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Defining Costs Of A New Church System With Logic & Simple Math
The easier it is to understand the cost subject, the sooner everyone will be singing off the same page.
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It’s also vital to understand that experienced professional sound designers and contractors bring many valuable assets to the table, among them:

  • numerous successful projects that can be referenced;
  • trade resources;
  • training;
  • service;
  • commissioning;
  • and the knowledge base of best industry practices.

Don’t let the dark specters of “mark-up” and “profit” cloud judgment - any project over $10,000 is serious enough to warrant professional advice and execution.

These folks can be of true help in working out a cost structure that attains the first three pillars to your specific needs.

For any new system design, installation, programming, instruction and equipment that is supplied by a qualified consultant and contractor, we will receive a total cost estimate.

Returning to my earlier example for an 800-seat worship space hosting traditional services, a new system cost of $56,000 (thus a cost-per-seat of $70) is completely realistic to achieve expectations.

Start to Compromise
No matter how much we wish, within this given example, a number of less than $70 per seat for a quality system to adequately serve the stated needs will start to compromise function, coverage and level. There’s also a finite cost-per-seat amount where the system simply will not fulfill any of the pillars.

This costing methodology is not a parlor trick or creative accounting. it should, if you do some simple math and get enough sources of like-scaled projects, allow you to understand and explain to others what the correct number is for your project.

The point here is to take brand names, emotion and minuscule details out of the equation. This method should allow you greater flexibility in evaluating proposed solutions, alternatives, as well as determining where you might be able to trim costs without too much compromise.

Every situation and system is difference, and this will impact cost, usually with it going up - rather than down.


  • Some facilities pay extreme attention to aesthetic issues;
  • Existing facilities can present constraints that can drive up infrastructure costs;
  • Smaller facilities don’t necessarily translate into a smaller price tag. Much of the same design and install work, functionality, infrastructure and so on is of similar scale.
  • Some facilities need specialized acoustical treatment or no system will perform as desired.

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