New Church Construction: The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Started

Usually, everyone gets excited when it’s time to build a new church facility. However, knowing how to begin can be quite a dilemma. We often don’t know what to expect or the critical steps of the construction process. New church construction isn’t like every other building project; you need to take vital steps to help you save time and money.

In this article, we’ll explain the actions you need to take to ensure the success of your new church construction. The steps outlined will ensure a smooth building process and have your church ready in no time. So, on that note, let’s begin.

Steps to Take Before Starting a New Church Construction

Deciding to start a new church construction project can be daunting. You need to take several crucial steps as this is a significant investment. We discuss the relevant actions below.

Determine Whether a New Building Is Essential

You can defer most major church building projects while you make better use of or expand an existing space. This means you should use the building more efficiently or expand some areas. However, if you believe that a new project is an ideal way to proceed after the assessment, you can effectively move on to the next step.

Determine the Cost of a New Building

Before you start working on the project, you must clearly understand the financial aspects. Consulting with an expert in church finances is essential and will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on the new church construction. Although taking a loan is an option, it’s crucial to tread carefully to avoid incurring excess debt.

You can also try other sources of funding like contributions and cash savings. You might also be able to raise funds through pledges from your church members. Once you have the finances in order, you can move to the next step.

Form a Church Building Committee

It’s always an excellent idea to form a building committee. Ensure it includes church members who are very interested in the building project. You can also include members who are very active and involved in different areas of the ministry. Since a new church construction impacts everyone, you’ll need a diverse committee that can effectively make decisions at every phase of the construction process.

Find Out What the Needs and Wants Are

It’s crucial to differentiate between what you need in the new church building and what is unnecessary. Your church building committee can effectively help you with this step of the journey. Start with an evaluation of your current ministry, including the pain points and what opportunities are available for growth.

You need to determine what you want your ministry to look like in the future before you begin the new church construction. This information will guide you throughout the construction process.

Knowing the kind of function and flow the church needs to have will help you determine the size of the new building. While you must be ready to invest in needs, be prepared to compromise on what’s unimportant.

Vet Potential Contractors

Once you know what you need from the new church, it’s only fitting to start looking for the ideal contractor for the job. You can begin with contractors in your church or referrals from other churches. You can also check online and read client reviews. Finally, ensure that the contractor you pick has a good reputation and significant experience building churches.

Church buildings are very different from other structures. Therefore, the contractor you select needs to understand that and be able to deliver what you’re looking for. Understanding how ministry works is a crucial feature to look out for when vetting contractors. The right contractor will ensure that your new church construction proceeds as planned.

Plan the Project with Your New Contractor

Once you’ve chosen a contractor and have the new church design available, it always helps to have a rough project timeline. You can work closely with your contractor to set deadlines for different phases. However, remember that you cannot plan for every eventuality in building projects, so be ready for some delays. A timeline only helps keep everyone on track; it isn’t definite.

Steps in the Construction Phase for a New Church

Once the preparation phase is complete, you’re ready to proceed to the construction phase for your new church building. The construction phase can be quite overwhelming, but it’s vital that all parties involved stay on budget and within deadlines.

Phase One: The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Church Construction

Before construction, you must find the right location for your new church. If the ministry doesn’t already have land, you can purchase it. Ensure you work with someone who can help you determine the different costs to expect, jurisdiction, location, and other factors.

After you purchase the land, you can proceed with a groundbreaking ceremony. Invite church members and other members of the community to the groundbreaking ceremony. 

Phase Two: Procure Equipment and Materials

The next step after finding suitable land for your new church construction is procuring the material and equipment the construction team will need. Again, your contractor or a construction manager can help you coordinate the purchase and delivery process. 

There might be a need to order materials and equipment throughout the building project. It’s easy for materials to be out of stock, so expect delays in delivering necessary materials and equipment. It’s important to also account for this possibility when creating a new church construction timeline.

Phase Three: Site Preparation for the New Church Construction

Site preparation is unavoidable. This is when the contractor excavates and prepares to lay the foundation for the new church building. During the site preparation phase, some crucial steps include installing power, drainage, water, and sanitation.

There might also be a need to remove trees, plants, and any other type of foliage that could get in the way of the building process. This is also when the construction crew sets up temporary storage facilities to utilize throughout the construction process.

Phase 4: Inspection

Inspections are vital; the goal is to ensure your new church construction effectively meets safety standards. Inspections are usually not a one-time thing; they can occur at different times throughout the construction process. However, the first inspection occurs during the site preparation phase.

Sometimes, inspections could result in delays in the construction. That’s why you need an effective building crew. They’ll adhere to best practices during the construction process so that the inspection phase is quick.

Phase Five: Construction and Framing

This is the phase when you start to see your new church rise from the ground up. In this phase of the construction process, the contractor will lay a concrete foundation and solidify it with either foam, wood, panel, or even rebar skeletons.

Once the foundation is complete, the contractor will frame the church building with standard wood, structural steel, or engineered wood. This is also the phase where the contractor installs HVAC systems, electrical wiring, or plumbing.

Phase Six: Roofing and Installation of Windows

The next phase that ensures the completion of the building exterior is roofing and installation of secure windows. This is also when the contractor installs long-lasting siding. If the siding isn’t pre-primed, you might need some coats of exterior paint.

During this construction phase, the new church will begin to come together. You’ll notice some custom finishes and features that make the building stand out.

Phase Seven: Interior Design

Now that the exterior is ready, it’s time to move inside. This is the phase where your building contractor insulates and finishes the interior of the building. Finally, flooring and installation of sound systems, lighting, and other equipment will take place.

During this phase, you’ll also need to add functional furniture to the space. This means storage spaces and seating. You can also build unique design elements to ensure the church is comfortable. It could be simple, like an inviting church foyer or an engaging stage layout.

Phase Eight: Church Parking and Landscaping

Landscaping makes spaces even more beautiful. It’s also essential to add parking spaces to ensure accessibility. Landscaping includes practical items like artificial grass, rocks, gravel, trees, bushes, shrubs, and other items to make the new church attractive and comfortable.

While working on landscaping, you can also create a parking lot. During this phase of the new church construction process, you could include sidewalks, outdoor spaces, walkways, and children’s play areas.

Phase Nine: Temporary Occupancy

When your new church reaches a certain level of completion, the temporary occupancy begins. Then, the contractor may sign a substantial completion certificate stating that the owner is responsible for the project and can occupy the property. This phase is where you pay the contractor’s balance, marking the beginning of the post-construction phase.

Phase Ten: Post-Construction Phase

This is when the close-out process begins. You will walk through the building and create a list of taks for your contractor to complete. Once the contractor completes the project, final inspections will take place.

These include electrical, plumbing, fire safety, and general building inspections. If you don’t pass, the inspector will provide you with a list of steps to take and correct the problems within a specific timeframe.

However, if you pass the inspections, you can proceed to apply for a certificate of occupancy. Once the new church construction is complete and you have the certificate of occupancy, your building now officially belongs to you.

Fundraising Ideas for Your New Church Construction

Sometimes, you might find talking to your congregation about raising funds is awkward. That’s why exploring different ideas to raise funds is necessary. In this section, we’ll explore the best fundraising ideas you could explore to fund the new church construction.

1.    Crowdfunding Campaigns

This is one of the most effective church fundraising methods. As the name implies, it’s about raising funds through several people. A crowdfunding campaign often relies on small donations instead of larger ones. It is successful through the collective efforts of church members, the community, and other supporters.

As the name implies, it is a campaign. Therefore, you need to make it clear what the goal is and set a timeline. Then, to ensure its success, set up a crowdfunding platform and promote it online. Finally, make giving easy by providing many channels to make donations.

2.   Run a Church Yard Sale

Yard sales are always fun events, and your church members will surely have a great time. When done right, it could be an effective method of raising funds for your new church construction. In addition, congregation members and the local community can come together to connect and purchase items they like. 

You’ll need volunteers for the yard sale. They’ll help prepare the space, manage the setup, and coordinate the guest. But, of course, you’ll also need ample space for the yard sale.

3.   Try Giving Tuesday

The Giving Tuesday initiative began in 2012 to boost donations to charity. The organization reaches out to many new givers yearly, and the money donated each year continues to soar. It is usually the Tuesday after thanksgiving and is a great crowdfunding idea for new church construction. You’ll also need to create a timeline when exploring Giving Tuesday.

Figure out how you’ll share the idea with your congregation and how you’ll accept donations. The best part about joining an existing campaign is that it gives you access to many resources.

4.   Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Personal relationships are always the best way to get supporters. People are more likely to donate to causes they know and trust.

Therefore, mobilize your congregation and building committee members to reach out to their networks. You should also share the vision in person while your committee members set up their fundraising pages.

Final Thoughts

A new church construction requires planning, funding, patience, time, and effort. While it can be overwhelming to take on the process of building a new church, the efforts usually pay off eventually.

The steps shared in this article will guide you through the entire construction process and ensure a smoother building project. With the fundraising ideas discussed, you’ll be able to raise enough funds for the new church construction in no time.

If your Church is exploring a construction project, call Griffin Church Loans to learn more about the financing process and let their loan officers help you determine your construction budget.

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