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

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Self-build 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 Understanding the self-build sector

Expert: Sally Tagg

There is a well-documented housing crisis in this country. Housing building with regard to the number of units being delivered falls well short of the annual requirement nationwide. The new housing market is dominated by a small number of large nationwide housebuilders, however their products are seen by many as not providing value for money or properties to meet their needs.

The self-build sector allows people to bring forward cost effective developments which are design to meet their every need. As such the sector has been recognised by the Government as an important component in assisting with housing delivery with an overarching aim to delivery 20,000 self-build dwellings built per year by 2020. In order to assist delivery of self-build housing there have been new elements of legislation and new guidance which are designed to boost delivery and help keep self-building affordable.

The workshop will provide an essential overview with regard to:

  • An introduction to custom and self-build
  • A review of key planning legislation concerning self-build
  • Explaining 'The right to build'
  • The different types of self-build projects
  • Examples of self-build projects
  • An overview at how national and local planning policy affects self-build

Once you understand the background and the sector you can focus on the detailed issue and the type of project that you may wish to undertake.


10:45 - 11:45 Plot finding and the planning process

Expert: Sally Tagg

The biggest drawback in terms of a self-build development is finding land. There of course plots with planning permission available for sale across the country, however you pay a premium for land that can be developed right away. So if you have a limited budget with regard to purchasing land how do you find, assess and procure a suitable site for your project without being left with a white elephant and a worthless field?

The plot finding and planning workshop will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to enable participants to:

  • Understand the sources of land and plots
  • Establish which planning policies are relevant
  • Consider the principle of development
  • Evaluate and assess a site and its constraints
  • Overcome or mitigate constraints
  • Appreciate the planning process and its pitfalls


12:15 - 13:00 New builds are beautiful: An architect’s take on how to successfully build your new home


Through the discussion of two award-winning projects, award-winning architect and new build expert Phil Coffey will outline the process for building your own new home.

You will be walked through the journey of choosing an architect and a site, outlining a budget and programme, writing a brief, submitting and receiving planning, and the actual construction of your dream home. Case studies include the Modern Detached and Hidden House, recent recipients of the RIBA Regional awards.

There will be time for Q&A with Phil Coffey.


14:45 - 15:45 How to budget and finance your custom or self-build 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!

Specialist Knowledge, Banks and Building Societies appetite to lend including lending on Eco Projects. Affordable and Responsible Lending – discussion on affordability. Typical application process and indication of supporting documentation a Bank or Building Society may request. Indicative Stage Release Funding from land purchase through to the completion of the Build Project. Indicative loan to value / loan to purchase price, the lower of the two on land / existing structure purchase. Knock Down and Replace / Rebuild a property; discuss the Low Point Value! Sticking to Budget!! Cash Project Management. Understand Construction Contracts. Paying for materials in Advance - How to conduct Due Diligence on material suppliers!

  • 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
  • Contingency
  • Reclaim of VAT
  • Stamp Duty

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!


16:15 - 17:00 How to manage your custom or self-build project

Expert: James Bryden

Behind every successful selfbuild 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.


17:15 - 18:00 Self-build energy efficiency: What strategies and materials are cost effective and eco-friendly

Expert: David Hilton

This workshop introduces you to the products and materials available in the market place and puts them into context. It also discusses the decision making process required to correctly specify appropriate products for your home. You will learn how to define what is important in your energy efficient project and the details that are important when developing the brief. I will explain the pros and cons of various technologies and materials that are available as well as alternative procurement and project management routes and which trades are required to install them. Selfhelp tools and websites are discussed to assist you in making informed decisions.

  • Defining a successful eco project
  • What building materials are available
  • What technologies are available
  • Procurement and project management strategies
  • Who does what
  • How much might it cost
  • What design tools and websites are available for research

You will have a better knowledge of how to develop a brief, better understand some of the materials and technologies available and gain insight into how all the details come together

Turn your dream into a reality

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