How to Build a Budget for Your Church Construction Project

As you lay the plans for your church construction project, it’s vital to ensure you have a realistic overall budget of expected costs before you begin to build. Your estimated budget is critical to your project’s success, so verify you have planned ahead for all potential costs. It is wise to seek professional assistance in preparing a comprehensive budget estimate. And plan to periodically update your budget during the planning and design process.

The following are some areas to include when you create a budget for the overall costs of your church construction. Budget carefully for each area listed below.

Land Cost

One of the initial expenses to consider is the price of the land on which you will build your church. Of course, if you already own the land for your facility—free and clear, it will not be necessary to include this cost in the budget. Whether you own land or have a particular piece of land in mind to purchase for your facility, an architect or land planner can help to determine if it is adequate for the facility or if additional land is needed for your project.

Construction Cost

In order to estimate construction costs accurately, gather advice from your architect and contractor based on the type of building and size of facility you plan to construct. The estimate is based on the price per square foot of recent construction of similar projects in your area. Your facility and building site construction should be discussed while assessing your budget needs. Site construction can vary based on terrain, landscaping, grading, curbs, storm drainage, and paving requirements.

Aren’t sure where to start with your church building project?

Churches by Daniels’ Pastor’s Guide to Church Construction Planning can help you learn everything you need to know to get started.

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Design Cost

The size and intricacy of your building project will determine the specific estimated budget required for your architect’s professional design services. Structural, electrical, and mechanical engineer fees are often included in architectural fees and are influenced by your particular location in the country.

Site Survey Cost

The overall cost of a Site Survey is based on the density of the property’s topography, the changes in land elevation, and the size of the site being surveyed. A professional land surveyor will prepare a complete assessment of site conditions including the landscape’s features and borders. The survey will mention any circumstances that may affect how usable the land is due to streams, wetlands, floodplains, and utility easements.

Environmental Survey Cost

Lenders and local governments often require environmental surveys, so be sure to include them in your overall budget. Environmental surveys, called “Phase 1 Investigations,” look for any potentially harmful materials that may be hidden in the land on your site. If you are remodeling a current building, they will test for the possibility of lead paint or asbestos in existing structures.

Subsurface Investigation Cost

If a septic system is essential due to the absence of a sewer, soil permeability tests will be performed and included in your overall project estimate. The soil reveals the composition of the ground on which your facility is built.

FFE (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) Costs

Your new facility needs furniture, fixtures, and equipment in order to be properly utilized. FFE costs are not typically the responsibility of the general contractor, so plan accordingly. Remember to arrange for congregational seating, choir robes, audio equipment, special lighting, kitchen appliances, tables and chairs, office furniture, cribs, children’s furnishings, a baptistery, and musical instruments.

Additional Costs

Other costs to consider include a church sign, building inspections, building permits, and liability insurance.

Contingency Funds

Contingency funds set aside for vital changes during construction are generally calculated as a percentage of the construction cost. Plan on estimating 2-5 percent for new construction, 4-8 percent for building additions, and 7-15 percent for building renovations.

With access to experienced professionals from Churches by Daniels, you are well on your way to a successful building project budget and overall plan. “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house” (Proverbs 24:27).

Churches by Daniels will coordinate services for every phase of the your church’s building process including designing, financing, building within your budget, and scheduling. They absorb the potential stressors for you so you can enjoy the journey to fulfilling your church’s vision and dreams. To learn more, contact Churches by Daniels at (918) 872-6006.

Church Construction Guide For Pastors

Our comprehensive guide to church construction will help you know how to help your congregation easily navigate through your next building project.

See the Guide