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PraiseBuildings Articles


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


If your PraiseBuilding is an older structure, there is a very good chance that the windows and doors will need to be replaced. If the decision is to salvage the existing windows, the congregation may be trading one problem for another. Windows, doors and other trim prior to 1978, were normally painted with lead-based paints, since these paints were able to withstand the harsh conditions to which these surfaces were subjected. If lead-based paint is found, a trained and licensed contractor should remove it. By Stephen Ferrandi, Director, KLNB Regious Properties Stephen Ferrandi is the Director of KLNB Religious Properties, a real estate firm serving religioius clients in Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He is one of the top experts in land development in the region. Mr. Ferrandi frequently contributes real estate related articles to both print and online publications.

What Kind of Elevator is Best for Our Church?

Certainly it is true that Elevators or Lifts of some variety are required by all local and state codes to accommodate the handicapped and it is a very important that our facility is a welcoming place for those with special needs. However, there are some other practical reasons that you should consider when you install your elevator. Some churches don’t realize how important this peace of equipment can become in a building. They figure, “We’ll just get the cheapest and smallest elevator that meets code and save our money”, but let me say form experience that this may not be the best decision. What happens when you need to move those tables from one floor to the next. One or two is not so bad, but what about 10 or 20? Are you really going to carry them up and down every week? You may not realize it, but once the elevator is in, you may wish you had invested a little more money and made your facility a lot more user friendly. Here are some simple and utilitarian uses for your elevator that may not ...


Plaster walls show an older building is of substantial character. Plaster walls are constructed using a four-part system. First, strips of woods called lath are nailed horizontally to the upright structural members of the wall’s framing. This lath is spaced approximately ¼” apart. When the first coat of plaster called the scratch coat is coated over the lath, much of the plaster is forced between the spacing and enters the openings and clings to the roughened surface of the backing lath, locking the scratch coat to the lath. The plaster locking the brown coat to the back of the lath is called the key. Over this, scratch coat is applied to the brown coat, followed by the finish coat of plaster called the white coat. If either the lath or brown coat have suffered damaged, it is probably more cost effective to remove the plaster wall completely and install drywall in its place. If only the white coat is damaged and the brown coat is in good repair it is probably more cost effective to repair using either patching plaster or ...


One important thing to remember when looking at a department store or warehouse for adaptive re-use is the need to work around column spacing. The small columns that occur in orderly rows spaced every 30 – 50 feet, probably cannot be disturbed without great expense since they support the roof. Most architects or build-to-suit contractors will simply attempt to lay out the complex around them, hiding as many columns as possible in walls, or boxing them in drywall to make them fit in with the interior design scheme. If a column must be removed, hire a structural engineer to design a new way to support that area of the roof. Columns, although they may appear to be independent of each other, actually form a highly complex engineered system for transferring the weight of the roof and all weight that may lay upon it, down to the footings buried under the floor of your structure. Removing a single column without compensating for the load elsewhere could lead to structural failure in times of great stress such as a heavy snowstorm, torrential rains, or ...


As important as it is to ensure the walls are water tight, it is equally as important to know the roof system is sturdy. Too many times, congregations will spend many tens of thousands of dollars on interior beautification, simply because they are easier projects for which to raise money than the non-glitzy roof repair. It makes no sense to renovate a building, only to have the existing roof fail after a couple of months. Remember, if the roof fails, the congregation not only pays for the roof repair, but also the damage to walls, paint, carpeting and furnishings. The answer is simple: before beginning any work, make sure that all of the roofing systems - roof, flashing, gutters, and downspouts – are sound and performing well. Many good adaptive re-use structures lend themselves easily to the addition of a second floor or balcony. This option requires first retaining the services of a qualified structural consultant. Although a contractor or a group of hard-working volunteers could construct this additional floor space in short order, it is a must that the congregation ...


Before beginning any interior improvements, it is important that the building be as water tight as possible. For most masonry buildings, this means re-pointing exterior mortar joints and re-securing any loose or missing bricks or cement blocks. In some cases, it may mean coating the exterior surface with a moisture barrier to prevent moisture from migrating into the structure causing damage to the plaster or drywall surfaces. Masonry restoration is expensive because it normally involves scaffolding and is very labor intensive but it is absolutely required to make a building watertight. Because of its expense, masonry work tends to be more difficult to sell to a congregation because when it is completed, there isn’t very much to see. The same money spent on interior renovation yields grand and glorious results in new carpeting, upholstered pews, pendent lighting, stained glass windows, and sanctuary furnishings. Still, it is important to remember that to undertake a complete successful renovation, the first step must be to insure that the structure is watertight and structurally sound. By Stephen Ferrandi, Director, KLNB Regious Properties Stephen Ferrandi is the Director of ...