We need to build better homes
Hello. I’m Ben Adam-Smith, a 39-year-old husband and dad, with a passion for better building. The UK has a proud construction heritage. Fantastic historic buildings lie around virtually every corner. So today’s trend for lazy, ugly and uninspiring housing developments that are thrown up in a flash really frustrate me.
So what is House Planning Help and why did I create it? Well, do you have 40 seconds to watch a video?
I’m a radio presenter by trade. But after 15 years on air – which I loved – I got laid off. You might be surprised to hear this, but it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me. As a radio presenter, I had tunnel vision. Everything in my life revolved around generating content for my show. Finding time to do anything else was a challenge.
So when I was forced to turn the mic down, I found I had all the time in the world to think. And I realised it was the perfect opportunity to explore another passion of mine and head off in a new direction.
I’ve always loved buildings and consider myself really lucky to have grown up in a country with such a rich architectural history. That’s why modern developments frustrate me so much. I haven’t liked any of the new housing that’s popped up in my local area in the past few years. I don’t think it benefits our town; the designs are ugly and don’t complement the amazing historical buildings that make my town so special.
This construction contradiction helped me determine my new direction. I decided that I’d make it my major purpose in life to discover whether we could be building better homes. It’s also a personal goal of mine to complete my own self build or renovation project.
Why House Planning Help?
I’ve set up this website to store everything I learn about building better homes – and by doing that, I hope it’ll be useful for you.
Whenever anyone tackles their first self build or renovation project they have to unearth a huge amount of new knowledge. I started in exactly that position – as a beginner. I’m still learning, of course, but there are some good reasons why the advice my website offers is useful, trusted and valuable.
Firstly, most of the information comes from experts that I interview – passionate people who have a lifetime of experience to share. I’ve now spoken to more than 100 experts – and the numbers keep on rising. Another reason our content is relevant and worthwhile is because we have a large community of professionals who are reading it.
When they disagree with something, they tell us. If they think we’ve left something out, they tell us. As I meet or discover interesting people I’ll continue to write blogs and broadcast podcasts to allow you to learn the same things that I am.
You can also sign up to a special e-learning programme, called the Hub, which tackles self building and renovating in a simple, step-by-step way.
Yes, I’m fairly new to all this. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked out a few things already. Over the past couple of centuries, we’ve exploited the earth’s resources and we have to realise that this can’t go on forever.
I imagine most of us think this won’t affect our lives. Wrong. It’s happening right now. Fuel is more expensive than it was 10 years ago. With the world’s population still increasing and fossil fuels dwindling, don’t bank on it getting any cheaper. There is hope though – 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.
If you like what you’ve read, then why not subscribe to our email newsletter. You’ll receive more great content which isn’t available on the website. Plus, you can download a copy of my eBook, which aims to get you thinking about whether you’re up for the challenge of building your own home.
Thanks for visiting the website and checking out what we’re doing at House Planning Help. We have big plans for where we want to go, so it means a lot to us that you want to get in touch – and be a part of our journey.