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Self Build & Renovation Workshop, 16th - 17th April 2011

All the expert advice you could need!

New for 2011, the Self Build & Renovation Workshops aim to help all visitors understand exactly how to start and progress their own exciting projects.

Whether you're considering building a new house, bringing an old one up to date or converting a disused building to create a cosy family home, a day spent at one of these workshops will leave you feeling confident, inspired and keen to get going!

With a selection of industry experts, self build and renovation masterclasses, guided walking tours, over two hundred exhibitors and plenty of special features, the only problem is fitting it all in to one day.

Ask The Experts

As always, we'll have a great selection of experts ready and waiting to help you with your plans. From the Buildstore Finance, Land Finding, and Materials Purchasing specialists through to experienced architects, project management experts, planners, building control, eco technologies and sustainability advisers.

To make the most of the experts, bring along any ideas, sketches, drawings or plans you may already have - and if you're not that far along the process just come armed with all your questions!

Please note: Tickets are free when booked online in advance; otherwise you will need to pay for entry on the door. Book yours today!


Our masterclasses cover the entire self build and renovation process step by step, from start to finish; all are delivered by well-respected industry experts and most will offer a short question and answer session at the end of each seminar.

10.30 - 11.00 Step 1: Is It For Me?
A self build or major renovation project can be daunting. If you're still at the early stages, trying to work out whether it's right for you, then this seminar provides a vital overview.
11.00 - 11.30 Step 2: First Steps: Finding & Funding Your Project
It's important to get these first stages right as they will affect the rest of your build or renovation - and perhaps family life afterwards! The BuildStore experts discuss the methods of finding a plot of land or suitable renovation/conversion project and outline the different funding routes available to you.
12.30 - 13.00 Step 3: Design & Planning
How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Open plan or separate rooms? Integral garage? Which rooms need more sun? There are a huge number of decisions to be made when planning your new home! Hear how the experts tackle the process in this fantastic seminar.
13.00 - 13.30 Step 4: Finding Tradesmen & Purchasing Materials
Find out how to source materials cost-effectively and locate and manage your tradesmen; essential if you want your project to finish on time and come in on (or under) budget.
15.00 - 15.45 Step 5: Project Management
We've all seen self build horror stories on TV programmes like Grand Designs, but it really doesn't need to be that difficult! Our Project Management expert will take you through the dos and don'ts and help you decide whether it would suit you best to take the role on yourself or outsource it to a professional.
16.00 - 16.30 Step 6: Sustainable Building
Whether you're an eco enthusiast or are more sceptical about green issues, you'll still need to be aware of the most recent legislation regarding sustainability within self build and renovation projects. The eco experts will give a comprehensive overview of the key topics in this useful and informative seminar.

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Walk & Talk

Join a small group for an expert-led tour around either the self build or renovation exhibits. This is a great opportunity to get closer to the experts and develop your understanding of what goes into a successful home building or renovating project.

Walking seminars take place from 9.30am - 10.15am and 4.30pm - 5pm; places are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


We have over 200 companies displaying their products and services in the Trade Village exhibition area. You can search the entire list of them here.

Other Features

The National Self Build & Renovation Centre has been built on a scale previously unseen in the UK. Here you can walk through exhibits that explain - in exploded detail - every step of the self build and renovation processes.

Wolseley Building

The Wolseley Building has four key zones; the Wolseley Theatre, a Bathstore Showroom, a Moores Kitchen Showroom and a builders merchant branch area where visitors can place orders! The house has numerous different products installed for visitors to see in situ; many of these are 'eco' products such as LED lighting, sun scoops, thermowood timber cladding, sheepswool insulation and others.

Educational Journey

A fully guided audio tour taking you round a fantastic selection of life-sized exhibits, featuring cutaways of groundworks, foundations, walls, roofs and more. If you're considering self building then don't miss this!

Renovation House

Take a walk through the front doors of this full-size renovation project and see the house come to life before your eyes. The audio guide explains every step of the process to give you a deeper understanding of what a renovation project entails.

Potton Show House

Full of character and the latest technology, this show home is an inspiration to self builders, no matter what your tastes.

Outdoor Living Zone

Everything you could need to finish off the exterior of your home, from hard landscaping to living roofs, to the Potton Zone Studios.

Design Centre

Browse through hundreds of designs and get ideas for your own home.

Finance Zone

Speak to our specially trained self build & renovation finance advisors to find the best way of funding your project.


Search thousands of plots and renovation projects across the country, the first step to building your dream home!


Chat to our TradeCard advisors and learn how to save 1000s on materials.

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National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Lydiard Fields, Great Western Way, Swindon SN5 8UB T: 0845 223 4455 F: 01793 875111
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