855.204.2400

PraiseBuildings Articles

rss

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


WINDOWS AND DOORS

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 AND WALLS

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 ...

COLUMNS

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 ...

ROOFING/CEILING

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 ...

MASONRY

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 ...

Site Development Limitations

Here are some of the situations that create a demand for a larger church site: a. Many communities have incorporated a very low ratio for impervious development of the church site. The term “impervious” refers to the site development that limits storm water penetration, creating more runoff from the site. Building footprint and roof, sidewalks, and paved parking (and even stone parking in some cases) aretypical site development classified as impervious. For example, the State of New Jersey is very strict in this regard as observed in my recent church projects in that state. Vineland limits impervious development to 20 percent of the site. Haddon Heights allows only 25 percent, and Hamilton Township (near Princeton and Kendall Park) allows 30 percent. Trenton has a similar requirement. This means that only this small portion of the site can be developed with buildings, sidewalk, and parking, leaving as much as 80 percent of the site as green area. Therefore, the site would have to be much larger than one acre per 100 people. Variances are seldom approved to set this limitation aside. b. The ratio of people per ...

Church Site Selection

Let`s use TEN STEPS as logical, sequential progress toward a desired goal. These are steps that you must be acquainted with as a church planter, pastor, or another church leader entrusted with this responsibility. Rarely will you find a realtor who understands the requirements of a church. The realtor is primarily a salesperson. You must equip yourself to make wise decisions. Rely on those of your church who have experience in these areas to assist you. Pastors should not act as if they are infallible in areas where they are not skilled. There is wisdom in counsel. Step One: Locate a stable, growing region for a new church. Determine who it is you plan to reach. If an ethnic ministry is your plan, you must locate in a stable area accessible to that group. In other cases, set your sights toward a new growth area that needs a church such as you espouse. Step Two: Develop a strong church of people before developing a church site. Every family can`t afford to own a home. You must develop the ability to provide ...

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: Full Text

106th Concress of the United States of America  106th CONGRESS 2nd Session S. 2869 AN ACT To protect religious liberty, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000`. SECYION 2. PROTECTION OF LAND USE AS RELIGIOUS EXERCISE. (a) SUBSTANTIAL BURDENS- (1) GENERAL RULE- No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government demonstrates that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly, or institution-- (A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. (2) SCOPE OF APPLICATION- This subsection applies in any case in which-- (A) the substantial burden is imposed in a program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability; (B) the substantial burden affects, or removal of that substantial burden would affect, commerce with foreign nations, ...

Land Use & Zoning: ACLJ`s Position

Churches across the nation are increasingly facing discrimination from local zoning authorities with respect to location or improvement of their facilities. Zoning Boards often want to eliminate churches from downtown and commercial areas because churches do not generate retail and tax revenue. They also attempt to restrict churches in residential areas for allegedly creating traffic and noise problems. The result has been that our nation`s houses of faith have their freedom to worship where and how they choose violated by ignorant or hostile zoning officials.  In response to the religious discrimination against churches, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) , which protects religious land uses from discrimination. RLUIPA states that government zoning authorities may not use zoning laws to discriminate against churches unless they have a compelling state interest in doing so. Even if a municipality can show that its zoning laws serve a compelling interest, it still must demonstrate that its actions are the least restrictive means of protecting that interest. In most cases, those interests may be easily served by restrictions that ...

Archives