Shows update: new dates for events affected by Coronavirus

Nothing more needs to be said about the devastating effects of Coronavirus for 2020, but self builders and suppliers are a resourceful, and resilient bunch. For some the changes are dramatic, and the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) wishes the very best to anyone or any business personally affected by the situation.

With regards to shows and industry events, many have been postponed due to safety concerns around the virus, so we’ve provided a run-down of the affected shows to help you, see below.

Enforced time in

If you are stuck indoors with an unexpected amount of time on your hands why not make the most of it and research in depth into a custom or self build project. NaCSBA knows that those people that research the most end up making the best, and most cost effective decisions. So use your enforced time in to plan something to look forward to, for when things return back to a bit of normality.

Take a look around the Self Build Portal’s Get Support section for help and advice around the entire process of self building, or have a look in some case studies for inspiration.

Don’t forget, the homes magazines all have brilliant websites packed with help and advice, such as Homebuilding & Renovating, Build It, Self Build & Design and Grand Designs. Or if you prefer to sit with something physical, why not get a magazine subscription – Self Build Portal users can access great subs offers if they register!

Currently, many newsagents, such as WH Smiths, are closed, meaning that getting single copies of a magazine may be more difficult to do. But Self Build & Design have come up with a brilliant solution – offering its current issue for free as a digital product on its website for the duration of the isolation period. Fantastic to see self builders still coming up with great alternative ideas!

And if you fancy some inspirational from a wider selection of have a look around LoveProperty or Dezeen for some exciting design ideas, as well as find many self build companies on instagram: Homebuilding & Renovating, Build It, Self Build & Design and Grand Designs

While you’re looking why not set up a pinterest account and create your own online mood board of things you love. Lot’s of amazing designers, self build companies and regular people have great accounts that you can use to give you inspiration, and you can create a virtual mood board of looks and likes for your own project.

If you are after specific advice, the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon has now closed for visits, but instead has set up a virtual enquiry service. All you need to do is fill in an online form which has the different categories of exhibitors, which you can select to receive information from them.

New dates for shows

The National Self Build & Renovation Show at the NSBRC, Swindon, is now 25-26 July, as opposed to 16-17 May. Read more.

Homebuilding & Renovating Show, NEC, Birmingham – now 9-13 July instead of 26-29 March. New tickets will be emailed out – visit the FAQs page for more.

National Custom and Self Build Week – is now 24-28 August 2020, instead of 4-8 May

Grand Designs Live, Excel – now 22-31 August 2020, instead of 2-10 May. Existing ticket holders can use their tickets at the London event in August, or transferred to Grand Designs Live, NEC, in Birmingham on 7-11 October. Find out more.

Build It Live, Bicester – now 19-20 September instead of 6-7 June. Tickets from the earlier dates are valid for the new dates. Find out more here.

In addition:
‘Passivhaus Workshop’ at the NSBRC, Swindon is now on the 15-16 May, instead ofthe 3-4 April



Stay safe, and keep planning!


Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

National Custom and Self Build Week & Grand Designs Live: 22-31 August

Grand Designs Montage

Not to be beaten by Coronavirus, the National Custom and Self Build Week has moved from its traditional May date to coincide with the rescheduled Grand Designs Live with the week running between the 24-28 August, while Grand Designs Live runs from 22-31 August at London’s Excel.

Following the success of last year, NaCSBA will be on site at the show throughout the week taking part in the Self Build Clinic, as well as joining Grand Designers on the Grand Theatre stage as they discuss their projects. So if you’ve a question about your project or simply want to know how to get started, come along to the Ask the Experts area of the show and come say hi.

TIP – the Ask the Experts area gets booked up quickly, so head there first to book a time slot, then return when you’ve had a chance to look around the show.

National Custom and Self Build Week 2020 is focussing on helping people get started on their journey to creating their own home. This could be a self build where they commission everything themselves, as well as finding the plot, or custom build, where they buy a plot with planning in place. Whichever route suits your needs, the first step is always to sign up to your local Right to Build register via the Right to Build Portal. This is crucial, as it helps councils assess local demand, which they consider when fulfilling their wider housing and planning duties.

This year Grand Designs boasts a range of new exhibitors and features, as well as all popular favourites, with design guru and TV broadcaster, Kevin McCloud leading the event. From renovation, building a new home, redecorating a room, installing a new kitchen or simply looking for ideas, Grand Designs Live offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the world of interiors, design and self‐build. Covering Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Gardens and Interiors the show will offer access to amazing brands launching new products, talks live from industry experts and homewares not yet available on the high street.

Self Build Portal users can get free tickets for the show using the code NACSBA, either for the weekend dates or the week dates when the Self Build Clinic is on.

Get your Grand Designs Live Tickets 

Existing ticket holders for the May show can find out how to use their tickets at the August show here.



Join RUSS on a guided tour of Bristol’s exemplary community led housing schemes

St Werburgs

RUSS (Rural Urban Synthesis Society), the Lewisham-based community-led self-build housing group, is leading a tour to some of Bristol’s most innovative community-led housing schemes. The trip offers a chance to get up close to the schemes and meet some of the residents, find out about their own journeys and how best practice has emerged.

RUSS’s School of Community-led Housing offers individuals, community groups and housing professionals the chance to learn from RUSS’s years of experience and gain information about how to set up a community-led housing project. The the trip is part of its work to educate around self build and community-led housing.

Bristol is one of the best places in the UK to go to see great examples of community-led housing in England, and RUSS School participants can now see for themselves on this exclusive tour of some of the most developed and inspiring community-led housing schemes in the country.

The one day visit will include:

  • Ashley Vale/The Yard – a self-build development, now home of Ecomotive, Bristol CLT and the Bristol CLH Hub
  • Bridge Farm – a new self-build community and a new type of social housing hinged around a renovated farmhouse and outbuildings
  • The Courtyard – Bristol’s first purpose built co-housing project.

DATE 10 August 2019

TIME 10-5pm, excluding travel times

TICKETS £25 including booking fee and VAT – includes entry but not rail travel or taxis so these will need to be bought by attendees (taxis are expected to be no more than £15 pp if used – it is possible to walk between the residential sites. Ashley Vale to the Courtyard is about 10 minutes walk. The walk to Bridge Farm is about 20-30 minutes.)

LUNCH Lunch is included in the ticket price, provided by Ashley Vale residents. When booking please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

TRAVEL The group will be taking an 8.30 train from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads – you are advised to buy your ticket as soon as possible as prices will rise. From Temple Meads we will share taxis to Ashley Vale and then on to the other sites. Return to London is expected at about 6pm.

If you do not wish to take the train you are welcome to make your own car sharing arrangements. There is no parking in the Yard but there is free parking in the residential sites nearby.

Book your place on Eventbrite 

Lancaster City Council’s Self-Build and Community Build Event

Lancaster Self Build Event

Lancaster City Council is holding an information evening for prospective self and community builders on Thursday 20th June 2019 at The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster.

Starting at 6pm with presentations from an architect, Lancaster planning, a self-builder and Action with Communities who offer help and advice for community builders. This will be followed by exhibitors and the chance to get advice from planners, architects, passive, eco and modular house suppliers and builders including Beattie Passive, The Green Build Store, Hartwyn Eco Build and Simply Modular, The Penrith Building Society, Action for Communities and the Community Land Trust.

To find out more and register for the event visit Lancaster City Council’s dedicated page.

If your company provides goods and services which may be of interest to self-builders and would like to exhibit at the event please email,


Save the date – National Custom and Self Build Week: 6-12 May 2019

Grand Designs Live theatre

Save the date for National Custom and Self Build Week 2019, running between the 6-12 May this year. NaCSBA is organising a series of events around the week to celebrate the best of custom and self build and showcase some of the companies and projects that can support and inspire you with your own dream project.

National Custom and Self Build Week is the perfect opportunity to share the message that the first step for anyone considering a tailored home is to sign up to their local Right to Build registers, via the Right to Build Portal and join the 40,000 people that have signed up to show their councils that they want the chance to self build!

A core element of the week is the five-day event running as part of Grand Design’s Live, where each weekday a NaCSBA specialist will be on the main stage sharing tips and advice about self building, with a special focus on Busting the Myths that Self Build is Challenging!

Each day there will also be the chance to ask your self build questions to a NaCSBA representative in the Ask the Experts area of the show, getting tailored support for your dream home project.

As we get closer to the week we’ll be sharing more information about the week’s events, but for now pop the week into your diary!


Gingerbread city showcases custom build homes from Urban Mesh Design

Urban Mesh at Gingerbread City

NaCSBA member Urban Mesh Design has joined a host of other architects, designers and engineers to create a custom build development in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s festive Gingerbread City project.

The Gingerbread City has become an annual fixture at the museum, bringing a fun seasonal attraction with a serious message of building better to improve how and where we live. Created by the Museum of Architecture, the exhibition is designed to connect the public with architecture, with this year’s theme of Imagining the Future City posing the question of what our cities could become with vision and enthusiasm.

Urban Mesh decided to create a custom build terrace of houses to publicise the route to ownership, with Custom Bake Close showing the diversity that custom building can bring to the housing market by giving more people a hand in designing or building their own home, of course with the support of NaCSBA – the National Custom and Self Bake Association! Consequently, its design for a terrace of customised homes features a range of designs and approaches to home ownership.

The exhibition includes a high-line with light rail, cable car and cycle paths, the Hot Cross Pub, cinema, bridges and more. Families can also take part in workshops to create their own edible buildings as part of this year’s show.

Urban Mesh at Gingerbread City  
The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City runs at the V&A from December 8-January 6,

Tickets cost: £6, with V&A Members and children under 12 free, and the event is in the Creative Studio, Level 4