Everything You Need to Know About the Construction Phase of Building a New Worship Facility or Multi-site Church Campus
As a pastor, you may already be well aware of the challenges of building a new church. It demands a great deal of time, effort, and planning—not to mention funding. The construction process for a new church building or campus is extensive and requires special skills to stay on budget and within your established timeline so you can re-open successfully.
General Contractor vs. Construction Manager
Truthfully, there aren’t many general contractors who understand what churches need during the building of a new facility. After all, you’re not just building any structure; you’re constructing a large facility that also serves as a holy space where people can gather as a congregation.
A construction manager, however, will navigate the on-site construction process, and manage and oversee the project, subcontractors, budget, and timeline.
- They will file and protect all warranties for your building.
- They ensure your grand opening goes off without a hitch.
They do all of this so the final reveal of your new church is rewarding for your entire church and all who collectively prayed for and invested in the project together.
A Pastor’s Construction Management Solution
The best solution is a dependable church construction manager; someone who is as interested in the successful completion of your new building as they are in your ministry.
A church construction manager is there to see your building project succeed through the design-build process, in which one entity manages the architecture, engineering, and construction of your new church. Construction management involves the planning, oversight, and implementation of a new church construction project, including:
- Developing your schedule and budget before construction
- Sharing valuable expertise
- Monitoring your budget and schedule throughout the project
- Supervising the progress and quality of construction
- Implementing safety procedures
- Streamlining communications
Compared to a general contractor who only oversees the daily execution of your project, construction managers are more involved from start to finish for a church that is completed on-time, on-budget, and most importantly, on-vision. When you are working on a space for your entire church, it’s wise to have an experienced leader guiding you through.
Should you design and build your new church in phases?
Are you making common mistakes like not accounting for inflation, not sticking to your budget, or not finding the right team?
At Churches By Daniels, we will help you navigate all your questions, and guide you through the construction of your new church with spirituality, business acumen, and an expert-level awareness of the construction process.
Why Construction Management is Vital to Completing a Church Construction Project
Finding the right team to help you through the construction of your new church is as important as the prayer and thoughtful reflection it took to arrive at the decision that it was time for a new space.
Hiring a church construction manager becomes a very important part of your overall ministry. Not only does it give you the freedom to focus on leading your congregation, but a church construction manager will also help with:
- Overseeing safety
- Scheduling material deliveries, crews, inspections, and more
- Communicating with you and your church on building updates
- Representing your spiritual and practical interests as a congregation your church board, and you
- Holding contractors available
- Meeting with subcontractors and acting as your liaison
- Monitoring quality control
- Maintaining the budget and timeline for your project
Your church construction manager will also establish a completion timeline with milestones for contractors to meet and keep everyone to these timelines. They’ll disburse payment on your behalf as tied to these milestones, and be your representative.
Value Engineering to StreamLine Costs
Hiring a church construction manager is critical to value engineering; that is, building a church that’s designed to eliminate unnecessary costs and stay on time and budget, while also providing the best possible quality for your new worship space. Value engineering is about streamlining costs to make wise use of the funds you and your church have raised.
Value engineering is also the idea behind the design-build process, which eases your burden of having to oversee the construction, and also makes communication easier with a single, streamlined group that’s in charge of both the design and construction of your new church. It’s a cost-effective way to plan and execute the actual building process.
Implementing church builder services, along with selecting a wise, enthusiastic, prayerful church-building committee are all crucial steps in a successful building process, and your church construction manager will be with you at each point in the journey.
Preparing to Break Ground and Start Constructing Your New Worship Facilities
The thought of breaking ground to begin building your new church is an exciting one. It’s a time to gather and praise for the work that’s been done to get you to this stage including carefully selecting the right piece of land to continue growing as a community. It’s a time to ask for guidance and protection throughout construction.
You’ll want to choose a date and make sure that local code enforcement allows you to hold an event, and consider renting a tent and bringing in restrooms and electricity, especially if you have a large congregation and expect a lot of people coming together to celebrate God’s work!
What’s included in your ceremony? Will there be music from your praise and worship team, a sermon, a collective prayer? You may even want ceremonial shovels for your church-building committee!
Why Groundbreaking is Important
Praise is an important part of our faith, and your groundbreaking ceremony is the perfect time to do so; it’s an opportunity to fuel excitement about the outcome—not just about a new building, but about your ministry! This means you should spread the word far and wide, considering:
- Inviting media coverage and planning their involvement before, during, and after
- Photography to document the event to share later
- Promotion to other churches, newspapers, radio stations, and more
Your groundbreaking ceremony is the perfect time to celebrate with your existing church members, and also a time to welcome others into the fold! All are welcome!
What to Expect During the Construction Process
You excel in building faith—not buildings—and that’s okay! A construction manager will guide you through the building process, but it’s helpful to know exactly what is happening at each stage. The building of a new church typically looks like this:
- Procuring Materials and Equipment
Your manager will arrange the purchase and delivery of everything that is used to build your church. This happens in stages as needed. When crews are ready for additional materials and you reach new stages of construction, your construction manager will obtain everything that’s needed.
- Site Preparation
This stage is when your builder is getting ready to build up the walls of your church—by building into the earth. It involves the excavation for your future foundation, as well as the installation of drainage, utilities, power, water, and sanitation.
Inspections happen throughout the construction process inside and out, ensuring that your space is up to safety standards.
- Foundation and Framing
In addition to beginning to frame and build up the walls, the foundation and framing stage of construction involve installing HVAC systems, electrical wiring, and plumbing, with an eye on keeping energy costs low! This will help to lower your ongoing operating costs.
- Church Windows and Roofing
This stage entails finishing off the exterior of your building with secure windows and a sturdy roof overhead, as well as putting up all exterior siding and other finishes. It means your church will start to look like a church!
- Interior Design
Church interior design involves installing all equipment, sound systems, and lighting, as well as painting walls, installing flooring, and completing all finishes, and bringing in or building furniture. This includes the installation of the seating in your worship space, and making your foyer an inviting space for newcomers and regulars alike.
- Church Parking and Landscaping
Before anyone can worship in your new space, they need a place to park! Parking lots will be created and parking spaces painted, all while landscaping is being planted. This is also the time when sidewalks and walkways are poured, and outdoor children’s play spaces are created.
Ultimately, your church has been designed to help you connect with your congregation and for your congregation to connect together in fellowship. Each step of the building process is one step closer to having a space for that connection to happen, and is to be met with celebration!
How Long Will It Take to Complete Construction?
The construction of each church is a unique process with its own timeline, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a set timeline.
From the planning phase to the first service in your new space, how long will your project take? That depends on a few factors that can influence your construction timeline, including:
- The project’s size and difficulty
- Weather conditions
- Availability of construction crews
- How easy it is to procure the materials needed
- The results of all inspections
Better planning makes for a smoother construction process, which means that all the key stages of your build are more likely to happen on time. A thoughtfully-constructed timeline allows everyone involved to visualize the schedule so they can work together. The right construction management team is essential to completing your project on time. They’ll keep your construction crews on schedule and oversee quality control so work is completed properly so that inspections go off without a hitch that could delay your project.
The key to a well-planned church construction project that’s completed on time? A church design-build construction manager who will set an informed timeline and ensure that it’s followed. With an architect and a construction contractor working together through the design-build method, Churches By Daniels has been able to complete churches for congregations throughout the country for over 30 years—on time and under budget.
Need more information to be confident about starting your project?
We understand how pastors can feel uncertain when looking into constructing a new building. That's why the Daniels team compiled two guides to give you an overview of what you need to know.
- Why hiring a design-builder is in your best interest
- The secrets to complete your project on time and within budget
- What you need to know as a pastor and church building committee about acquiring financing to celebrating your big opening day
- Planning ahead to celebrate your big opening day
Closing Out Your Church Project with an Efficient Post-Construction Process
When it’s time to close out your project, you’re ready for your church to move in and get going! However, construction isn’t like buying a new car; there are things to address, like returning rented building equipment, getting your facility’s systems up and running, and ensuring your building is approved for occupancy. Here’s what happens during project close-out:
An established church construction management team with a post-construction plan will be there to take you through the close-out and avoid common mistakes like:
- Lack of communication between the workers in the field and their offices
- Delayed change order resolutions
- Lack of resources or manpower
- Lost or misfiled paperwork
Church Walkthrough, Punch List and Final Inspections
During close-out, you and your construction manager will take a walkthrough of the building and create a punch list for contractors to finish. Then, you’ll go through final inspections and cleaning before they hand the documents and completion certificates over to you. This is when your warranties begin and you get to express gratitude: It’s time to take occupancy!
Certificate of Substantial Completion
Your architect will give you a certificate of substantial completion when your new church is completed to the point that it can be used for its intended purpose. Later, when the project is entirely finished (including all punch list work) and your new space is done, you’ll reach final completion and closure, when all the funds are due, and your church officially is your congregation’s!
Protect Your Warranties with Proper Maintenance and a Disaster Recovery Plan
Church Building Maintenance
Just like the joys of homeownership, maintaining a church facility isn’t always without its challenges. Churches need to be kept up to avoid costly, neglect-based repairs down the road. It’s essential to plan financially for future repairs and regularly set aside funding for maintenance. This includes knowing the lifespan for essential building features and saving accordingly with an ongoing church maintenance program. This allows you to budget for things like:
- Roof replacement and repairs
- Gutters and eaves
- Walls, windows, and doors
- Grounds upkeep
- Other assets like A/V equipment, lighting, church bells, and more
Warranties & Disaster Prevention
Staying on top of building and asset warranties is also recommended. Take note of all warranties to discover the expected lifespan of all the elements of your building so you can stay on schedule in replacing them to avoid falling into disrepair. This allows you to budget for items in advance so the funds are there when the time comes to replace them.
It’s also wise to plan for disasters. While we never want catastrophes to happen, they sometimes do and it’s best to be prepared in the event of possible disasters related to:
- Other possible disasters
You should regularly complete fire prevention maintenance and go through a fire protection checklist, and also complete an emergency preparedness plan. This plan will be your guide in the event of a disaster or other emergency. While it should include meeting locations, contact lists, and leadership roles within your church, it should also detail how you plan to recover physically and financially from these kinds of unforeseen events.
Celebrate Your Finished Church Construction with a Grand Opening and Building Dedication
Your church is the very heart of your community. It’s where you gather together to grow closer in your relationship with God. While you have a dedicated congregation, your new building is also a perfect opportunity to reach out to your community. It’s a space that should be used more than just on Sunday mornings!
While some never enter a church to go to a service, they may go to vote, for a community event, or some other reason (maybe even your new outdoor community playground!). Your grand opening and building dedication is the perfect way to begin community outreach, share God’s love, and serve more people in your new neighborhood. How can you use your space? The possibilities are endless!
Planning Your Church Grand Opening
A grand opening ceremony is the perfect chance to transition into your new space and introduce yourself to your new neighbors. It’s also an opportune time to honor your staff and donors, recognize your builders, celebrate your accomplishments, and dedicate your building to serving God. As such, you should find ways to make your grand opening special for a large cross-section of people, including:
- Teens and young adults
- Regular attendees
- Special guests and honorees
- New visitors
What should you include in your grand opening ceremony?
- Prayer! Now is the time to express gratitude, ask for God’s guidance, pray for those who will enter your space, pray for the continued growth of your ministry, and more!
- Entertainment for kids like crafts, entertainers, costumed characters, balloon animals, face painting, and more
- Refreshments to encourage attendees to mingle and celebrate
- Worship music
- A thoughtful dedication ceremony with readings from the Bible, a Benediction, a choral blessing, and a blessing from the pastor and the congregation
What to Look for When Hiring a Construction Manager
Your church construction manager plays a critical role in the success of building your brand new church. Because they are so pivotal, it’s crucial to find a good fit. Besides taking a look at the kinds of projects they’ve completed, what other criteria should you look for?
What should you look for?
- A construction manager that specializes in church construction, not just general construction
- A team that will lead with faith and prayer
- A team that has through construction knowledge and experience
- A construction manager who works with a reliable team of subcontractors
- A team with great communication skills
What kinds of questions should you ask?
- “How do your design and build processes work together?”
- “What possibilities do you see?”
- “What does your ideal client look like?”
- “How many church projects have you been involved in?”
- “How can you help us stay on-time and on-budget?”
- “Are there any projects where you have helped a church save a substantial amount of money?”
Are you looking for more information on hiring a faith-based construction manager for your church? Download our guide, “8 Critical Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Church Building Partner” for additional guidance.
Why Choose Churches By Daniels for Construction Management
You could choose any number of commercial contractors for your church construction project. Commercial contractors are in business to make money, and that’s okay. But they just can’t be a true ministry partner. At Churches By Daniels, we’re a team of believers with a heart for ministry, and for 4 decades, we’ve been helping pastors build the spaces they need to grow their ministry. Our belief? This is what sets us apart and makes us one of the top church builders in the U.S.
Compared to other construction managers and contractors, we take a different approach. We’ll never try to convince you to build something you can’t afford, and we’ll help you make the best, faith-based, practical decisions for your church community—even if that means not starting a building project right now. We’ll help you determine the best course of action for any size construction project, and we’re licensed and bonded in 48 states, which means we can come to you and build a church exactly where you need to put down roots.
Some commercial construction projects involve lots of teams and players from many different contractors. From time to time, that means balls get dropped, resulting in missed deadlines and wasted money.
Churches by Daniels uses a unique method to avoid these frustrations. Using our design-build method, a single team handles both the design and construction of your new facility. What does this mean for you?
- Simpler collaboration and team problem-solving
- A single point of responsibility for the entire project, including timelines, costs, and aesthetics of the facility
- Cost savings for your church, because expenses are constrained by the budget, and not dependent on bids from outside contractors
- Greater efficiency from a unified design-build team that solves problems before they happen
This process has helped us earn awards and recognition nationwide, but we don’t do it for the awards. We do it to help pastors like you spread The Gospel.
We know how important it is to have a facility that matches your ministry and can accelerate the work you are doing as a congregation. Since 1980, Churches By Daniels has specialized in building churches and serving church communities all across the nation.
We’ll work on-site with you to build a church that will truly serve God’s Word and your ministry, with transparent practices and ongoing consultation and recommendations from the very beginning onward. Our long history of success means that you’ll not only receive the best possible building for your product, you’ll also have an excellent experience throughout the process. Our commitment to our faith means the process will be rooted in spirituality.
Are you ready to learn more about building a new church? Schedule a consultation with our team today!
6 Essential Steps to Plan the Launch of Your Church Building Project
Download our free guide and learn:
- The most underestimated and misunderstood construction service you need to plan accurately
- Two design components essential to accelerating your ministry
- The most unplanned for costs that must be included in your budget