Free Seminars


Our series of free seminars are developed each year by Build It’s editorial team and our panel of experts to ensure all common questions are covered and to give visitors the knowledge to take control of their projects. Sessions are delivered by Build It’s experts. There’s no need to book but arrive in good time, to ensure you get a seat. The programme is the same on both days.

Click here for the workshop programme.


10.15 A step by step guide to self-build

Discover the pros and cons of building your own home. Self-build expert Tim Doherty explains the process – from finding land to setting a budget, designing your dream home or finding a builder.

10.55 How to find land and getting planning permission

Whether building from scratch, renovating or extending, creating your dream home starts with obtaining planning permission. Plots and planning specialist Mike Dade guides you through what you need to know, from submitting an application and gaining consent, through to appeals and tips on dealing with planners. He also gives invaluable advice on finding a plot of land.

11.35 How to add more space & value

Design expert Opinder Liddar identifies the best value-adding projects for existing homes, from extensions through to loft conversions, and helps you to assess which option best suits your family’s needs.

12.10 Renovating a home with character

Period property specialist Alan Tierney gives his insider advice on the potential minefield of renovating or converting existing homes, including older buildings.

12.50 The different routes to managing your project

What are the routes you could take to build or renovate your own home? Our project management expert, Charlie Laing, will explain what’s involved in running the project yourself – from purchasing materials and hiring tradesmen to finishing on time and on budget! He’ll also guide you through the other routes available and how costs vary.

13.30 What are the self-build opportunities on Graven Hill?

Find out more about the opportunities for building your own home on Graven Hill, the UK’s largest self-build scheme. What plots are available? What plans are afoot? Come along and listen to a Graven Hill representative for more information.

14.00 PANEL SESSION: The great build systems debate!

Uncover the pros and cons of the most popular construction systems in the UK: timber frame, brick & block, SIPs and ICF. Chaired by Build It expert, Mike Hardwick, a panel of specialists debate the benefits of the different structural options. Learn which methods will suit your design, plot, budget and energy efficiency requirements.

15.00 Building a sustainable home

Our eco specialist, Nigel Griffiths, talks through everything you need to know about creating a low-energy home that’s cost-effective to run – including why it’s important to get the house’s ‘fabric’ right before you invest in renewable technologies and what you need to consider during the construction stages.

15.40 Designing your dream home

Getting your design right is the essential element in creating your dream property. Architect Julian Owen discusses how to plan and realise a home that works for you and your family, whether you’re looking to renovate or build from scratch.