Bill, Carl, and I were standing around talking with the architect who’s overseeing the repair work at our church. She had come to tell us how much it might cost to remove an underground oil tank, and she stayed to inspect the repairs to our fire escape. Afterwards, the four of us stood around chatting. Since she’s a church-goer too (she’s active in a nearby UCC church), our conversation turned to churches.
We compared horror stories about how churches neglect routine maintenance, which neglect always leads to costly repairs. Our architect had one really good suggestion that I can’t resist passing along. She said when she served on her church’s board of trustees, she would make them do a complete walk-through inspection of the building and grounds once each year. When the board members confronted building problems face-to-face, they realized just what the money is going to, and routine maintenance was less likely to be neglected.
We also talked about when would be the best time to do such a walk-through. I suggested that maybe November would be the best month for our church, because we try to start planning the next fiscal year’s budget in January — do the walk-through in November, and it would allows you to get estimates in time for the budget planning cycle. Bill added that it’s best to do a walk-through when the leaves are off the trees.