The next trend in church design and construction we’re covering has been popular for some time: church remodels.

Remodeling an existing church building or other structure, rather than starting with a new design and building from scratch became popular with the recession in 2008. But, it is still going strong now.

Church Design Trends Before and After 2008

In the early 2000s, the economy was booming. Church leaders felt confident in their church’s financial stability and believed they could take on debt. Consequently, we constructed a lot of new mega-churches during those years. Some of them were built from scratch, while others expanded their building footprint on existing properties.

After the recession hit, many churches were no longer willing to take on such high debt levels. The primary reason the remodeling trend took off after 2008 is that it is generally less expensive to remodel an existing church building than it is to construct a new one. Churches today are also less interested in taking on larger construction projects (church designs with worship centers seating 2,500 people or more).

More Reasons for a Church Remodel

Fortunately, a well-thought-through remodeling project can improve your church design in a variety of ways. For instance, you can bring older buildings up to today’s standards, with everything from accessibility upgrades (such as elevator additions) and remodeled restrooms to new finishes that give old spaces new life. Upgrading the HVAC system can also bring efficiency benefits while making your church building more appealing to guests.

In addition, a church remodel is a good way to support new ministry offerings, with existing church building spaces being adapted for different uses. An older church school classroom can become a daycare or preschool, for example, or you can convert a chapel into a teen room, complete with a stage for musical performances and other events that attract neighborhood youth to your church.

Remodeling a New-to-You Church Building

A church remodel project needn’t be confined to your current church building either. With a thoughtful design, other types of buildings can be remodeled into appealing churches.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more churches that are willing to relocate and remodel big box buildings such as retail stores, warehouses, movie theaters, and office buildings. The goal in such cases is not to make a big box building look like a traditional brick gable church. And that’s fine. If a less traditional building helps a church achieve its vision for ministry, these sorts of unconventional remodeling projects can be great options while also demonstrating good financial stewardship.

There are costs considerations associated with converting existing spaces into feasible church designs. Nontraditional buildings often require significant structural, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical modifications before they can become practical and effective church buildings. But if the cost to purchase the building is low enough, the total cost of the church remodel can still be less than what one would pay for a new church built from scratch.

Stay ahead of the trends

As you can see, trends are dependent on many factors beyond the walls of your church. To learn more about what’s driving church building trends today, register for our upcoming i3 webinars. They’re absolutely free—simply visit our website and sign up.