How to get the most of the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2017 – the complete guide.
Every year, more and more people become interested in self building. The government has ambitious plans to double the number of custom build and self build homes by 2020. The recently released Housing White Paper aims to fix the broken British housing market and introduce a range of reforms, these aim to improve the housing market and increase the supply of new homes.
It is clear that the self-build industry is growing dynamically and there are no indications that this trend will change. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Homebuilding and Renovating Shows are returning for 2017 – bigger than ever. Whether you are just starting to explore the self-build industry or have already started planning your dream home (or renovation project), these shows will provide you with vital knowledge and ideas. From advice on how to find your plot, to choosing the interiors for your bedroom, the HBR Shows give you a unique opportunity to get personalised advice and one-on-one consultations with industry experts.
The HBR Shows are the biggest self building and renovating show in the UK – this year they will take place in seven cities across the UK. It will be inaugurated by the largest, four-day show in Birmingham (23-26 March) – The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show. Glasgow will be hosting thousands of self-builders in the second show (20-21 May). Then it is coming back to England – Surrey (1-2 July) and London (22-24 September). Following this, it will be in Scotland’s capital city (Edinburgh 21-22 October), followed by shows in the north of England (Harrogate 3-5 November) and the South West (Somerset 18-19 November). There are plenty of events organised in almost every part of the UK, leaving no excuse for conscientious self-builder to miss it.
There will be hundreds of exhibitors (over 400 in Birmingham) at each show. It will therefore be a great opportunity for you to explore their various products and services, which can be used in your project. There will be companies who specialise in design, renewables, exteriors, interiors, financial services and many other categories of services and products related to self building, renovation and conversion.
You will also be able to speak to various architects and designers, and get advice about every area of self building: from choosing a structural system to deciding on your garden finishes. Some of the exhibitors will be providing a free 20-minute consultation, giving you personalised advice on your project. However, remember that in order to get the most from this event, it is important to plan ahead.
At the 2017 HBR Shows there will be up to 42 different seminars divided into nine categories. Those categories are self build, renovation, extensions, eco and heating, kitchens, finance, design and planning. So no matter what your interests are you will find a series of useful seminars and masterclasses suitable for you. The most important seminars to self-builders will be performed in two theatres – the Self Build and Masterclass theatres. The Self build theatre will host specialists who will cover the most important areas of self build in 30 minutes talks. At the Masterclass theatre, the exhibitors get the chance to provide advice on their individual area of expertise (20 minutes blocks).
ASK THE EXPERT
The HBR show offers a unique opportunity for first hand advice from some of the top self build/renovation, specialists in the UK. So bring your plans, ideas and any issues you have regarding your project to the Advice Centre. The Advice Centre is divided into the following sections: Ask the Expert, Ask the Architect, the Planning Clinic, Ask the Architectural Technologist, and Ask the Builder. This is an amazing opportunity to get valuable information on every stage of your homebuilding adventure. Here are just a few experts that you will get the chance to speak to this year:
One of the country’s leading property experts, presenter of multiple property TV Shows and the Chair of the NaCSBA – organisation founded to support self-builders throughout the UK. His book Renovating for Profit, is the definitive guide to home renovations that makes a difference to the value of your property.
The presenter of Building the Dream and an Architectural Designer specialising in sustainability. He has spent the last twelve years designing sustainable buildings, making television programmes about Architecture and design, working on environmental community projects and giving talks on all aspects of sustainability.
In addition to the above, experts like Jason Orme will advise you on all aspects of your self-build project from construction systems and finding land to energy efficiency and dealing with builders. Sally Tagg will be on hand to answer your questions on planning permission. You can then discuss interior design with Julia Kendell (TV personality) and get legal advice from Chris Reeves. These and many more will make an enormous difference to your project and remember it is free advice! Make sure to check out who is attending each show you are planning to visit, as the line-up differs from one to another.
AC ARCHITECTS AT HBR 2017
After the success of 2016, Allan will continue to share his expertise as part of the Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine’s team. During the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Birmingham, Allan will be delivering two seminars: ‘Beginners’ guide to creating a low-energy home, from Zero Carbon to Passivhaus’, and ‘Home design: a step-by-step guide to designing your dream home’. The articles based on both of these seminars are available to read on our Self Build Blog. Allan will also be available to answer any question relating to Architecture or self build, at the Advice Centre for one-on-one consultations. Also David, one of our Senior Technicians will be joining our friends on the SIPS Industries stand and he will be available to answer any SIPS related questions.
- First and probably the most important piece of advice is to plan your time at HBR show in advance. Do your research and have a look at the seminar schedule and the experts available for one-on-one consultations. Check opening hours and arrive at the Advice Centre as early as is possible to book the consultation slots with the desired experts. There is no need to book for seminars, however if you want to have a seat, make sure to arrive some time before the talk.
- The owners of iOS and Android smartphones can download a free app and use it to create a personalised map of the exhibitors and receive alerts when shortlisted seminars and masterclasses are about to start. You can also add specific seminars to a personalised calendar and much more. It is a really useful tool to plan your HBR Show experience. You can download it here.
- Moreover, to make planning even easier, the HBR team have created six categories of projects, pick the project which matches yours and it will create a bespoke agenda for you. The six categories are: building your own home, renovating, extensions and conversions, Eco and Heating, Kitchens and Doors and Windows. You can find them on their website here. Thanks to this you will not miss a seminar, masterclass or exhibitor that may be useful for your project.
- If you are thinking of going to the show over a couple of days, you could spend one day taking in the seminars, and another could be used to meet the exhibitors – learning about the specific products. Alternatively, if you are only going for one day, bring a partner, and split up to cover more ground in your limited time!
- It is definitely a good idea to bring a bag, as at the show you will probably get a lot of brochures and business cards from the exhibitors. Carrying everything in your hands is not the most comfortable! You may also consider preparing your own contact packs and hand them to architects and companies who’s products or services you are interested in.
- Remember that the Homebuilding and Renovating Shows are a place where you can meet not only specialists but also thousands of other self-builders. This is an opportunity to share your personal experience related to building/renovating your home.
Bigger shows such as Birmingham and London will provide more opportunities, as a greater number of topics will be covered and there will be more experts to talk to. However, regardless of which show you choose to attend, you will boost your self-build knowledge significantly. This will help you to make informed decisions when choosing the best construction method and products for your project – thus avoiding mistakes and saving you money.