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.

Below are the experts for the 2019 show.



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 home building 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. 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 the varying styles.

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 Ltd 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 on 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 The SelfBuild & Design Shows throughout the year, and provides one-to-one consultations on finance.



Matt_TYPE_architects_selfbuild-and-design-east-2018.jpgTYPE is a design led architect’s practice based in London, formed in 2013 by founding directors Sam Nelson, Tom Powell, Ognjen Ristic and Matt Cooper. Two of the team will be on hand to answer your questions.

TYPE deliver design solutions based on a rigorous understanding of the clients’ needs and a full appreciation of the context of each project. Their projects include the refurbishment and extension of existing homes, new build houses and barn conversions, the creative re-use of commercial buildings and housing developments. They also design bespoke furniture and interiors.

Tom_TYPE_architects_selfbuild-and-design-east-2018.jpgTheir services include design and feasibility studies, applications for planning permission, obtaining building costs as well as working with contractors and consultants through the technical design and construction stages.

Construction and Passivhaus design

sue_ask-an-expert_selfbuild-and-design-east-2018.jpgSue Dewhirst of Evolved Design has been involved in the construction industry for over 30 years with expertise in Modern Methods of Construction and Passivhaus design, including 10 years with one of the UK's major insulation manufacturers as Technical Sales Manager. Sue is a Green Team expert at The National Self Build & Renovation Centre at Swindon and specialises in Low Energy / Passivhaus Homes using a range of building systems. Evolved Design are chartered Architectural Technologists, Passivhaus Designers & Energy Assessors covering England & Wales.