12 May 2018Radisson Blu, London Stansted 13 October 2018Gallery Suites, NEC, Birmingham

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Renovation course information

Our courses are the same for both dates, depending on what location and time of year is best for you, you can now book on the Selfbuild Bootcamp in London or Birmingham.

Limited spaces available. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

09:30 - 10:30 How to budget and finance your conversion or renovation project

Expert: Mary Riley

Picturing your dream home can be easy; funding that dream can prove to be a daunting task. Guidance and information on How You May Fund Your Project and Sticking to Budget!

  • Affordable and Responsible Lending
  • Typical Application Process
  • Supporting Documentation
  • Loan to Value Stage Release Funding
  • Paying for Materials in Advance (How to Protect Your Money)
  • Realistic Budget and Sticking to Budget
  • Reclaim of VAT
  • Stamp Duty
  • Contingency

How You May Fund Your Project; The Pit Falls; Due Diligence, Engaging the Appropriate Team(s) help Achieve the Successful Construction of a New Home; Research and Communication. Build Tomorrow’s Home Today!


10:45-11:45 Government guidelines, legal requirements, insurance and warranties


A clear and simple masterclass in which you will learn the latest policies and guidelines necessary to comply with current building regulations to include:

  • What insurance and warranties are needed
  • What are the current legal requirements you can't ignore
  • What barriers are the government removing and how will this help you
  • How to make the most of the government support now available to you


12:15 - 13:00 Whole house retrofit - how to make your home healthy, comfortable and low energy

Expert: David Hilton

Looking to retrofit your home and want to know what to do? When retrofitting theres lots of things to consider. This workshop covers all the aspects of a whole house retrofit to make a high comfort, low energy healthy home.

There are many energy efficiency and renewable energy options for existing homes. Choosing what’s best to integrate with the existing structure can be challenging.

This workshop explores all aspects of retrofitting with a holistic whole house approach.

This covers insulation, air tightness and ventilation (and why these need to be considered together), heating systems and controls, lighting and appliances.

The workshop is illustrated with case studies of retrofitting in the UK and examples where different approaches and materials have been used.

  • Introduction
  • Patterns of energy use - Where is energy used? Where is heat lost?
  • Whole house approach - insulation, airtightness, ventilation, systems & controls
  • Benefits - why retrofit? - health, comfort, low bills, being green & futureproofing
  • Measures - wall insulation options, DIY loft insulation, draft proofing etc
  • Case studies - small and large scale projects
  • Finance options
  • Conclusion

You will gain an insight into the design of high comfort, low energy healthy homes. You will get an understanding of the different technologies and approaches to inform better design of your retrofit project.


14:15 - 14:45 Grand Designers case study


Stuart and Rosie Treasurer starred in Channel 4's Grand Designs, showing the journey of their home renovation.
After spending just £175,000, their dream home was built, featuring 5 bedrooms and bathrooms in a ‘wooden wonder box'.
Stuart and Rosie will be speaking at the Selfbuild Bootcamp to share their personal experience and top tips on how to create and manage the perfect project.


14:45 - 15:45 Conversions and renovations - The planning how to

Expert: Sally tagg

This workshop looks in detail at how existing buildings such as barns can be converted into unique homes without needing planning permission. The Legislation provides a detailed set of restrictions, conditions and parameters which relate to the site or the building in addition to the proposal.

Current planning law allows agricultural buildings, offices and some commercial premises to be converted to dwellings without needing planning permission. Although a formal planning application would not be needed there is a Prior Approval process to follow and technical information to be provided so as to demonstrate that the site and building meet all relevant elements of the legislation.

In addition the workshop considers what you can do to renovate an existing home using Permitted Development rights. Such works may include substantial new extensions or subdividing a house into more properties. These developments in many cases can be undertaken to existing dwellings so as to realise the value of an asset without needing to sell and move. Updating, extending or diving an existing building can provide more flexibility and are likely to be more viable than other development options. Often such works are not as grand as a new build but they can deliver a lot.

The workshop will equip delegates with the skills and knowledge to enable you to:

  • Understand the potential opportunities for conversion and renovation, the type of buildings which can be turned into homes without planning permission
  • The potential of Permitted Development as well as the constraints and restrictions with regard to the Prior Approval process
  • The development options available with regard to an existing home
  • Evaluate and assess a property, its potential and its constraints
  • The complexities with regard to listed buildings
  • The complexities or the planning process and the key issues.


16:15 - 17:00 Ready to refurb: An architect’s take on how to successfully renovate your home


Through the discussion of two award-winning projects, award-winning architect and new build expert Phil Coffey will outline the process of renovating your home. You will be walked through the journey of choosing an architect, outlining a budget and programme, writing a brief, submitting and receiving planning, and the actual construction of your dream home.

Case studies include Modern Mews and Modern Terrace, recent recipients of the RIBA Regional award and Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Best Renovation award. There will be time for Q&A with Phil Coffey.

  • How to choose the right architect
  • How to set a budget
  • How to formalise an effective schedule
  • How to write a good brief
  • Simple guide to submitting plans
  • How to visulaise your dream home


17:15 - 18:00 How to manage your renovation project

Expert: James Bryden

Behind every successful renovation project is an organised, hardworking, proactive project manager. Fundamentally, ‘someone’ has to co-ordinate, monitor and control the time, cost, quality and risk of the project. In this workshop, James Bryden will look to provide a glimpse of what’s involved, to help determine who the best ‘someone’ for your project might be and the main areas that you will need to focus on.

He will cover:

  1. What is a project manager? What attributes are required to successfully run a project? James will focus on key areas such as attitude towards risk, project drivers and project resources and challenge you to ask yourself if you are the best person to be the manager of your project.
  2. What does a PM do? You’ll explore the three pillars of project management, what are they and why they’re needed :
    • Managing Quality – The quality of your build is determined by a variety of actions. Most fundamental is the design. Reviewing and checking the design documentation is a key area to ensure that the detail is sufficient, consistent, accurate and clear to understand and follow by all onsite. The plans are the ‘hymn sheet’ all the trades will use. If any anomalies or errors get through, then the risk of mistakes being made is high (with resultant conflict and cost).
      James will look at how manage the quality of the design before you get to site and how to keep the quality level high once you’re in build.
    • The mantra is ‘design, design and more design’
    • Managing Cost - Ensuring that you spend what you thought you were going to spend is critical to the success of your project.
      James will look at ‘buying’ your project, the different routes and risks, budgeting and tendering (how to build up your price and how a builder builds up a price) and in build cost management
    • Managing Time – One of the most important elements of the planning and control process is preparing a realistic and detailed programme, and to then monitor and adjust it as the project progresses. Allowing sufficient time for the various tasks; including supplier, sub-contractor and contractual deadlines and building in contingencies, is all part of managing a project.
  3. What does a strong project team look like? This element looks at essential people to have & building your team to make sure you have the right people, doing the right job, in the right time frame for the right price.
  4. Risk management – what are project risks and how to mitigate them, contingency and insurances?
  5. Top project management tips! Three things that you MUST do to make your project a success.

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