Monday, March 23, 2015

News Update: Investing in Church Construction Consultant Provides Huge Dividend for a Church in Georgia

Cost is usually the first issue that comes to mind when hiring a consultant. Asking, "How much does a church construction consultant cost" may be a flawed question! What if the consultant is actually an investment that produces a return, not a net cost?

This premise is well illustrated in this case study for church in GA which is certainly glad it made the investment before it was too late.  So without further ado, let’s crunch the numbers…

Before hiring a church construction consultant:

  • Church's building budget was $10M.
  • Architect’s design fee: $550,000.
  • Initial bids received for architect’s design: $14M-$19M. The bids were 40 to 90% over the church's  budget - far beyond what the church could afford.

After hiring a church construction consultant:

  • Project was designed within the church’s desired budget. 
  • Construction was completed on time and final cost was $300,000 under budget.
  • Change orders were less than 1%; far less than the industry average of 5% to 15%.

What Return On Investment Was Produced By The Church Construction Consultant?

The investment produced both tangible and potential savings:

  • Tangible, hard-dollar savings of $300,000 in actual cost savings below construction bid.
  • Non-tangible Savings:
    • A workable plan that allowed the church to proceed with their project.
    • Kept the cost of change orders to less than $100,000, far less than the $500,000 to $1M that would be typical for a project of this size; an additional savings of $400,000-$900,00.
    • Reduced stress and more effective use of staff’s time and talents.
  • Costs that could have been avoided had they hired the consultant earlier in the process:
    • Initial architect fee of $550,000 that resulted in church plans that could not be built.
    • The value of over one year of lost time in the architects original design process.
    • Additional stress and effort on the part of church staff
Total Savings...
  • Even being invited to the project late, the consultant’s fee of $250,000 provided savings of at least $700,000, and as much as $1,250,000. 
    • This is an return on investment to the church between 180% and 400%!
    • For every dollar the church invested with the consultant, they received a financial return of between $1.80 and $4.00! 
  • If the church had hired the consultant before engaging the first architect, there would have been an additional $550,000 in savings, making the savings between $1.25M and $1.75M.
    • This return on investment could have been between 400% and 600%!  
    • If the church had hired the consultant before the initial architect, the savings would have been as much as 6 times the investment!

If you are interested in an investment that will produce great savings in your church building program while also reducing cost, risk, and stress,
see the article, How Much Does a Church Construction Consultant Cost.

Many thanks to Cody Findley of Findley & Co. for this excellent case study on the value of a church building consultant performing as an owner's rep.


    In a former pastorate we had raised money, purchased land, and were ready to build. I contacted a Christian architect, gave him our budget, and asked him to design plans we could afford to build. He created beautiful drawings for a facility that was outrageously above our budget. He didn't apologize, but he was happy to keep the $60,000 of God's money that we wasted on him. Never again! We pastors know how to counsel and preach, but we need someone on our side to advise us and protect us when it comes to building projects. If I ever lead another building project I will use a service like this!

  2. Pastor Rod, you are in good company - unfortunately! As many as 80% of churches approach it the wrong way, some with more devastating results than others.

  3. Pastor Rod, you are in good company - unfortunately! As many as 80% of churches approach it the wrong way, some with more devastating results than others.