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The Value of Good Plans

An investment in good architectural plans can save money

Selecting an Architect

What to look for, questions to ask

Master Plans

Planning for long-term growth by building in phases

Architectural Plans - What's In, What's Out

What to expect to be included in your building plans

Architectural Fees

Architectural services and general information on fees

Conceptual Design Phase

The first step in the design process

Design Development Phase

The second step in the design process

Construction Plan Phase

The final step in the design process

Inspections and Billing Review

Some additional architectural services during construction

Getting What You Pay For

Avoiding some construction pitfalls

Soft Costs

Planning for the hidden and miscellaneous costs of your new project

Balcony Seating

Design considerations when planning a balcony

Thumb Rules

General guidelines for site and building design


Types and use of design specifications


Using allowances when exact specifications are not yet determined

General Contractor or Construction Manager? 

The two primary ways of working with your builder

The Bid Process - Part I

Advice on obtaining construction bids

The Bid Process - Part II

More advice on getting and analyzing construction bids

Change Orders

Managing changes during construction

Construction Ahead - Expect Delays

Begin early, plan thoroughly to reduce delays and costs

Americans with Disabilities Act - Part I

Some design considerations for handicap accessibility

Americans with Disabilities Act - Part II

How the ADA might affect your church project


Considerations on various types of building structural systems

Remodel or New Building?

Weighing whether to stay or move

Selecting Your Church Site

What to look for in a new church site

Purchasing Your Church Site

Use of options and contingencies when buying land or buildings

Civil Engineering

Description of the services needed for site design and engineering

Surveys and Testing

Types of surveys and testing services the church may need

Permits and Zoning

Dealing with the government and building regulations

Building Committees

The form and function of various committees

Volunteered Labor

The pros and cons of using volunteers to build your church


Considerations for landscaping your church site

Warranties and Retainage

Two additional methods of protecting the church during the construction process and beyond


Providing a hedge against cost overruns

Let There Be Light - Part I

Advice on church lighting design

Let There Be Light - Part II

More advice on church lighting design

Environmental Concerns

Environmental issues require attention when buying or developing land for your new church. 

Phase One Environmental Assessment

Preliminary environmental assessment that is often required when buying land or building a new church

Value Engineering

A cost-saving service offered by Design/Build firms, but is usually not offered by Architects without hands-on construction experience

How Much Land Do We Need?

Criteria for determining the land needed for new construction or expansion

Site Development

Recent changes to the requirements for site development

The Plans Nobody Cares to See

The importance of professional foundation engineering

The Project Manual

Description of the project manual or "spec book"

Payment and Performance Bonds

A brief description of surety bonds to insure the church against contractor defaults

Feasibility Studies

An objective method for comparing the options available to the church for growth

Design in Three Dimensions - Part I

The use of color renderings by an artist

Design in Three Dimensions - Part II

Computer 3D models and the virtual reality world

Design in Three Dimensions - Part III

Pros and cons of a hand-built-to-scale model for presentation


Obtaining bids for all labor and materials

Can We Buy Your Plans?

Architects offer services, not just a set of blue prints

What Can We Afford? 

Criteria used by lenders to determine how much a church can borrow (includes scenarios)

When Hiring a Builder

What to look for when deciding on your builder (General Contractor vs. Construction Manager)

Getting Started

Sometimes admitting you don't have all of the answers is the best place to start

Cost Per Square Foot

How to make sure you are comparing "apples to apples"

Six Reasons to Start Now

A slowing economy offers the church several opportunities and benefits for starting the planning and construction of your new church

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Church

How to make the best use of color in your interior design

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