The Complete Guide to Buying Modular Buildings for Churches

The Complete Guide to Buying Modular Buildings for Churches

calendar icon September 15, 2022

According to an article by Church Law & Tax, the average church budget in their 2014 national survey was $937,400, while the median budget was $654,600. With personnel being the largest expense, facilities came in second at 7 percent (mortgage or rent), and 5 percent on maintenance, cleaning, and landscaping.

Even on the high end of that range, dedicating 7 percent to cover all property expenses doesn’t leave much for repairs, renovations, or expansion.

And, when buildings are under construction, churches risk losing revenue due to temporary closure. For some congregants, a modular church can mitigate these risks.

Using modular buildings for churches reduces construction time and cuts down on costs. Church expansion with modular buildings is often more viable than other expansion options.

Is this the right choice for your congregation? Learn about the factors that impact modular building concept, design, and financing. Then, explore whether any modular building options work for your parish.

What Are Modular Buildings for Churches?

Modular buildings are constructed of premade, interlocking units. The units are mass-produced by a modular building manufacturer.

Some companies call these buildings pre-fab or pre-engineered modules. The primary benefits of modular buildings are:

  • Lower labor and materials cost
  • Less construction time
  • Easy renovation

Modular buildings are made off-site, then put into place quickly. There are two key types of modular buildings: temporary and permanent.


Temporary modular buildings are not affixed to a permanent foundation. These buildings last 25-30 years at most.

Temporary buildings are move-in ready in 30 days.


Permanent modular buildings use more durable materials. They have a strong foundation.

These buildings take up to four months to set up. But, once they’re up, they can last for decades.

How to Buy a Modular Church

Buying a modular church is a four-step process. Each step is critical to making a wise choice. Ensure all stakeholders are on board before you move from one step to the next.

1. Consider Impact Factors

Conduct an analysis to discover how your goals, needs, and environment will affect the ideal modular building for your group. Six factors impact the utility of a modular building:

  • Materials quality
  • Interior and exterior design, finish
  • Location
  • Timeline
  • Longevity needs
  • Security features

Your location will significantly affect your process. The nature of the soil, the placement of water and power lines, and local zoning laws limit what you can build and where.

Your timeline will determine how quickly you need the building up and in working order. Certain weatherproofing finishes or artful designs may take longer to implement.

2. Research Customization Options

Most construction companies have a set of standard pre-fabricated designs. But, they may also offer options to customize each modular building design to suit your needs. Popular customizations include:

  • Layout changes
  • Materials upgrades
  • Premium interior options (cabinets, etc)
  • Energy-efficient construction

Customizing modular buildings isn’t essential, but it is a popular choice.

3. Develop Your Budget

Once you understand the impact factors that set your parameters and you have a sense of your customization options, set your modular building budget.

Some churches choose to lease or lease-to-own the building. Others choose to split the financial burden by implementing cooperative ownership with another church.

You can also use a construction loan to finance the project.

4. Contact Suppliers

Once you have your parameters and a budget in mind, start contacting suppliers. Ask for price quotes. Investigate different modular construction companies’ approaches to navigating your needs.

How to Jumpstart Church Expansion With Modular Buildings

Temporary modular buildings are ideal for church expansion. Because they have no fixed foundation, it’s easy to move them as needed.

Modular buildings take less time to construct. So, the expansion will not disrupt weekly services for long.

Build With ABS

Ready to build a modular church? Church expansion with modular buildings is easy with ABS. Our experts work with you to develop and customize the best possible modular buildings for churches like yours.

If you want a free site visit, analysis, and quote, contact us. We’ll get back to you in 48 hours.

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