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Avoiding a Replacement Emergency

Avoiding a Replacement Emergency

Are you meeting these basics for planning capital improvements and life cycle replacements?

Step 1 Start from somewhere

When you want your facility to stay intact and not face a replacement emergency, you need to keep a list to check on everything installed in your facility.

  • The building's drawing
  • The materials used
  • What equipment is installed
  • A list of all the things in your facility
  • The purchase date
  • What is their life expectancy
  • Check the roof, parking spaces, windows, tables, chairs, floors

Step 2 Assessment

Once you are done making a list of things that need to be checked, start assessing them. If there are any cracked walls, broken glass, or furniture then make sure you put it in your list of repairs. Observe every bit of your facility to ensure that nothing remains broken.

Tips for Improvements:

Parking Spaces

If the parking area or alley is mixed with weeds and soil when it is supposed to be gravel then it would be best to replace the gravel with asphalt.
This allows you to mark your parking spaces with stripes and install signage for it.


If you find that the roof was last repaired many years ago, then make a visual assessment and hire a professional to conduct a survey.

  • Conduct a survey every two or five years to repair any small damages.
  • Maintaining your roof on a regular basis will help save on costlier repairs.

Sound System

Sound systems are an essential part of everyday church activities.

  • Check your facility's sound system, monitors, microphones, conduits, sound quality, availability of sound control systems and more.
  • If you have everything in check then you won't face embarrassment during a Christmas function or other service in the facility.
  • Try to install conduits on walls for your convenience.

Once you know what needs replacement or repairs, it'll be easier for you to calculate the budget.

Keep Records

Keep records of everything present in your sanctuary. You should put the life expectancy of every item on the list so that it becomes easier for you and the finance team to predict future expenses. Also keep maintenance records for everything you had repaired.

Develop Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets will help you keep all of your data in one place predicting the costs for each item and are very beneficial because they help you develop a budget plan for your facility. This helps you know how much money you need to reserve for replacements.

Capital Reserve Budget

Pre-planning is very effective and helps you get through tough times. Know what you plan to do with the capital reserve budget: what things are in line, do you have a proper plan to collect that target money, how you will spend it, and much more. All of these questions need to be answered by you in order to plan things effectively.


To maintain a perfect facility, you need to know what things are more important. The capital reserve budget is collected for big investments and renovations, but if something urgent comes up then are you capable of prioritizing it? You should know how and where to spend money. If you spend your money on the wrong or less important projects then when an emergency happens the funds won’t be available.

Capital Improvement

As a part of the financial team one should be able to look beyond the obvious and make plans for future spending and savings. You can collaborate with a firm and start a foundation to collect funds for the future.

Each of these steps are very important towards implementing replacements/repairs for your facility. Planning leads to efficient and smart decisions that can save you a great deal of trouble and money.

As noted by Dean Johnson, business administrator—National Association of Church Facilities Managers (NACFM) during WFX Dallas, 2013.

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