Undertaking a church design project may seem overwhelming, but knowing the steps involved in creating the church building of your dreams can make it seem less stressful. In this post, we examine some logistics involved before the actual work can get started. Let’s look at documentation: topographic surveys, blueprints, zoning permits, and more.
Understand the Value of Surveys and Blueprints
If you have an undeveloped piece of land, you’ll need a topographic survey. If the site is very hilly, for example, this survey will make a big difference in planning where to put a building. But in general, this type of documentation saves time and money by determining which part of your land is appropriate to build on, preventing costly mistakes.
If you have an existing building that you want to add onto or remodel, you need plans or blueprints of the original building. They’re worth their weight in gold because they tell your church design professional what they’re likely to be dealing with, and where to get started.
Discuss Building Issues Before Remodeling
For planning purposes, it’s also important to discuss any current issues with your building upfront. If you know, for example, that you have poor HVAC systems, or that your roof needs to be replaced, this information is important to help your design professional get started, as well.
Be Aware of Zoning Requirements
Whether you’re having a new building constructed or adding on to an existing building, you need to consider zoning requirements. There are different zoning classifications in every area, as you see in this graphic. This comes from a zoning map—the different zoning classifications are outlined in by different colors, letters, and numbers.
One example of a zoning consideration is signage. Clients have told us about how the city prohibited them from putting up a sign, even though the church down the road has one. This demonstrates how zoning classifications can differ, even on the same street.
Besides signage, some common zoning restrictions include building height and lot coverage. Sometimes zoning regulations only allow you to build on 50% of your lot, for example. Building an addition might affect the size of property you need. There are also parking requirements to consider, such as the minimum number of parking spaces you need based on the occupancy of your building.
Zoning is an important early consideration as you prepare for a building project. A professional will help guide you through the requirements, but you can also look up zoning regulations yourself to find out more before the start of your project.
A construction project for a new church building, remodel, or an addition is one of the most important decisions you can make for the future of your ministry. So, it helps to get expert guidance. We offer our i3 webinars to share the latest tips and trends in church building and design. Register for our free sessions and take advantage of the opportunity to get your questions answered.