NaCSBA member Potton is celebrating its 60th year in the timber frame business with its first open day in 2024 on Saturday 6th January at its St Neots show centre

The day is a packed overview of the entire build process when building with Potton, ideal for novice and serial self builders. As well as the opportunity to see the range of show homes on the site, visitors can drop in, without an appointment, to have a chat and their questions answered.

Potton’s self-build consultants will be in the Gransden to offer expert advice informally, or with one-to-one sessions, and there is a programme of morning talks visitors can join.

Seminar timetable
10.40am – 11.20am Build & Budget. An overview of the self build process.

11.40am – 12.20pm Timber frame or SIPS  Discover the pros and cons of these different build systems and the benefits of offsite construction.

12.40pm – 1.20pm Designing your dream home. A step-by-step guide to designing your ideal home, including the local authority planning context, approvals and tailoring your home to your needs.

Plus on the day, each show house a specialist in it acting as a hub with the: Design Hub in The Milchester, the Land Hub in the Wickhambrook, the Build Hub in The Elsworth.

Plus you’ll get the chance to raise a glass of fizz to Potton to celebrate it’s 60th year!

Sign up for Potton’s Self Build Day on 6 January


Join self build specialists AC Architects to unlock the secrets to self build success on its monthly Self-Build Hour webinar series.

For 15 years AC Architects has been helping self builders realise their dream, and, for the webinars, it has a pool of experienced employees and associates ready to share their knowledge each month, supported with a Q&A session.

Each month a self build expert will be live via Microsoft Teams at 1 pm on the second Thursday of every month, starting this November, dealing with a range of topics, such as:

Sign up to hear about each monthly webinar on AC Architects’ website. 


First Webinar: Introduction to Self Building
Date: 09.11.23
Expert: Jason Orme

Jason Orme is the Editorial Director of Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, with two decades of experience in self building and renovations, who started his own self build journey at  28 and has since worked on several homes. If your keen to find out more about self building,  join Jason for an insider’s guide, including the key steps, choices and pros and cons.

Upcoming topics:

About AC Architects

As well as designing and supporting the delivery of homes, AC Architects is committed to educating people about the choices involved in self building, including via its popular blog.

ACA is also involved with in-person seminars at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon and a range of self build shows throughout the year, as well as having offices in Dunfermline and at the NSBRC.

NaCSBA member Beattie Passive is running a pair of free Passive Haus training events in October to support anyone considering adopting a passive methodology for their new build or retrofit project. One event is curated with self builders in mind and the other is designed to support professionals working in the sector.

Offsite modular specialist Beattie Passive, a member of the Passivhaus Trust, the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) and the Good Homes Alliance, is holding the Passivhaus events at its offsite factory in Norwich.

The sessions offer attendees an insight into the principles of Passivhaus and how the standard can be applied to deliver energy efficient, net zero homes.

The sessions also include a guided tour of Beattie Passive’s 100,000 sq ft housebuilding factory.


Wednesday 11th October, 10am-12pm, Beattie Passive’s factory at Unit 1, Carrow Works, Norwich, NR1 2DD

This event has been specifically designed for self-builders that are interested in the energy and carbon-saving benefits of Passivhaus.

Attendance is free, but space is strictly limited, so register early to avoid disappointment.


Beattie Passive also has a second event for professionals interested in learning more about passive approaches to building:


17th of October, 10am-12pm, at Beattie Passive’s factory at Unit 1, Carrow Works, Norwich, NR1 2DD

This session is designed for local authorities, housing providers, policy makers, architects, builders, developers, and anyone else with an interest in building new net zero homes to Passivhaus standard (or retrofitting their existing housing stock to EnerPHit standard).


Ron Beattie, founder and managing director of Beattie Passive, said: “These events are part of our mission to promote sustainable building practices. Passivhaus has become synonymous with energy efficiency, and for good reason – a Passivhaus needs as little as 10% of the energy required by a conventional UK home – but we shouldn’t overlook the other benefits, such as thermal comfort, noise reduction and air quality.”

“Passivhaus is a panacea for many of the challenges facing the housebuilding sector – it can put an end to fuel poverty, raise living standards and eliminate damp and mould. At our net zero event, we’ll be paying particular attention to the environmental benefits of Passivhaus, and the role the standard plays in the delivery of net zero homes and retrofit projects.”

Grand Designs Live is back at the NEC in Birmingham on the 4-8 October, with a new show house forming the entrance to the halls.

Hosted by energy supplier OVO, the Grand Ideas House is a brand new showpiece that all visitors pass through as they enter the show. The house showcases innovative designs and materials, together with plenty of insight on ways to decarbonise your home by using renewable energy, such as air source heat pumps like Valliant’s (shown above).

Beyond the focus on decarbonisation include products such as ice baths, innovative materials, kitchens and a cinema room.

As always, there is a big focus on simplifying self build at at Grand Designs Live with lectures and a chance to hear from some of the self build stars of Grand Designs. Plus there is plenty of inspiration on interiors, exteriors, kitchens and bathrooms and innovative new products.

Check out Green Living Live, which runs alongside Grand Designs Live, for insight from eco experts and systems to future proof your house’s energy needs, and our favourite, Kevin’s Green Heroes.

Self Build Portal users can grab two free tickets using the code NACSBA23

Timber frame manufacturer Oakwrights specialises in oak framed buildings, which are held in high value for their timeless appeal by many self builders. If you want to find out more Oakwrights has a series of open days coming up in the summer for anyone wanting to experience its builds first hand.

Self builders considering an oak frame can visit the home of a self builder on the 2-3 June in Hampshire or Ayrshire, or in Herefordshire on 14-15 July to see two cottage-style oak frame homes close up.

The open days give you an opportunity to visit a real home built to the specification of its owners, with the self-builders introducing their project, sharing experiences and tips to support you in deciding whether timber frame is right for you.

As well as the owners, there will be a team member from Oakwrights available to answer your questions about building with oak.

On the 2nd and 3rd June you can choose to join Oakwrights in either Hampshire where you will meet homeowners Neil and Linn (whose home is pictured), or Ayrshire where you will meet builders Karen and Iain.

Alternatively, on  the 14-15 July Oakwrights’ head office in Herefordshire will be open, where self-builders Charlie and Helen, and Craig and LB will open the doors to their homes, Church Cottage and Manuka Cottage.

In addition and available on request, visitors book to see our Show Home ‘The Woodhouse’ and join an organised tour of our the workshops where the oak frames and encapsulation panels are prefabricated.

More sites will be open in Autumn, including in Warwickshire, Essex and Ayrshire – visit the Events page for details.

Custom build with Oakwrights

In addition to one off self builds, Oakwrights also has a range of custom build sites with plot opportunities for under between 2-10 homes, find out more the plot opportunities on offer on its website. 

To reflect the current appetite for energy saving measures, the September SelfBuild & Design South West will feature a brand new Green Home & Energy Efficiency area, dedicated to showcasing eco-friendly products and services from companies that put sustainability at the heart of their business.

At a time when the cost of living and the price of energy is soaring, this new feature will bring together a host of brands with expertise covering many aspects of the eco-home and eco-building.

Attendees at the show will be able to find out more about sustainable building materials and methods, insulation products and heating and renewable energy systems. In addition, they can find out more about and electric car-charging equipment works, especially pertinent as now all new homes must have, where possible, a car charging point. This falls under Part S of the updated building regulations, with many measures now included to ensure that new homes produce less carbon emissions.

As well as exhibitors, there will be a host of Green Homes & Energy Efficiency talks throughout the weekend on green energy, energy efficiency and sustainable building methods, including Dr Richard Lowes advising on how to retrofit an existing building to improve energy efficiency.

With 18 speakers delivering 30 free seminars and masterclasses over the weekend, visitors will also be able to learn more about smart control, tips for working with architects, planning, plot finding and hear first-hand experience of a build from fellow self builders.

Look out for the Green Home icon across the SelfBuild & Design Show website to discover talks and exhibitors who are part of the feature.

The SelfBuild & Design Show South West takes place at Westpoint Arena, Exeter on 10th and 11th September.

Self Build Portal users can register for two free tickets for the show!

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) runs a calendar of invaluable training events, both live from its Swindon base, and online, meaning that anyone can join. NaCSBA is delighted to be teaming up with the NSBRC for a brand new online surgery – Grants, Legislation and Latest News on 23 June, 19:00-20:00.

The online surgery sessions are part of the NSBRC’s 15 year celebrations, and this session provides would-be builders with a focused update on the political and legislative factors affecting self-builders today. Right now, there’s never been more high-level support for custom and self builders, creating a favourable climate for anyone wanting to build.

During the event, NaCSBA CEO, Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, will be offering updates on the following areas:

The surgery also includes a Q&A slot where you can raise your own issues.

Book your free ticket

NaCSBA’s aim is to make custom and self build a mainstream choice for all those seeking a home of their own, and shares the NSBRC’s own vision of helping people enjoy better homes.

The NSBRC has a host of other training courses and sessions, essential guidance for anyone setting out on a project of their own. Other events for summer include a Planning Surgery, Virtual Renovation Course and Ask An Architect appointments.

Find the full list on its website. 

Head to the National Self Build and Renovation Centre for its show on Friday 16-Sunday 18 October, which is one of the few shows still running a live event.

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre is a permanent exhibition space dedicated to self building, with permanent stands and educational exhibits helping you to navigate the process of self building or renovating a home.

The show is the ideal event to meet experts and see and test products in a spacious and relaxing setting – with measures in place to ensure social distancing requirements are met.

The show offers something for everyone, no matter what stage you are at with your project – whether you are still at the early planning stage or part way through.

The centre has experts on hand with offering a range of advice, from finding a plot and arranging your finances to deciding on the best building method for you. As well as lots of information about heating systems, green building and more.


National Self Build & Renovation Show:

When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th October

Time: Fri & Sat: 9:00am – 5:00pm; Sun: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Where: NSBRC, Just off M4 Junction 16, Swindon, SN5 8UB

Tickets: Free in advance, £12 on the door.

Get your free tickets



Special measures have been put in place to ensure the NSBRC and show safeguard its visitors, exhibitors and staff. It is working hard to ensure it complies with current guidelines and as such this show will be a little different from previous events.

In order to maintain social distancing, the centre is reducing the capacity of the event and requires all attendees to book in advance on this occasion. Tickets are limited to a maximum of 2 adult members per household, and children must remain with their parents at all times.

Additional measures have been implemented for the safety of all, which will be explained on the day.

The team behind Homebuilding & Renovating has launched a Virtual Summer Event on the 24 to 25 July, bringing you the best bits from a self build and homes show, but from the safety of your home.

Just because live events and shows are currently on hold due to the Coronavirus crisis, it doesn’t mean that you have to put your project on hold. With the Homebuilding & Renovating Virtual Summer Show everything you need for your home project is just a click away.

Homebuilding and Renovating has taken the decision to transfer everything that people know and love about its Homebuilding and Renovating Shows and transfer it to the digital world.

Secure your place today – for FREE

What does a virtual event look like?

The team has worked to ensure the online event isn’t just a website. Instead, the Virtual Summer Event offers you all the things you would see at a live Homebuilding & Renovating Show.

Visitors can click through and virtually browse what’s available in the auditorium, then select a category of interest to be transported into the virtual exhibition hall, containing all the exhibitor stands within your chosen category.

From there you can take a look around, watch demonstration videos, download brochures, live chat and do all the things you would at a live event, but from the comfort of your own home.

One of the features our visitors love about our events are the informative seminars and masterclasses, they’re always jam packed with people like you finding out information delivered by our expert panel of Builders, Architects, Planners and experienced developers.

The virtual event is no exception, you will be able to attend sessions about planning advice, kitchen and bathroom design, how to find land and much more. We will be bringing you a varied timetable across 4 theatres, where you can join as many sessions as you want, and even dip in and out over the 2 days, plus the content will be available for 4 weeks after the event.

Keep your project on track by attending the virtual event, for free, over 2 days on the 24th and 25th July.

The live show runs for two days, and the platform will stay live with videos and other content for four weeks afterwards, too.

The National Self Build and Renovation Centre has responded to the stay-at-home measures proactively by offering a suite of online courses, ensuring that Covid-19 doesn’t halt prospective self-builders’ ambitions to hone their skills and knowledge. The new programme of online content will help anyone with a project to keep their homebuilding project on track.

Katy Hardwick, NSBRC Course Coordinator said, “I am delighted to announce that we will be adding to our online offerings by launching the first of our Virtual Courses in May. We feel this is a great step forward and are pleased to help you research and plan for your projects whilst at home.”

The NSBRC Guide to Project Management

This course is essential for anyone considering their first self build, home improvement, loft conversion or renovation project. Covering everything from budgeting, insurance and site management through to health & safety, snagging and VAT reclaim.

Delivered on Zoom, over three 2 hour modules, this online course is delivered by experienced Project Manager, Charlie Laing. Charlie has presented NSBRC courses for several years and is Director at CLPM Ltd, a specialist project management business.

Course cost: £59pp

Date: starts Wednesday 13th May.



The NSBRC Guide to Renovation Projects

Our Renovation Course is delivered by NSBRC Helpdesk Expert, David Hilton. David is an authority in sustainable building and energy efficiency, with extensive knowledge in building fabrics and heating systems.

As part of the course, David will also guide you through the NSBRC’s own fantastic Renovation House where you can watch the theory come to life.

Delivered on Zoom, over three 2 hour modules, this online course is delivered by experienced expert, David Hilton. David has been involved at the NSBRC for many years and also presents our Eco Workshops and the NSBRC Guide to Heating Your Home.

Course cost: £59pp

Date: starts Thursday 14th May



The NSBRC Guide to Heating Your Home

This Course has been designed specifically for Self Builders and Home Renovators and explores the latest options in heat and energy sources, both renewable and conventional systems.

Our Heating Your Home Course is delivered by NSBRC Helpdesk Expert, David Hilton. David is an authority in sustainable building and energy efficiency, with extensive knowledge in building fabrics and heating systems.

As part of the course, David will also guide you through the NSBRC’s ‘Plant Room’ within our fantastic Renovation House where you can watch the theory come to life.

Delivered on Zoom, over three 2 hour modules, this online course is delivered by experienced expert, David Hilton. David has been involved at the NSBRC for many years and also presents our Eco Workshops and the NSBRC Guide to Renovation Projects.

Course cost: £59pp

Date: starts Friday 22nd May.



Ask an Architect: Free online consultations

If you have any of these issues, then you may be interested in our online ‘Ask an Architect’ sessions. Working with The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) we are offering a free personal consultation with an architect to discuss ideas for designing and building your own home, or renovating or reconfiguring your existing home, in a no-obligation 25-minute virtual meeting.

Meetings will take place using Zoom and we will arrange everything for you.

Bookings MUST be made in advance. Please contact Deanah with your contact details to secure your personal consultation:

Course cost: Free

Date: Saturday 16th May



Passivhaus Workshop

The Passivhaus standard is designed to deliver comfort, quality and lower running costs, in any type of building. We spend most of our time indoors, so buildings play an important part in our health and wellbeing.

The most successful and cost-effective way of achieving Passivhaus is by incorporating the standard before your designs are complete. It’s also useful if the Passivhaus elements are included in your planning application.

Take advantage of this free workshop and ensure you have the right team behind you for your Passivhaus home.

This ‘virtual’ workshop will offer a full timetable of talks & webinars, question time sessions and live guided tours from the NSBRC across various platforms.

Workshop Highlights:

Course cost: Free

Date: ‘Virtual’ Event – Fri. 15th & Sat. 16th May



Virtual Enquiries

To further support users, the NSBRC has set up a ‘virtual enquiry’ service, where you can request information from centre exhibitors from the comfort of your home.
We’ve launched our new offering. Simply provide a few details, choose the companies you want to hear from, and we’ll pass your enquiry directly to our exhibiting partners.

Our exhibitors are listed by segmentation. Just click on the + sign to expand each group, letting you view all of our exhibitors who can help with that particular area.

Follow the simple 3-step process:

Alternatively, you can also visit our exhibitors individual profile pages to find out more information about them, and fill in the ‘quick enquiry’ form to request information from that specific business.