Hello, my name is Ben Adam-Smith and I’m 39 years old.

If this is your first visit to House Planning Help, you may be wondering what this is all about. Well, do you have 40 seconds to watch a video? I recorded this in August 2012, aged 36!

I’m actually a radio presenter by trade! I’ve spent the last 15 years working for various commercial radio stations in the UK – which I have loved – but I got laid off from my last job (in March 2012). The funny part is that it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me. You see, as a radio presenter I had tunnel vision and everything in my life revolved around generating content for my radio show. Finding the time to do anything else was a challenge. So when it came to an end and I had all the time in the world to think, I suddenly realised that this was the perfect opportunity to explore another passion of mine and head off in a new direction.

I have always been someone who loves buildings and I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in a country with so much history. Admittedly, up until now, my only involvement with houses was looking at them! What if I could get involved in another way? On the flip side of the coin, I really haven’t liked any of the new housing that has popped up in my local area. I may be alone but I don’t think it benefits our town; the designs look ugly and don’t compliment the amazing place we have. That’s when I decided that my definite major purpose in life was going to be discovering whether we could be building better homes. It is also a personal goal of mine to complete a self build or renovation project before I turn 40 in August 2016.


Why House Planning Help?

Do you ever get that feeling in life, that everything you have learnt up to this point will stand you in good stead in the future? Well, that’s exactly how I feel. I’ve set up this website to store everything I learn and by doing that, I hope it’ll be useful for you. Whenever anyone tackles their first self build or renovation they have to increase their knowledge and I start in exactly that position… as a beginner. Will I say stupid things? Probably. However, it may well help you accelerate your learning if I make the mistakes for you.

You’re probably thinking that if I know nothing about building, then how will I have any clue that the information on this website is useful, let alone good advice. There are two answers to that. Firstly, I’m interviewing experts, the people who have a lifetime of experience to share. Secondly, as already seems to be the case, there will be a community of professionals who are reading this information. Who knows why they are here, but I’m really happy they are. If they disagree with something, they will tell us. If they think we’ve left something out, they will tell us. In fact, they probably won’t let this website be filled with rubbish!

I’m letting this grow very organically. As I meet or discover interesting people I’m going to do my best to get them to speak to us on the podcast. This is the main source of the information at this stage and the material you find on the website is only what we have learned from our guests, although it may be written in the form of an article to attract new search engine traffic. As this project develops I hope to invite guest bloggers and create video tutorials… anything that can make learning about this subject slightly easier. It’s all very exciting!


Eco Homes

Yes, I’m a beginner but that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked out a few things already. Over the last couple of centuries we have exploited the earth’s resources and we have to realise that this cannot go on forever. I imagine most of us think that this is not something that will affect our lives. Wrong! It’s happening right now. Fuel is more expensive now than it was 10 years ago. With the world population still increasing and fossil fuels dwindling, don’t bank on it getting cheaper in the next 10 years! There is hope though. There is a route away from our fuel dependency and it starts with creating buildings which are more sustainable and energy efficient. That’s why I think there is little point in researching anything other than eco homes.


So that’s pretty much it for the ‘About’ page. Please feel free to subscribe to the email newsletter to receive more great content which is not available on the website, plus you can download a copy of my eBook, designed to get you thinking about whether you’re up for the challenge of building your own home.