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10-Point Guide to Making the Most of your Grand Designs Visit


Grand Designs Live provides a fantastic opportunity for visitors to explore their project ideas with various industry experts and designers during the show. However, to make the most out of your visit and ensure any advice and information you obtain is relevant to your project, it’s worth having some key material to hand during your visit. Here is our 10-point material guide to ensure you are fully prepared to make the most of Grand Designs Live 2022.


1. Accurate Address or Site Coordinates

This will enable us to instantly pull up aerial views of the site, explore the location and, identify any opportunities or constraints that appear on the surface.

2. Site Photos

Any site photos you have of the property or site will provide a good indication of its present condition and help us understand the level of works required.

3. Plot or House Plans

With even basic estate agent plans that demonstrate the different spaces and/or provide a rough idea of the size and scope of the site, a lot can be gleaned about the potential of a property or site. This will provide a good basis from which to design and advise from.

4. Project Aspirations

Why do you want to embark on this project, what is your end goal? What are your ‘must haves’ and what would be ‘nice to have’ but not necessarily essential? Write your requirements in a bullet-point format. Not only is this a great exploration exercise to help you gain clarity about your project requirements, it is also useful for us to help guide you in formulating an initial brief.

5. Example Images

Instagram, Pinterest and Property Magazines all provide good sources of inspiration for your project. Select 4-6 images of projects and/or property features that you like the look of and would be happy to see in your project. Images could be of a kitchen you love, windows you like the look of or even simply a door detail that’s caught your attention. This will give us an idea of your style and tastes: whether you like enclosure or expanse, colour or neutrality, traditional or modern features, any particular materials that you’re drawn to, and so on.

6. Timescales

By gaining an idea of how quickly you would like to progress your project, we will be able to advise you on the best next steps as well as flag up anything that may prevent you from achieving those timescales. Survey work required for planning is often one of the common holds ups for projects.

7. Budget

Although often a sensitive topic, having a guide on the available resources for your prospective project helps to manage expectations, provide appropriate design solutions, and guide the best approach to achieving your project aspirations.

8. Site Designations

Is your property Listed, is your site in a Conservation area or located in a Flood-zone? Any awareness of the immediate restrictions or local designations are important for developing an appropriate design for your site - this is one of the first exercises we do.

9. Site Challenges

Whether your site has resident bats, an important protected tree or restrictive access, knowledge of any unique aspects of your site can assist in understanding whether any specialist consultants are required, any design limitations that may impact your scheme or any particular routes required for consent by the Local Authority.

10. Interests and Lifestyle

Whether you enjoy entertaining, cooking, exercising, gardening, reading, swimming or simply unwinding at home, any information you can provide us with about your lifestyle, habits and interests, will help us make the best suggestions towards creating spaces that are specifically tailored to you and your unique requirements.


The more information you can collate, the more focused and effective your conversations will be during the show. However, we know that it's not always straight forward particularly if you are at the very earliest stage of considering a build project. For that reason, even two to three of the above pieces of information would be helpful to set some context for your project.

Are you considering a build project, perhaps a more spacious home for your growing family? We are pleased that this year, our team of talented architects and designers will be on hand offering ideas and advice to visitors at stand S1B. We are also offering a free, 20-minute Design Consultation Service to Grand Designs Live visitors throughout the show. If you would like to book an appointment and explore your project ideas with Ashman Architects, please click here to book your appointment or simply pop by stand S1B for a first come, first serve appointment during the show.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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