It's been a while since I posted. The week-long installation of the scaffolding and 'tin hat' (photo below), the freezing weather and the Xmas/New Year break have meant that there is less to report. I feel very pleased that I didn't decide to skimp on getting a full 'tin hat' - I think it would have been very hard to make the progress we did during December without it. The project reached a turning point in December when we stopped removing bits of the existing building and started adding to it. December also saw a large outflow of money as I tied down as much of the spend on materials as possible before VAT goes up to 20% on 4th January. The rise in VAT further shifts the economic balance away from refurbishments in favour of new builds. Given that we have to address our existing housing stock if many of us are not going to faced with "heat or eat" choices in the coming decades, this policy choice of successive Lab-ConDem governments shows that, in practice, they are more concerned with the welfare of corporate big builders' interests than the citizens who elect them.