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PraiseBuildings Articles

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A library of useful articles on every topic impacting your PraiseBuilding.


Buildings that are not square

It has only been within the last fifty years that circular, octagonal or decagonal style sanctuaries have gained in popularity. As any architect or construction estimator knows, any building that is not a square or rectangle will be more expensive to build and furnish. Here is a simple way to understand why this is true. The basic shape used in construction is the rectangle. Plywood, flake board and drywall all use 4’ x 8’ sheets as their standard size. Cement blocks and clay bricks both use rectangles of various dimensions as their standard shape. Carpeting comes in 12 foot wide rolls and is normally cut into long rectangle strips called runs. Roofing paper and roofing shingles are rectangular in shape. Floor tile uses 8” x 8” or 12” x 12” squares as standard sizes. If a building can be constructed from whole sheets or units of these building materials, rather than the workman having to cut each sheet to form an unusual shape, the project will save in both in labor and material cost. Example: If a room is to be constructed ...

Choosing Interior Elements for Your Praise Building

1. Create as high a ceiling as possible. High ceilings help create the feeling of awe and reverence. High ceilings also required create the acoustics required for most worship services. Music requires a high ceiling in order to sound full-bodied and powerful. 2. Use proportional spacing and balance to create a symmetrical worship environment. The stage, bimah, platform, altar, pulpit or other focal point of the worship space should be centered to allow most members of the congregation an unobstructed view. When placing seating, it is important to use symmetrical design. If pews are to be installed with a center aisle, each row of pews should be the same length and spaced the same distance apart to create an even appearance throughout the worship space. Example: If fifty chairs are to be installed on the right side of the stage platform, then for the purpose of symmetry, fifty chairs need to be installed on the left side as well. Additionally, if ten large windows are installed along the left side of the sanctuary, ten windows, or at least some other similar ...

What Makes a Praise Building?

By Stephen Ferrandi, Director, KLNB Regious Properties In 1858, the Great Church of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, an Italianate cathedral style church built in Washington, D.C. that seated 1,500 members, replete with gilded ceilings, marble altars and more than a dozen magnificent stained glass windows, cost just $100,000 to construct. So great a church was this that at the dedication Abraham Lincoln, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, and the majority of the United States Supreme Court were in attendance. The New York Times described the magnificent sanctuary as the finest ever built in America. In 1970, the great church was closed when the dwindling congregation could no longer afford the normal operating expenses. White flight and decades of office building construction consuming ...

15 Issues Every Construction Contract Must Have When Building or Remodeling Your Church, Synagogue or Temple.

15 Issues Every Construction Contract Must Have When Building or Remodeling Your Church, Synagogue or Temple.  All contracts must be in writing.  Repeat after me – ALL CONTRACTS MUST BE IN WRITING!  In a court of law it must be in writing to be enforceable. The contract must have the full address of the property where the work will be completed.  If you are building a church, you must be able to describe the parcel upon which the church is to be built.  Use the tax map and parcel number, or the legal description, the street address or some other way of explaining to the world that the church is to be constructed HERE! The name, address and telephone number of the party hiring the contractor.  Normally the church’s mailing address and the name of the minister or property chairperson signing the contract is sufficient. The contracting firm’s legal name, address and telephone number. Not that it is required, but this is a great place to insert the ...

25 Questions to Ask When Qualifying Your Contractor to Work on Your PraiseBuilding, Church, Temple, or Synagogue.

25 Questions to Ask When Qualifying Your Contractor to Work on Your PraiseBuilding, Church, Temple, or Synagogue. 1.     How long have you been in business?  2.     In what kind of work do you specialize?  3.     How did your firm get started? 4.     How many employees do you have?  5.     How long have your key employees been with you?  6.     Will you use your own crew for the work or will you subcontract all or part of the job?  7.     What types of work are you licensed to do in our state?  8.     How many other PraiseBuildings have you built or renovated?  9.     Who will be the project manager on our project?  10.   Do you have a working relationship with any architect who specializes in churches or houses of worship?  11.   How much insurance do you carry? 12.   What about general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance?  13.   Are you a bondable company? To what limit?  14.   Have you ever had a claim against either your insurance carrier or your bonding firm?  Explain  15.   How will this project fit into your production schedule?  16.   How long do you expect the outlined scope of work will ...

Buying Land for Your House of Worship – A Primer.

Buying Land for Your House of Worship – A Primer. When buying land, the first thing is to ask the basic question. “Where do we need to be geographically?”  If you were to say that you need to be within a five mile square of your current neighborhood or church - that is a good starting point.  The starting point is to identify the community or region where you want to grow your church.  This might mean you focus on an area that is presumed to be un-churched, or perhaps it is where the majority of your current members live.  Maybe the focus is to be located near a major highway so that you can attract membership from across a large area.  Growing a new church means determining where to plant the seed.  Once you have a geographic area determined, call your local real estate professional in Maryland, Delaware or the District of Columbia that’s Stephen Ferrandi 410-925-4566 or Josh Halbedel 443-574-1407 both religious property brokers with KLNB Commercial Real Estate. If you’re planning to build outside our market area and ...

75 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Church Architect

75 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Church Architect  Excerpted from the book, “Preparing to Build”, by Stephen Anderson The design and construction of church facilities may very well be one of the most important activities in your organization's history. One of the many critical components of your building success is hiring the right architect. Your church should consider at least 3-4 architects or design/build firms who have a good reputation for building the type and style of structures you are considering and are familiar with designing within the budget range you can afford.    General Background Questions  1. How long has the architect been in business?  2. What percentage of the firm’s business is designing church facilities?  3. How many people does the architect’s firm employ?  4. Does the architect have a valid license for the state in which you intend to build?  5. Does the architect commonly do church projects of the style, size and budget that you anticipate building?  6. Is the architect familiar with the nuances of your denomination and worship style and what this may mean in building design?  7. Does the architect have ...

On Building a Church

On Building a Church by Stephen J. Ferrandi It will always cost more to build your church then you expected. What the committee desires to build will exceed their budget, and most architects – even church architects can’t design within the limitation of a tight budget to the frustration of the contractors whose bids will come in over the projected budget and need to be re-bid. It will take longer to build your church than you think it should. Change Orders issued by both the contractor and congregation will exceed the contingency budget allocated for change orders. The building inspector will find fault with something that will result in many people being angry,  change orders being issued, and the work being delayed…for no good reason. A key member of the building team – architect, engineer, builder, subcontractor or  supplier will do something or forget to do something that will cause major problems for other team members -  this will result in harsh words, major delays, possibly lawsuits and more delays in the construction schedule with finger pointing all around. It will take much longer to raise the ...

10 Simple Rules for Designing a Great Worship Space

10 Simple Rules for Designing a Great Worship Space By Stephen J. Ferrandi, Director Trinity Church Property Management  1. Ceiling Height  Create as high a ceiling as possible.  High ceilings help create the feeling that the space is important, which in turn helps instill reverence in the space.  High ceilings are also required to create the acoustics needed for music, praying in unison, and projection of the voice.  Music requires a high ceiling in order to sound full-bodied and powerful. 2. Symmetry  Use proportional spacing and balance to create a Symmetrical worship environment.  The sanctuary, platform, altar area, pulpit, bimah, stage or other focal point of the worship space should be centered to allow most members of the congregation an un-obstructive view.  When placing seating, it is important to use symmetrical design.  If  pews, theater seats or movable chairs are to be installed, several issues are important to consider prior to installing the seating.  First, seating in an auditorium space is governed by federal, state and local fire and life safety codes.  Prior to purchasing seating for your space, understand the Requirements for your ...

Church Building 101 Units of Measure

Church Building 101 Units of Measure When building your house of worship here are the basics rules of thumb. When purchasing land plan on 1 usable acre of paved, stripped parking for every 300 people.  A paved, stripped parking area should be able to accommodate between 100-115 cars per usable acre and most building codes allocate 1 car per 3 people.  Many local building codes may require islands of planted vegetation within the parking lot which reduces the number of cars per acre  A usable acre is one that does not contain non-buildable ground, such as wetlands, steep slopes, irregularly shaped property, ungradable hills, property that is not accessible, and or property which high tension power lines cross over and where cars are not allowed to drive under these power lines .  Parking Space Dimensions: Standard:  ...

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