The priority for us right now is completing all the siding, but because of the rain we were mostly forced indoors.

Tom and Jesse started laying the slate tile floor in the two upstairs bathrooms. We get 12″ square tiles and rip them in half as I think a more rectangular shape is pleasing to the eye. Jesse also had the bright idea to rip them again to get all the lengths exactly equal.

The slate is actually not all uniform, so it has made the gridded pattern we like to do difficult in the past. It doesn’t look like much right now as it is covered in slate dust, but should look cool once it is cleaned up and we grout it with grey grout. It should really come together once we got the wall finishes up in the bathrooms (a mixture of galvanized metal wainscoting, yellow pine horizontal paneling and mosaic tile).

We’ve also started using Denshield brand tile backer instead of a cement board like Durock or Hardi. While the cement board won’t rot out it just seems like if moisture were to get behind the tile, the cement board would act like a sponge and soak it up, which could transfer to the wood studs and allow mold to grow. If you follow the instructions with the Denshield you are basically creating a barrier.

In general, I feel like we aren’t sourcing that many local materials because of cost and could definitely do more. But, where we do, it feels great. It’s satisfying to drive on down the road to Buckingham county and pick up the slate in person from the quarry and then install it the next day

I worked outside mixing concrete into sonotubes to be porch posts (we formed and poured footers for the posts an earlier day). Kind of a muddy mess. Anyway, not exactly rocket science, but we are really striving not to have wood come in contact with the ground and not just stick pressure treated 6×6’s in the ground. Sure, it will last a long time, but eventually that will rot out.

If you’re wondering why we are pouring piers up against the house too it’s because we don’t actually have a first floor system (that’s a whole other story), so we wouldn’t be able to tie the porch ledger into the house band. We could have epoxyied in bolts into the foundation, but that seemed like it could have potentially broken the foundation seal.

Insulation guys are coming tomorrow to start spraying the closed cell foam.