Ask Our Experts

Ever wanted to ask our experts a question? Build It Magazine’s experts will be on hand all weekend at Build It Live, apart from when they are presenting their seminars! They are dedicated to answering your questions and helping you make your project a little easier to digest.

The Ask Our Experts lounge is many visitors’ favourite Build It Live destination. Discuss your project with our specialists, providing practical and impartial advice. They love helping people along their self build and renovation journeys, so come prepared with your questions, floor plans or other documents, and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

Check out our experts in action, or watch our general visitor experience video.

Opinder Liddar

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Opinder is a Build It Award-winning architect and a director at lapd architects. He specialises in self build and renovation and is a key member of the Build A Dream Self Build Association, which helps novices to build their own home or set up group schemes.

Julian Owen

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Julian is Build It’s design doctor and is a self-build architect with his own architects practice. He is the founder of the Association of Self Build Architects. Over the years he has written a number of books on the subjects of self-build, alteration and extensions, loft conversions and timber frame building.

Chris Bates

EDITOR OF BUILD IT

Chris has dedicated the last 13 years to writing about self build and is a champion for pushing the boundaries of self build in the UK. Chris is a trained site-carpenter and recently project managed Build It’s very own self build project – the Build It Education House.

Julia Riddle

PLANNING

Julia is a planning consultant with over 14 years of experience in a variety of planning work, including advising on and achieving planning permission for residential development on a range of scales. She has been involved in writing guidance on custom and self-build to inform the national planning approach and has specifically been advising self-builders for over 6 years.

MARTIN GAINE

PLANNING

Martin runs planning consultancy, Just Planning (www.just-planning.co.uk). A former case officer, he has experience on both sides of the planning divide and now specialises in helping homeowners win consent at appeal. He is the author of How to Get Planning Permission: An Insider’s Secrets.

BOBBY DARRAGH

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Bobby works for project management consultancy CLPM and has been in the construction industry for over 20 years. He is a fully qualified electrician and experienced building project manager, working on everything from new builds to extensions, listed building renovations and conversion of commercial buildings into residential homes. (Sunday Only)

NIGEL GRIFFITHS

ECO HOMES

Nigel is director of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance and a consultant for energy efficiency policy and evaluation. He specialises in sustainable construction, renewable energy and building performance. He is also the author of the Haynes Eco-House Manual.

ALAN TIERNEY

PERIOD PROPERTIES & RENOVATION

Alan operates a consultancy in historic building conservation, dealing principally with timber framed buildings. He runs Picketts Historic Building Conservation, offering hands-on advice to period property owners.

PHILIP WADGE

BUILDING

Philip is an RICS-certified, RIBA-affiliated construction professional with degrees in both architecture and surveying. He has worked in Building Control and Planning at Reading and West Berkshire councils, where he gained an in-depth knowledge of building techniques, procedures and permissions, and now runs Philip Wadge Architecture. (Saturday Only)

MARIO PEREIRA

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Mario has worked in construction for over two decades and is an experienced project manager with CLPM. He's provided independent advice and support to dozens of self builders across London and the South East, helping them build or improve their dream homes in a smart and more sustainable way - whether using conventional build routes or more modern methods. (Saturday Only)