The next step is to complete Construction Drawings for permits. The time for this can vary with the size of the project as well as the current workload and availability of architectural staff, but you can typically plan on three to five months. After the Construction Documents are completed, they can be submitted for building permits. At this point, you are at the mercy of the plan reviewer and the timeframe can vary greatly depending upon your geographic area.

Design Development & Construction Documents

  • Design Development Meetings
  • Architectural Construction Drawings
  • Interior Design
  • Specifications
  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Plumbing, Mechanical, & Electrical Engineering
  • Audio, Video, Lighting Coordination
  • Budget Updates & Recommendations
  • Schedule Updates & Recommendations
  • Permit Coordination

Construction Administration

  • Requests For Information
  • Shop Drawing Review
  • Site Visits & Documentation
  • Approval of Certificates for Payment
  • Record Drawings

Suggested Steps Prior to Proceeding

Site Survey

Before your Designer can begin, an accurate site survey is needed. A survey is important for a master plan. The accuracy of the design will depend upon the accuracy of the initial information. The survey should include:

  1. The property boundary
  2. Topo – A topographical survey shows the contours for the property and the difference in elevations.
  3. Easements
  4. Utilities
  5. A copy of the deed is also useful to indicate any deed restrictions.

Soil Borings

You should also ask if your designer would like soil borings. Soil Borings will identify poor soil conditions or rock which affects cost. Finally, give your designer a copy of any drawings of your existing building or additions. These drawings will help the designer figure out the best way to tie into your building.


Zoning isn’t getting easier. Every city, county and township zoning board can be different. Zoning needs to be investigated in the design phase of the project so that any time-consuming issues can be worked on immediately. Approval might take one meeting to resolve or several months. Preparation is key for simplifying the process. Sometimes zoning requires more drawings for landscaping, storm water retention, parking, or traffic impact, just to name a few. Our design professionals can guide you through this process to meet the zoning requirements.

Schematic Design Drawings (Design)

The design process time frame is flexible to meet your needs however it is important not to rush the process. A typical design timeframe ranges from three to six months. This is very dependent on how quickly the church can make decisions. The other factor that can affect this is the design professional’s experience. An experienced church specialist will come close to your initial needs in a shorter time.

Presentation Boards

Presentation boards provide a very helpful means of informing others about your campaign. At the end of the initial design process, you will receive a set of color presentation boards of site plans, floor plans, and a 3D image of a building exterior or an interior space.


After the design is completed, most churches require some type of stewardship emphasis or campaign to raise funds for the upcoming project. A typical stewardship campaign lasts about three months, allowing churches to be more certain of funds available for the building project.