The "dry-in" portion of the project is almost complete. The structural changes have been made and the roof is almost done. The interior walls have been framed, giving us a feel for how our design will work in the real world. It is very exciting to see it take shape, even if that shape does not yet include electrical, plumbing, drywall, etc.
Regarding the design, we opted for a small change to the first-floor bathroom. It had been designed as a 5' x 7.5' full bath. Which is very, very small for a full bath. Think "European Hotel bathroom". Now, it worked fine on paper, but when we walked through with a plumber and we considered the very tight space, we realized that even one small obstacle, like needing to put a vent stack somewhere, could put us in a jam. So we made it 5' x 8.5. That 5 extra square feet should make it easier to fit and give a bit more space to the room as well. Below is a photo of the 1' jog in the wall, making the bathroom a bit more spacious.
In other news, we travelled to a store called Menard's to look for tile. Menard's is an Illinois based store (I think) but has a few stores in smaller towns in NW Ohio. We had stopped at one while we were in Illinois at the recommendation of Mary's Uncle and we were impressed with the selection and prices on tile. So, we found there is a store in Marion, Ohio, which is about 1 hour north of Columbus. We drove up early Sunday morning and struck gold. We found a very nice porcelain ceramic tile for the first-floor bath. This was after researching the difference between ceramic tile, porcelain tile, PEI ratings, etc. So we purchased the tile and then moved on to look at some other items we needed... like 2 toilettes. A bathtub. Bathroom fixtures. We ended up picking up all of them. I should also mention that the employees at Menard's were extremely helpful. As we analyzed the many choices of an item (and they had 30+ toilette choices, many more than Lowe's), their staff helped us measure, check boxes, check if in stock, etc. It was this way in every department. I was very impressed.