Today, framing started, allowing us to start physically walking through future spaces! Yesterday's rain slowed things down a bit, but with the forecast for the upcoming week, the main floor deck and upper walls should be well underway by mid-next week.
The center columns are 5-¼' x 5-¼" PSL's (parallel strand lumber), an engineered wood product that uses smaller wood strands and is generally stronger than solid timber. There are 2 of them, supporting a continuous triple LVL beam (laminated veneer lumber; a plywood-like material) on the main floor and a pair of heavy glu-lam beams for the south roof. The stud wall shown on the right side is a standard 2x4 bearing wall which will support the laundry room and main floor bath floor loads, as well as the family and master bathrooms on the upper level.
The basement floor slab will be 7" higher than what you see in the photo. The gravel is the sub-slab base, in which the drain tile / radon venting tubing runs. On top of this, once leveled, will be several inches of XPS foam insulation boards, a continuous vapor barrier, and a reinforced 4" concrete floor slab with embedded radiant heating tubing.