Ask an Expert

Bring your questions, plans and ideas along and talk with a range of specialists in the Ask an Expert area.

A booking system will operate with time-slots allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so head along to the booking desk in the Ask an Expert area as soon as you arrive at the Show to make your reservation.

See profiles of our Experts for 2020 below.

General self build

Ross Stokes from SelfBuild & Design MagazineRoss Stokes has been Editor of Self Build & Design magazine for over 20 years. He is familiar with the challenges associated with homebuilding and renovation, having undertaken several projects of his own including transforming a derelict mill house into his dream home in rural Shropshire. In his professional role, he has access to a wide range of expertise covering everything from plotfinding, planning and finance, through to design and procurement.

Design and construction/general self build

Gerald Cole Gerald Cole is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in self build, home design and construction. He was the launch editor of SelfBuild & Design magazine and is now consulting editor and writer of ToppingOUT. He is the author of Build Your Own Brick House. Gerald can advise on the various construction methods available to selfbuilders and the alternatives to traditional brick-and-block construction. He can advise on how to save time and costs, and the pros and cons of each.

Design and planning/self build advice

Sean Adams Planning & Project Services Ltd Sean Adams has been involved in the self build industry for almost 20 years now. After initially training as an architectural designer he joined leading timber frame manufacturers Potton in 1999 as one of their self build consultants. Since then he has been involved in, designed and advised on over 600 self build projects throughout the UK including his own home. As well as design, Sean also offers his expertise in planning matters as well as the rest of the self build process. Many of his designs have been featured in SelfBuild & Design magazine.



Andy Moger of Tetlow King PlanningAndy Moger has more than 12 years' experience in planning. Andy is Associate Director of Tetlow King Planning, a leading town planning and development consultancy operating nationwide to provide a bespoke service for clients. He can help you find out what you need to know about the planning process and how to achieve planning permission for your own project.


Tom McSherry of BuildStoreTom McSherry has worked in the financial services industry for 27 years - 14 of these specialising in self build mortgages and finance at BuildStore, providing expert advice to hundreds of customers embarking on major homebuilding projects whether to live in, let or sell.

Tom has completed two major homebuilding projects himself, and is widely regarded as a self build finance expert. He presents Finance Seminars at SelfBuild & Design Shows throughout the year, and provides one-to-one consultations on finance.


Architect at SelfBuild & Design East 2020Mike Daubney has been involved in architectural design and management for over 20 years. He has contributed to a wide range of projects including large-scale urban housing developments, urban and rural masterplanning, transport interchanges, sports facilities, retail space, offices and hotels – in the UK and abroad.

His real passion, however, lies in helping clients and self builders create the home of their dreams. Mike founded MikeDaubneyArchitects to design buildings that delight. This ethos, together with Mike’s experience and creativity, underpins the work of the practice. Each scheme is led with a relentless passion for creating beautiful spaces and innovative places – all the while retaining a keen eye for fine detail. Mike is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.