Homeowners are looking to build or renovate themselves out of the recession.

This was the message from several timber-based companies who exhibited at the leading self-build event, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show, held at the NEC on March 19-22 and featuring close to 500 exhibitors.

Despite a drop in visitor numbers, businesses reported a strong level of quality enquiries from a range of people, including self-builders, architects and trades people.

JELD-WEN said the self-build market was very important for the company at the moment and reported being very busy throughout the four days, which was “very encouraging”.

“Overall, the show was very positive and it was good to see that self-builders don’t seem to have been affected by the general feeling of gloom in the industry,” said JELD-WEN’s business development manager for windows, Tony Pell.

Its energy-rated timber windows and new DreamVu window were well received, while many buyers placed orders for sliding folding doors.

Sian Martin, sales and marketing director at eJoinery, told TTJ that, although there was a general feeling of fewer feet on the ground, “the show generated a number of good quality leads”.

“It was a significant show for us,” she said. “Our market is the end user so it was definitely the right audience. We talked to a lot of serious people, and it was a success in terms of the right kind of leads.”

Patrick Cooper, market development co-ordinator at Canada Wood UK, said many people were inspired to use western red cedar by its use on Grand Designs. “It was certainly busy for us and reflects people’s willingness to spend money on their own homes.”