Whether you are merely harbouring self building ambitions, or you are currently in the midst of a construction project, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show is a great way to access help and advice from the leading specialists in the industry. It’s the largest self build and renovating event in the UK, and it really could save you a lot of time and a lot of money in the research and preparation of your project.
Taking place across the country six or seven times a year, the shows are perfect for researching everything you need for your project — and it’s all under one roof! From sourcing great new products for your home, to receiving detailed advice from the industry’s leading experts, there’s something for everyone regardless of which stage you are at with your project.
The next Homebuilding and Renovating Show is in Edinburgh over the weekend 24–25 October 2015.
Think carefully about how you are going to get to the show, and take the time to do your research. Find out who is going to be delivering talks, and consider which exhibitors you’d like to see.
Research the Experts
The magazine behind the show – Homebuilding & Renovating magazine – brings along a host of experts for consultation meetings. The magazine’s Editor in Chief, Michael Holmes, and Editor, Jason Orme, are self build and renovation specialists, and are available throughout the weekend for 15-minute one-to-one sessions.
If you want to ‘Ask the Experts’ a question about your project, it’s important you arrive at the show early enough to book a session at the Advice Centre. There is also an ‘Ask the Architects’ stand in the Advice Centre, so if you are looking for tips on where to start with your particular project, or you have some drawings or ideas to share, booking a 15-minute slot with an architect here is also a good idea. It will be a busy event throughout the day — so make the Advice Centre your first stop to ensure you get a slot!
Write a List of Exhibitors to See
If you have a look at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show website beforehand, you will see a virtual guide offering you all the information about which exhibitors will be attending, and where you will find them at the show. You will learn a lot from visiting the stands, so remember to make notes, or take photos of the products you like.
Map Out your Day
Familiarising yourself with the floor plan can help you figure out an efficient route for your day. A personalised map is available from the website the week before the show, so you can plot a time-saving journey and visit the exhibitors relevant to your project.
Plan timings around any of the expert appointments you have made, or any of the seminars you would like to see. In the seminar theatre, there are a range of 25-minute talks on throughout the whole day; so pick the ones you would like to attend, and look into which stands you can visit nearby the theatre to limit your travel time. Don’t risk getting stuck behind a crowd!
If you plan on going to the show over two days, you could spend one day taking in the seminars, whilst the second could be spent meeting the exhibitors, and looking at the vast array of products on display. Alternatively, if you are there for one day, you could bring a partner and split up to cover the ground that way!
Bringing some sort of bag is a good idea — you will want to bring something to carry all of the brochures and business cards you pick up along the way. If you find any architects or specialists that you think you’d like to work with, giving them your details is important for following up after the event.
However, you might not get the chance to speak with them properly if it’s particularly busy at their stand, or if you’ve spent longer at another area of the show. To combat this, you could prepare your own contact packs to distribute. Create your own résumé with your contact details and some ideas for your project — this could be very useful for handing out to potential architects, for example, as you can convey the interests and styles which reflect your personality. Architects can gain a good idea of what you would like to discuss, and this can speed up the process when following up with them after the show.
Most importantly, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show is a great way to meet fellow self builders and renovators, so speak to other visitors and listen to what they are experiencing with their projects. There will be thousands of people at different stages of their self build or renovation ventures, so tap into this valuable resource and learn from the success or mistakes of the people around you.
Self Build Seminars
Get along to the seminar theatre at the Edinburgh Homebuilding and Renovating Show, and find out what it’s really like to build your own home — as self builder Colin Amor and his architect Allan Corfield (of our practice) present the story behind Colin’s SIPs frame eco home, completed near Gleneagles in 2014.