Ask an Expert

Bring your questions, plans and ideas along and talk with a range of specialists in the Ask an Expert area, in association with the National Self Build & Renovation Centre.

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.

Eco-build advisor

rvince.jpgRay Vince has completed several renovation and extension projects in the past 7 years and now helps other selfbuilders in showing them what is possible after his first eco-build which was a regional finalist for the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2016. Ray’s eco-advisory service gives independent technical advice to develop your eco-specification and supports you with your chosen eco-package for an energy-efficient home. Ray will be on hand to advise and help you reach your full potential in completing a unique and individual eco- project.

Design and construction/general self build

gcole.jpg 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/general self build

ndavey.jpg With many years of experience, Neil Davey, Technical Consultant at the NSBRC, has helped hundreds of selfbuilders progress and complete their projects through the impartial advice and support he offers. As a resident expert at the NSBRC, Neil’s area of expertise covers the design and planning process, as well as signposting and offering general self build advice.

Doors and windows

kloeber_ask-and-expertselfbuiild--and-design-east-2018_web.jpgAs an essential component of any self build the show have introduced a new area of expertise to advise you on how to achieve the look, fit and finish to complete your project to the very highest standard.

Matt Higgs is co-owner and Sales Director of Kloeber UK Ltd. Having been involved in manufacture and construction for over 20 years Matt brings a wealth of varied expertise to his role from carpentry to design, engineering, Project Managing and Contracts Managing. Matt’s experience includes 8 years in timber frame and 3 years with a contract flooring company. Matt has now enjoyed 8 years advising self builders, developers and home improvers on door and window packages and managed many glazing projects including extensions, eco homes, Passive Houses and large scale housing developments.



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.