Challenges don’t come much more daunting than building an eco-friendly house from the foundations up, but for construction enthusiasts Geoff and Louise Cooper, it was a labour of love.
The innovative couple hand-built every aspect of their home, Willow House, from scratch, doing everything from laying energy-efficient, wood-pellet fired, under-floor heating to installing solar thermal panels on the roof.
Their eco-friendly focus has paid off as the four-bedroom property can be heated for as little as £350 a year. The property also qualifies for an RHI payment which amounts to close to £2,500 per annum, making it free to run as this covers heating, lighting and council tax costs.
What was a piece of empty land has been transformed into a stunning, oak-framed detached property, which would make an ideal family home. It’s currently on the market with Bell Ingram at offers over £315,000.
With the Coopers both working full-time jobs, the hard graft was undertaken in their spare time and the challenging, but ultimately rewarding, project was completed in five years. Having only previously dabbled in modest renovations on small properties, traditional oak carpenter Geoff, and his wife Louise, sought a much greater and more demanding project when they took on the task of creating a unique energy-efficient home.
Louise said: “Every decision we made was with the view of making the house as economically friendly as possible. We know from our experience of living in the area just how expensive running, and especially heating, a property can be so we set ourselves the goal of seeing just how low we could cut those costs. All our efforts have paid off, as the house can be heated for as little as £350 a year.
“I can’t deny it was a gruelling task, but the whole project was great fun and the house is looking fantastic. Unfortunately, we are having to move away from the area and have therefore chosen to put Willow House on the market.”
Located over at Ascreavie, Kirkton of Kingoldrum by Kirriemuir, Angus, the property comes complete with four bedrooms, a bright and spacious living room, a generous dining kitchen, a downstairs study, a family bathroom and one en suite. Not only is the house fully-equipped with energy-efficient under-floor heating, the property also benefits from maximising solar gain by absorbing heat from the south, while limiting any heat loss through triple glazing to the north.
A mechanical ventilation with heat-recovery system also provides full-house ventilation, further limiting the heating requirement of this home, whilst solar thermal roof panels assist with heating domestic hot water.
Stewart Hamilton, of Bell Ingram, said: “Willow House is a fascinating and unique property. Geoff and Louise have really gone to a huge amount of effort to make this property the best that it can be. It has been insulated to the highest possible standard, which is great news for buyers as it is a real money saver for electricity bills. The house has been finished to a very high standard, with modern furnishings and appliances, and it’s clear that the ample space has been used to its advantage. The lovely, open-plan layout, as well as the large garden and surrounding countryside, make this the perfect family home.”
Willow House lies in a picturesque rural setting at the foot of the Angus Glens; the south-facing garden is a natural sun trap with far-reaching views over the Angus countryside and the property also benefits from a two-bay garage, which includes a workshop area. The property is situated close to the A90 trunk road, providing access to Aberdeen in the north and Dundee and beyond in the south and golf enthusiasts are likely to be in their element with several well-known courses situated nearby.
The Angus Glens are on the doorstep and are renowned for their beautiful walks while they also provide for cycling, hill walking and horse riding, along with great wildlife and renowned fishing spots throughout.
Viewings are strictly by appointment only and can be arranged through Bell Ingram’s Forfar office on 01307 462516.