Caroline’s story – The House at Wildcat Corner


Caroline has always lived in the Highlands, known for its beautiful scenery. She owns a quiet plot of land north of Inverness on which she developed her own self-build home, after being inspired by low-carbon living at a self-build exhibition. Her main priority was creating an affordable, future-proof home that could withstand not only Scottish weather conditions but also our fast-changing climate, a necessary step she believes can bring us closer to normalising sustainability.

The build got off to a rocky start when a change in planning permission to move the proposed house up the sloping plot was required a few months in. A year later, the pandemic had halted all progress. Nonetheless, Caroline kept her spirits up and is pleased to say that Ecology was supportive throughout her build. Her home was finished in November 2020 and, although she encountered some challenges along the way, she proudly claims that building her energy-efficient home is one of her biggest lifetime achievements for which she is ’eternally grateful to Ecology’.

Her self-build, ‘The House at Wildcat Corner’, matches local construction materials with its timber frame, limewash render and slate roof. The joist ends are purposefully exposed to encourage swallows and other small birds to build their nests on. An air source heat pump (ASHP) sustainably heats the house night and day consuming very little energy, whilst the photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof generate electricity. She can now enjoy a pleasant and constant temperature inside, worlds apart from the draughty houses she had previously lived in. Caroline considers the investment in her home’s energy efficiency to be good value for money as it means lower energy bills in the long term. Given her passion for gardening (she writes a gardening blog), one of her favourite parts of the build is the garden.

It was Caroline’s eco-minded architect who recommended her to Ecology for a self-build mortgage. Looking back at her experience, she appreciated the support and flexibility provided by the mortgage team at every step of the build.

Find out more about Ecology’s mortgages for self-build here.