Build It Reader Day

by Anna-Marie DeSouza
27th June 2014

From an expert seminar on architecture to a guided timber frame factory tour, Build It magazine’s latest reader day was an information-packed event. In addition to the educational aspects of the day, it proved to be a fantastic forum for a group of prospective self builders to get together and discuss plans for their future homes. For me it was the perfect opportunity to find out more about what our readers are interested in and what they are hoping to achieve – and after looking at a few sets of plans, some stunning and efficient homes will soon be built!

Held in association with Frame Wise at their HQ in Powys, visitors enjoyed meeting some of Build It’s editorial team including architect Julian Owen and project management specialist Charlie Laing. Master classes were held on how to formulate a design plan, how to hire and work with an architect as well as debates on the best ways to organise and run your project. BuildStore finance expert Thomas McSherry held workshops on mortgages and budgets, and Simon Orrells MD of Frame Wise discussed building with structural timber.

In the afternoon there was time for networking and one-to-one sessions with the experts as well as a series of guided factory tours – where participants could see exactly how Frame Wise’s various systems are put together. One of the visitor’s said: “We can now fully understand how a timber frame home is produced, piece by piece – it’s fascinating really. Unless you get the opportunity to visit a factory like this, you can’t really get to grips with the elements that go into making your home and how energy efficient and well insulated the structure can be.”

Above: Julian Owen offered his expert advice on design, as well as discussing how to hire and work with an architect and how to formulate a design plan to suit your style and budget

Above: Project management expert Charlie Laing was on hand to discuss how to organise and run your scheme, as well as giving the attendees some top tips on getting through the planning process

Above: Frame Wise’s Simon Orrells discussed how various types of timber frame system work and advised on what the benefits of each are

Above: BuildStore’s Thomas McSherry held a number of one-to-one sessions to advise self builders on finance options and how to set a realistic budget

Above: Visitors brought their plans in to get some expert advice on their own self build. Here, Simon discusses how this couple’s project could be achieved using timber frame

Above & below: Guided factory tours were one of the day’s many highlights

If you want to find out more about Build It’s reader events or would like to tell us what you’d like to see at the next one, email us at

Author: Anna-Marie DeSouza

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