nSBRC - Self Build and Renovation

Educational Zones at The National Self Build & Renovation Show


One of the most popular features at the National Self Build & Renovation Show is the opportunity to take a free, guided tour of our educational zones.

You’ll be led through every stage of the self build process by our experienced experts who are keen to share their knowledge and give you lots of practical tips and key takeaways relevant to your own project.

Our unique educational zones use life-size building sections and real products to bring to life the many options open to any self builder.



What you’ll discover on our FREE Educational Tours:

#1: Plant & Site Set Up Zone

Laid out before you is a collection of brightly coloured equipment that probably held you spell bound when you were very young - JCB’s, mixers, cranes and power tools. Well, you're going to fall in love with them all over again if you're taking on a self build project!

Before you get carried away though, there are more mundane matters to deal with like making sure that power and water is provided to the site, as no one will be able to start work without them!

During the tour we’ll also look at access, services, security, tree preservation orders, and radon barriers, amongst other things. 

#2: Groundworks Zone

After getting to grips with the set up, we'll stop at foundations and floors to demonstrate the different systems available. We'll also take you on a tour around the Underground Services before descending into the basement.

Foundations can be the most difficult part of a project to budget accurately. Soil plays an huge part in dictating your ultimate solution, and unless you have undertaken a soil investigation assessment you cannot fully determine the quantity of material required for your foundation design. The good news is there's always a solution for foundations.

We show examples of Deep Strip, Trenchfill, Raft, Piled and Screwpile foundation systems.

#3: Walls & Structures Zone

The external walling forms the enclosure, shape and character of your home. It defines the layout, provides the basic support for the structure and gives protection against the elements. Your choice of construction system will influence everything from the plan, budget and the energy performance of your finished home.

We'll take a walk around 8 different wall sections – Timber Frame, Passivhaus, ICF, Green Oak, Traditional Brick & Block, Timber ICF, Thin joint and SIP Panels – all combining with different external finishes and various internal plastering solutions.

Want to find out more?

DON'T MISS: ‘Battle of the Building Systems’ Question Time Session – 1:00pm each day in the Build It Theatre.

#4: Roof Zone

The roof is the crowning glory of any home and our Roof Zone comprises of four principal roof construction types.

Cut or traditional roof – Made on-site from sawn lumber. This is cheap on materials but expensive on labour and needs careful design and lateral support in the form of steel, timber or laminated timber purlins.

Attic Truss – Pre-fabricated trusses, with the supports positioned such that they can provide living space within the roof. A cost effective way to provide extra living space.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIP’s) – A sandwich of two sheets of boarding bonded to rigid foam insulation. Can provide clear living space and are energy efficient too.

Fink trusses – Pre-fabricated trusses, usually with a ‘W’ support structure within the external triangle. Economical and quick to erect but not suitable for occupation other than minimal storage.

#5: Services Zone

The Services Zone addresses the elements and the various options that will make your home work. The choice of fuel and the delivery method for heating and hot water can both have a direct impact on the performance rating of your home.

During the tour we’ll also look at renewable & conventional systems and water usage.

Want to find out more?

DON’T MISS: ‘NSBRC’s Guide to Heating your Home’ a free course taster talk with David Hilton at 3:30pm each day in the Sovereign Theatre.

#6: Finishes Zone

Once your main structure is completed the last stage of the build is traditionally called the finish or second fix.

The finishes to your house are very important, not only in conveying your chosen style but also the feeling of the quality of the build. In this product packed zone we'll explore the various options for all of the finishing touches, from windows and doors to architraves, mouldings, floors and stairs.


Our free guided tours must be booked on the day and places are limited, so please visit our booking desk on arrival to avoid disappointment.

With dozens of live demonstrations, seminars and discussions each day – and our most comprehensive line-up of experts ever – this really is an event not to be missed!


Book your FREE tickets to The National Self Build & Renovation Show now and save £12 per person!


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