Budgeting Your Church Building Project

Understanding Building Construction Cost vs Total Project Cost

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We want to make you aware of something very important when considering the cost of your new facility. Jesus made a very practical point in Luke 14:28 when He said, “Is there anyone planning to build a building, who doesn’t first sit down and figure the total cost, so they’ll know if they can afford it?” Unfortunately, many churches have been caught off-guard when it comes to the actual and total cost of their building PROJECT.

The problem lies in not being aware of the difference between the COST of building your BUILDING (Church Building Construction Budget) and the TOTAL COST of the PROJECT (Project Budget). Here’s what we mean by that:

The BUILDING construction cost is only one item in your total expense. Added to that are all the other critically important cost items needed to actually complete your project. Combining the BUILDING CONSTRUCTION COSTS and these other COSTS gives you the cost of your ENTIRE PROJECT.

We don’t want you to be unaware of these other items, so we have included a list of potential expenses (variables) associated with your building project. These are significant and can make up to 30% of the total cost of your project.

Although this list is not all-inclusive, we hope that it gives you a good understanding of what you should budget, for good stewardship.

Design Cost

  1. master planning fees
  2. architectural fees
  3. MEP engineering fees
  4. structural engineering fees
  5. landscape design
  6. specialty design fees
  7. pre-construction fees
  8. civil engineering
  9. soils engineering and testing
  10. environmental testing

Land Acquisition

  1. land purchase
  2. appraisals
  3. title insurance
  4. realtor fees & closing costs
  5. legal fees
  6. environmental
  7. preliminary civil engineering
  8. boundary and topographic surveys

Site Cost

  1. earthwork & site clearing (many variables)
  2. site improvements including water taps & other utilities landscaping
  3. exterior lighting
  4. parking lot
  5. off-site improvements

Building Cost

  1. construction insurance
  2. foundations
  3. structure
  4. exterior walls and finishes
  5. roof system
  6. mechanical & plumbing system
  7. electrical system
  8. all fixed interiors i.e. wall framing, drywall, flooring and ceilings
  9. painting
  10. general requirements & supervision
  11. general contractor overhead
  12. general contractor fee

Financial Costs through Construction

  1. fund raising
  2. interim construction financing
  3. permanent financing
  4. lending fees and points
  5. insurance

Other Construction Costs & Permitting Fees

  1. local plan review costs
  2. building permits
  3. zoning approvals
  4. conditional use permits
  5. demolition and/or asbestos abatement
  6. exterior signage
  7. impact fees
  8. contingency
  9. allowances

Additional Occupancy Expenses

  1. furniture, fixtures & equipment
  2. kitchen equipment
  3. audio & video equipment
  4. specialty lighting products
  5. computers
  6. custodial equipment & supplies
  7. maintenance services
  8. security systems
  9. cabling
  10. phones
  11. acoustical treatments
  12. window coverings
  13. amenities such as playground, outdoor fire side seating, fitness center, secure kids’ play
    area, café/coffee shop, wireless internet, etc.

Although this list might seem daunting, truly it is not. S&B Construction Group and BGW Architects will come alongside you to see your realistic total cost of the project (Project Budget), and not just the cost of building your building (Building Construction Cost), created. We use our knowledge of current market-costs, our extensive experience, and our historical data to provide, as accurately as possible, your preliminary Total Cost of the Project (Project Budget). And ultimately, we will come alongside you to see your completed project come in within your budget!