“GC”) is responsible for constructing and warranting a commercial building that meets all applicable building codes. If you are going to hire subcontractors within your church, you will first need to find a general contractor willing to work with subs who he’s not familiar with. GC’s always have their “A Team” — subs who get it right, and when they don’t they make it right. To find a GC willing to retain un-proven subs will be a very special GC indeed — someone with a big heart for your church.
Here’s our observation…rarely have we observed a church successfully navigate this journey without costly detours. We’ve seen a lot of train wrecks. You probably have trusted attenders skilled in design or construction, but it’s not likely that anyone has developed a fully functioning commercial church building. A church building has many unique features that an inexperienced architect or general contractor won’t know about unless they have church experience.
You expect us to say this, right? But getting it right is really important. It’s important for the reputation and emotional well-being of the lead pastors. When the chips are down, are you ready to get into with your church attenders? We’ve seen broken relationships result.
Trust your risky church project to Church Facility Solutions
There’s a whole lot to acquiring a building and renovating or developing a church building from the ground up. Check out this 1 minute video of the development of a church building. It’s fascinating to watch this time compressed video!
CFS strongly recommends that you hire a church experienced Project Manager for your church expansion project. A church experienced PM will save you the fee you will pay them!
Hear what these pastors say about having an experienced Guide for their new building journey.
A Guide will….
… reduce the project’s distraction to staff’s busy work load. “I am already stretched.”
… navigate around obstacles inherent in any building project. “We didn’t expect that!”
… help you avoid unexpected surprises such cost overruns and having to ask for more money. “Why didn’t you think about that?”
… give the lead pastor the details to confidently stand before the congregation.
Church Facility Solutions is your property expansion guide. We lead your through your entire journey from start to finish. Perhaps we can help you! Give us a call today at 800-200-2089 to talk with one of our church building professionals, or you can learn more about your church expansion journey at www.churchfacilitysolutions.com.