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Row-House Remodel – Fine Homebuilding

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Synopsis: This late-1800s row-house kitchen had an awkward layout with a small half-bathroom encroaching on the space. The design team reworked the layout so the two rooms now work in tandem, incorporating a structural load-bearing post into the design. The five different ceiling levels in the original kitchen and dining room meant smoothing out the planes and creating a tray ceiling. A number of small but unique decisions including a wood range hood and an accent pendant light off-centered from the sink make this kitchen design truly shine.


Designer Nicole Cole, principal of vestige HOME, is accustomed to working in Philadelphia’s old row houses. She treasures their historical details and time-worn feel. “Even when it’s a new space, we want it to feel like there’s a bit of story to it,” she says. “It should be contextually appropriate.” That mindset informed the remodel of this late-1800s row-house kitchen. The homeowners wanted a new space optimized for frequent family meals, and materials had to be tough enough to handle two young boys. It was determined early on that the renovation would not be possible without also addressing the adjacent, awkward half-bath.

Working out the kinks

The oddly shaped and poorly placed bathroom’s curved wall pressed into the kitchen, eating up valuable square footage. Outside the bathroom, awkwardly located French doors, an exposed support column, unfinished cabinetry, and an obtrusive refrigerator also needed to be dealt with. “There was a lot of unusable space that made the whole area feel unconsidered,” Cole notes, adding that without adequate storage space, items ended up crowding the undersize counter space.

Builder Kenny Grono of Buckminster Green, who carried out the renovation, explains that originally, between the dining room and kitchen, there were five different ceiling planes—including two soffits and a skylight

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Hanford contractors agree to pay $58 million fine for fraud

Two companies that do work at a former nuclear weapons production plant will pay fines of nearly $58 million for improperly billing the federal government for thousands of hours of work that were not performed

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two companies that do work at a former nuclear weapons production plant will pay fines of nearly $58 million for improperly billing the federal government for thousands of hours of work that were not performed.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday afternoon announced the settlement involving the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a Manhattan Project-era facility near Richland, Washington, that is the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site.

The settlement was reached between Bechtel Corp. and AECOM Energy & Construction Inc., which for years have been constructing a giant nuclear waste treatment plant to clean up the Hanford site, which produced most of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

“It is stunning that, for nearly a decade, Bechtel and AECOM chose to line their corporate pockets by diverting important taxpayer funds from this critically essential effort,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington said in a news release.

As part of the agreement, the contractors denied any liability in regard to further legal actions.

“As a company, we felt it was in the best interest of the project and our customer to resolve this matter so that we can avoid the distractions and expenses of a protracted legal proceeding,” Barbara Rusinko, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit, said in a press release.

Hanford was created during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project effort to create an atomic bomb. Plutonium produced at Hanford was used in the atomic

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