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Resource Center


Click on any article to read, or download all 56 articles here.

1. The Value of Good Plans

An investment in good architectural plans can save money

2. Selecting an Architect

What to look for, questions to ask

3. Master Plans

Planning for long-term growth by building in phases

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

What to expect to be included in your building plans

5. Architectural Fees

Architectural services and general information on fees

6. Conceptual Design Phase

The first step in the design process

7. Design Development Phase

The second step in the design process

8. Construction Plan Phase

The final step in the design process

9. Inspections and Billing Review

Some additional architectural services during construction

10. Getting What You Pay For

Avoiding some construction pitfalls

11. Soft Costs

Planning for the hidden and miscellaneous costs of your new project

12. Balcony Seating

Design considerations when planning a balcony

13. Thumb Rules

General guidelines for site and building design

14. Specifications

Types and use of design specifications

15. Allowances

Using allowances when exact specifications are not yet determined

16. General Contractor or Construction Manager?

The two primary ways of working with your builder

17. The Bid Process - Part I

Advice on obtaining construction bids

18. The Bid Process - Part II

More advice on getting and analyzing construction bids

19. Change Orders

Managing changes during construction

20. Construction Ahead - Expect Delays

Begin early, plan thoroughly to reduce delays and costs

21. Americans with Disabilities Act - Part I

Some design considerations for handicap accessibility

22. Americans with Disabilities Act - Part II

How the ADA might affect your church project

23. Super-Structure

Considerations on various types of building structural systems

24. Remodel or New Building?

Weighing whether to stay or move

25. Selecting Your Church Site

What to look for in a new church site

26. Purchasing Your Church Site

Use of options and contingencies when buying land or buildings

27. Civil Engineering

Description of the services needed for site design and engineering

28. Surveys and Testing

Types of surveys and testing services the church may need

29. Permits and Zoning

Dealing with the government and building regulations

30. Building Committees

The form and function of various committees

31. Volunteered Labor

The pros and cons of using volunteers to build your church

32. Landscaping

Considerations for landscaping your church site

33. Warranties and Retainage

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

34. Contingencies

Providing a hedge against cost overruns

35. Let There Be Light - Part I

Advice on church lighting design

36. Let There Be Light - Part II

More advice on church lighting design

37. Environmental Concerns

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

38. Phase One Environmental Assessment

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

39. Value Engineering

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

40. How Much Land Do We Need?

Criteria for determining the land needed for new construction or expansion

41. Site Development

Recent changes to the requirements for site development

42. The Plans Nobody Cares to See

The importance of professional foundation engineering

43. The Project Manual

Desciption of the project manual or "spec book"

44. Payment and Performance Bonds

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

45. Feasibility Studies

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

46. Design in Three Dimensions - Part I

The use of color renderings by an artist

47. Design in Three Dimensions - Part II

Computer 3D models and the virtual reality world

48. Design in Three Dimensions - Part III

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

49. Bidding

Obtaining bids for all labor and materials

50. Can We Buy Your Plans?

Architects offer services, not just a set of blue prints

51. What Can We Afford?

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

52. When Hiring a Builder

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

53. Getting Started

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

54. Cost Per Square Foot

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

55. 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

56. Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Church

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

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