Author: Mike Burns

29 Apr MRB Contracting’s new website

  Change is the heartbeat of growth. And as you can see we’re not averse to change. We’re pleased to announce our new website. In some ways it seems ironic for a builder like MRB Contracting to show our work via the virtual world of the Internet. For what we’re good at is building real tangible and useful dwellings. And yet, these days, without a web presence it’s as if you didn’t exist. So we like to take the high road with a mobile friendly website showcasing our projects, testimonials, services and client process. Take a look and let us know what you think. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook....

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27 Apr Chestnut Street | new renovation

This new project on Chestnut Street has been keeping Scottie busy. Home owners planned this update and renovation to incorporate modern comforts and family functionality. The existing kitchen and bathroom (the result of two previous renovations) were completely removed allowing Scottie to start from scratch. He added spray foam insulation before beginning the installation of infloor heating. Concurrent work on the insufficient garage space has also been progressing. Excavation of the old floor now, will result in more head room for a future finished basement. This will require upgrade of the foot and curb for support before the finished concrete slab is poured. ...

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17 Apr Jennifer Badley

My timing to find MRB could not have been better. It was late in the Fall and from my home in Toronto, I suddenly decided that I wanted to build on the land I had on the ocean just outside of Halifax and I wanted to enjoy it the next summer. I had no design. I had no builder. I was going to have to manage it all remotely. A series of happy coincidences put me together with Mike. Elaine had just joined the MRB team. I was to be their first custom designed home. Perfect! Elaine was superb and within months I had, on paper, my dream house. The design was modern, minimal and fit into the landscape beautifully. The interior was simple, compact and extremely well thought-out and livable. I was excited but nervous: how would the process develop from the plans to the build, especially with me so far away. I shouldn’t have been worried. MRB was amazing. From the initial consultations, which included climbing in deep snow with Mike and Elaine to ensure the perfect site location, through the planning , costing and construction every step was professionally,...

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07 Apr Dana & Lesley Deamel

"The scope to renovate the exterior of our Victorian rental property was a challenging endeavor that was a major concern for us both structurally and financially. The plan was to encompass the removal and repair of the rotted cedar shakes of the full exterior, correct/fix the newly built 2 level decks to ensure proper structure and drainage from weather – (the deck was built by an independent contractor not associated with MRB Contracting). Replace/repair the fascia and soffits and have new gutters installed, repaint the entire exterior from top to bottom. We had met with several other contractors before choosing MRB Contracting. We decided on MRB almost immediately after Simon’s extremely professional presentation of showing us how our vision could become a reality. The experience, understanding and honesty Simon showed lead us to sign a contract with MRB Contracting. All the work was detailed in the contract as well as qualifications to what was and was not included intheir proposal. A detailed project plan and a payment schedule were provided in the paperwork. There was a daily communication to us from the office of MRB Contracting through its easy to access online platform, Buildertrend.com. Updates included pictures, progress with the renovation, when each...

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05 Apr Purcells Cove Rd | Mille Feuille Roofing

These April showers will hopefully bring flowers and plenty more days allowing progress like this! Corey and the team at our Purcells build started out this clear blue sky day with one thing on their minds……ROOF. So you will remember the first step in weatherproofing and sealing this build was applying the v-force vapour barrier. Thus providing us with a ‘weathertight’ construction site. The next step was to apply Densdeck prime cover board. This fantastic modern roofing product boasts the benefits of being highly fire and thermal resistant, water resistant, and adds structural strength to the entire roofing system. Densdeck board is applied in accordance with local build codes (determined on a wind uplift calculation) with a minimum of 12 fasteners per board. Fasteners are carefully marked out and screwed in. At this stage, it is integral that the team move promptly on to the final membrane. No more boards shall be installed than can be covered with membrane and completed before the end of each day’s work or before the onset of inclement weather. Last but not least comes EPDM. This rubber membrane, specifically designed for low sloping roofing and therefore ideal for this Omar Gandhi design, is also perfect for use with green...

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27 Mar Gottingen St | the finish line

Steevo and the team working on our Gottingen St project have the finish line set firmly in their sights. In keeping our focus on blending the old with the new as we did inside, they pay special attention to detail while moving up the front face of this gorgeous old home. New corbels are installed, with crown moulding, bead moulding and a bump moulding to follow. A stunning example of the craftsmanship of our building forefathers is showcased in the ‘monster’ of a board 24″ wide x 12′ long that Phil is scraping in the photo below. It was an easy decision to ‘relove’ this board rather than replace! With scaffolding still in place it’s difficult to get photos of the grandeur that this renovation will be, so stay tuned for our final reveal.   ...

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19 Mar The ‘Snow’ Must Go On!

Who could believe there could be this much snow? There sounds to be a general consensus that Halifax has not seen anything like this since White Juan. In fact, rumour has it, there is more snow than White Juan. A whopping 1/4 of our annual snowfall landed in Halifax yesterday! Thankfully, before the snow, Smitty and the team at Marlborough had windows in and the added bonus of insulation complete. In areas where the walls are not deep enough for batt insulation, spray foam was used. (The blue in the photos) Propane lines have been run that will provide our homeowner with many benefits of this fossil fuel. -Propane is environmentally friendly (Clean burning renewable resource) -Cost effective (less expensive to operate than electrical), and this one installation will fuel the boiler, heat pump, kitchen range and fireplace. With plumbing and electrical all roughed in, the MRB team will move outside for some snow removal, and to patch up the shingles surrounding the new windows, freeing up the inside for the drywallers to begin.   ...

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11 Mar Rob Green

"From the first meeting to the last coat of paint, I have nothing but positive comments for Mike and his team. Mike has replaced a bunch of windows, replaced a large patio and front door, and completely rebuilt my master bedroom en suite and walk in closet. If you could see the job he did on the en suite, you wouldn't need to read a word I've written! I have not one complaint about his business acumen nor the quality of his work. So much so, that when I go to reno my basement and kitchen, I won't even bother with quotes from other companies; either MRB Contracting does the job, or the reno waits until they're free. Mike has a keen eye for design, a breath-taking work ethic, and exceptional attention to detail. There is not enough space here for me to detail just how good he is."...

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11 Mar Jess Tasker, Owner & Designer

"Mike and the crew at MRB Contracting clearly take pride in their craftsmanship. In a world where many contractors take shortcuts, the crew at MRB simply won’t stand for it. They are devoted to their craft and creating beautiful structures. Working with them and seeing my project take shape has been a pleasure. By choosing MRB you are ensuring that the vision you had for your project in the beginning, will be exactly what you had hoped for in the end."...

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11 Mar Rosemary LeFresne

"The challenges of having renovations to a 20 year old home would have been daunting since my husband passed away, if not for the excellent consideration and professionalism taken by Mike Burns and his most efficient crew. The first project was to have both bathrooms totally redone, and of course that meant I would have to be out of the house until work was completed. Leaving ones home while strangers take over can be unnerving; but when discussing plans with Mike his genuine sincerity was evident, and I knew I was in good hands. The bathrooms look awesome, and I could not be more pleased. I was so pleased in fact, that I have MRB Contracting returning to completely renovate my kitchen! From experience now I can say with confidence that from the first meeting to the last day of cleanup, Mike, Simon, Steevo, Adam, and all the crew are very skilled, professional, and ever so polite young men. MRB Contracting Inc., with their new and innovated building, design, and high standards will soon be (if not already are) the top contracting firm in Nova Scotia. Thank You Mike!" ...

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11 Mar Bree Bolduc

"I have been meaning to email to thank you and praise you for your work! The house is finally looking the way it should - on the outside anyway :) I know that I told you while you were here how impressed I was by the work, the detail, and the professionalism! It's refreshing and not taken for granted. Renovations are never fun to live through but this experience didn't feel like a reno. Rick and Steevo are missed around the house by both Jiggs (the dog) and Hudson. Thank you again for being awesome and making my house look awesome."...

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11 Mar Jill Beaton

I recently had a whole kitchen renovation completed by MRB, and we can’t begin to explain how thrilled we were with both the process and the outcome. We had a very strict timeline which we needed to adhere to, and the boys at MRB not only met, but greatly exceeded our high expectations. MRB was able to take the vision we had for our new kitchen, and by listening to our ideas, and filling in the gaps we had not anticipated, turn it into reality. Their attention to detail is second to none, and shows not only in the clean lines and minor details they put into all of their work, but also in the project as a whole, ensuring everything was finished to the highest standard. Their crew was punctual, friendly, and above all respected our home; never leaving the site without ensuring everything was complete and things were cleaner than when they arrived. They were able to answer all of our questions, and provide us with multiple options for every eventuality that arose through the course of construction. For a seemingly young contractor, you quickly realize Mike Burns has been doing this for years, and does it well....

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11 Mar Murray & Katherine Doehler

"From June 2009 through to May 2010 Mike Burns acted as general contractor for two major renovations for us: our house and a basement flat. The renovations including gutting most of both spaces (to the studs) and removing or moving bearing walls. The improvements included insulation, electrical upgrades and rewiring, moving and replacing all plumbing fixtures, tiling three bathrooms, replacing two kitchens including tile back-splashes, replacement of drywall, installing new windows, adding a new front porch, replacing the roof, soffits and fascia. We highly recommend Mike for the following reasons: * his attention to high quality craftsmanship and detail; * his ascetic for design in all aspects of renovation; * the professional and genial tradesmen that work with him; * the high quality tradesmen that he sub-contracts (electrical, drywall, plumbing and roofing); * his consideration for the client in keeping mess to a minimum; * his willingness to tackle any aspect of a renovation; * his willingness to do research on products or approaches he has not encountered before (for us this included in-floor heated concrete in the basement flat, sourcing low-odour finishes and energy conservation devices); As with all renovations, unforeseen issues occur. Mike was quick...

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11 Mar Ian Hamilton

"This was the first time we had employed MRB Contracting, and it won't be the last. Mike Burns' crew of highly talented, organized , professional contractors exceeded our expectations. Not only did they put together a complex project with an astute architect , they completed the fantastic job on time, within estimate, and with care and pride in their work. Being involved in Health Care, site safety is one of my main concerns, and they exceeded the norms. For a crew of relatively younger carpenters in the highly competitive field of construction, they worked with expertise and ability of seasoned pros; with a progressive, modern and refreshing feel and look at residential construction. My family and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for quality work, done on time, within budget, and a kind of "worry-free" work-site environment that is generated by their professionalism, safety consciousness and ability to deliver solid project construction."...

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11 Mar Daniel MacIvor

"Having had the experience of working with many contractors in the past, on projects both large and small, I can say that Mike is by far the most conscientious and creative I have come across. Practically, his quotes are always realistic and he sticks to them, and aesthetically he has an excellent eye to style and function. Not only does he get the job done, and beautifully, he's the kind of guy I'm happy to sit and have a coffee with; I can think of no greater recommendation than that."...

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11 Mar Mark Atwood, Architect

"Mike Burns was instrumental to the success of our project when we added onto and renovated our home, while he was under the employment of David Watts Construction Services. Being an architect, we obviously invested a lot of time and care designing the project. We were extremely appreciative of Mike and his crew to spend the same level of effort and care reviewing all the small but important details with us, to make sure that things worked out perfectly. In fact Mike’s efforts are a big reason our house landed on the cover of East Coast Living Magazine. His crews are talented, dependable, resourceful, fair and reasonable with money, and above all a treat to deal with. Mike is wise beyond his years and I highly recommend him for any residential project large or small."...

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11 Mar James White, Owner / Broker | Canoe Realty

"Mike is a dedicated, energized and driven contractor who works hands-on with his crew and sub-trades. His warm and professional personality has developed strong professional relationships with them, ensuring that they care as much as he does about consistent quality and a smooth process. Mike is committed to being available to his clients and stands behind his projects with a natural and well deserved pride. I recommend him with confidence."...

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11 Mar Omar Gandhi, Architect

"Mike Burns came referred to me by a good friend. He was described as a young guy with an incredible work ethic and a passion for craft. Trained by the best in the province, he not only learned about building but received the required education to provide detailed costing and project management skills. The first project that we worked on together was the Moore Studio which was an absolute success. Together we have received notoriety for the project due to its high level of craftsmanship, attention to detail and originality. Everything from the floor to the cabinetry and the custom lights were designed and built by our two teams. We are slated to produce half a dozen more projects in the coming year. On the final build day at the Moore Studio the entire team brought their own cameras – because it wasn’t just another job. Mike, his foreman Adam Smith and his entire team understand modern architecture as well as old world craftsmanship and are collectively as excited about the final product as I am. I use MRB Contracting because they care immensely about the client and they make me look good."...

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11 Mar Suzanne Hickey, Owner | Rouge

"Mike, owner/operator, truly is fantastic -- experienced beyond his years (you’d be making a big mistake to judge him based on his age), conscientious, honest and straight-up. Mike discussed everything with me…as little or as much as I wanted to know. I was updated every step of the way and there was a discussion each time there was a variation from what we agreed on. I always knew and understood all my options and felt very comfortable taking his advice and making decisions."...

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