Considering a Church Renovation? Here’s What You Need to Know
From the start, a church renovation project can seem like a monumental task. In addition to your typical church operations, you’ll have to learn new things and take on new responsibilities. But, with the right approach and the right project team, you can make the process easier and more efficient.
This blog is here to help you do just that as you’re kicking off your church remodel.
Read on below for our five tips for renovating a church.
– Identify Your Vision and Your Goals
– Fundraise the Right Way
– Maintain Engagement from Beginning to End
– Create a Space for Long-Term Success
– Choose the Right Church Renovation Company
Your project’s vision is what guides you and your team to a successful result as you make decisions and deal with challenges. It encompasses all that you hope the project will accomplish.
The first step in creating your vision is to identify the pain points and issues you want this renovation to solve. Then, envision the physical building changes needed to solve them. During this process, take time to go beyond the surface-level improvements. How will the renovation benefit your congregation?
For example, a church doesn’t have a large enough space for activities, so they want to create one. Creating a new space will give them the room they need, but it can also improve fellowship and enhance community outreach. These deeper benefits are essential to the project’s vision. Not only do they motivate your congregation to support the project, but they will guide the decisions you make along the way.
Additionally, seek out the ideas, needs, and opinions of others. Whether you conduct a large-scale survey or create a building committee representative of your church’s different groups, get a variety of voices involved.
For many churches, fundraising is an essential step in the financing process. That said, asking your congregation for money can be difficult in any economic climate. But with the right approach, you can meet your goals and keep your church happy.
Show What They’re Working Towards
Make the benefits of the project clear. People are much more likely to act when they know and understand what they’re working towards. Communicate what specific areas will be remodeled, what will be added, and what will change. Make it clear why there’s a need to make these changes, and how the remodel will benefit the church and its members. If possible, use architectural renderings of the project and even digitally created walk-through videos. These will help your congregation visualize what they’re working towards.
Make the Goals Specific
Once your fundraising goal is set, share it with your congregation. Update it regularly as donations begin flowing in and keep it visible. Another helpful approach is to break down the larger fundraising goal into smaller, more achievable goals. For example, share that you’ll need to raise $5,000 for new flooring. Or $2,000 for new light fixtures. This allows your church to work towards and celebrate smaller victories along the way, keeping them motivated throughout the process.
Use Fundraising to Build Fellowship
Raising money isn’t the only reason to host fundraising events. They’re a great way to get members to come together in a festive and fun setting, encouraging fellowship and relationship-building. Choose fundraising events that will bring your congregation together. These could include things like a game or trivia night, chore squads, a crafts & coffee event, yard sales, and more. Keep the focus on making the event a great time for everyone.
Make Giving Easy
In years past, most people donated by writing checks and giving cash. But in today’s day and age, people expect to be able to donate digitally. Some churches have donation platforms right on their website. Others work with apps and digital giving companies that allow donating via smartphones. Consider the tech-savviness of your congregation and adjust your approach accordingly.
Sometimes, a construction project can feel more like something happening to a church instead of something the church is truly involved in. Getting people engaged is essential to shifting that paradigm. Here are a few engaging activities we’ve seen churches implement before, during, and after their renovation project.
Share Regular Updates
Get them engaged in the project by sharing regular status updates. Whether it’s through an email, blog, meetings, or videos and pictures shared on social media, get the information out there. Take that vision you developed in the planning stage and weave it into project communications. Show how the work the team is doing is going towards that vision.
Doing this on top of your regular duties can be a lot, but your construction team should be there to help. At Horst Construction, we’ve worked with churches to help them show the project’s process through video updates and more.
Celebrate the Milestones
There are three traditional ceremonies in construction: groundbreaking, beam-signing ceremony, and ribbon-cutting or grand opening. These events mark major milestones in the construction process. While they may not all be applicable depending on your project’s scope, there are plenty of ways to celebrate progress.
We’ve worked with churches that celebrated the beginning of their project with everything from a prayer walk to a carnival-like celebration. The end of the project is just as important, as you can unveil the final result and celebrate with the church for all their hard work throughout the process.
It’s important to consider all the long-term impacts of the decisions you’re making while renovating your church. These range from financial decisions to operational ones and can impact your church for decades to come. Here are a few worth considering.
Operating & Maintenance Costs
From cleaning to maintenance to replacement, analyze the resources needed to operate the new area. While something may be less expensive initially, it could cost you much more down the road. This blog breaks down project lifecycle costs so you’ll be prepared to make those decisions.
Functionality of Space
Construction projects take time, effort, and money to complete. You’ll want to be sure the space you create today will serve your congregation years in the future. Before settling on a design, you’ll need to look at how it will function in the long term. Is it versatile enough to serve the changing needs of your congregation for years to come? Does it consider the needs of all of your members? Does it leave room to expand if your church grows? A good construction master plan should help you work all of this out.
Design and Building Trends
Some building and design trends add a lot to a space and improve the area for many years to come. But others can end up needlessly dating the space after only a few years. Ask yourself and your building committee whether implementing specific trends will serve your church well into the future, or if it will quickly be replaced by something else.
Countless Other Considerations
From traffic flow to lighting to acoustics, there’s a plethora of things you’ll need to consider to ensure the long-term success of the renovation. There’s no doubt this is a big list and can seem overwhelming. Your project team should be by your side, guiding you through these decisions. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right team for your project.
There’s a lot of specialized knowledge needed to design, manage, and execute a successful construction project. The companies and people that form this team need to be right for you and your vision. They need to be able to guide you in the decision-making process while keeping your church’s best interest in mind. Here are a few things you should look for when choosing a construction company for your church renovation.
In many cases, it’s tempting to go with the least expensive option. However, that may not end up being the best move in the long run. Instead, look for the team that offers the best value and who is interested in making your project work for your church.
Ensure They Respect Your Budget
Your team needs to respect your budget. They should work with you to make the most out of the resources you have, offering creative solutions to maximize and improve your budget.
Look for firms that have experience working on projects like yours. Chances are, they’ll be able to anticipate and navigate common challenges while offering creative solutions and recommendations. Experienced firms have shown they can work successfully in environments and on projects like yours.
Balancing Communication and Project Burden
You’re hiring a construction company to take care of the project so you can stay focused on running your church. That said, your input and involvement are essential. Find a partner that will keep you informed on all that you need to know without burdening you with the things you don’t.
Understand Your Vision
Most importantly, you’ll need a contractor who takes the time to understand your goals, vision, and needs. They’ll approach the project in a manner that’s more likely to achieve the goals for the project.
At Horst Construction, we use those five principles to guide our approach to every project. In all of our relationships and in the work we are entrusted to do, we perform with a passion for excellence, while doing things the right way. If you’re looking for church renovation companies, reach out to us. We’d love to talk about your potential project.
Posted September 26, 2022