Author: Sarah MacLennan

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22 Oct Merkel Street | new project

Our man Scottie has been assigned to oversee our latest renovation on Merkel Street. Set in Halifax north end, just minutes from the Hydrostone, this 70 something year old home will be getting a full MRB makeover. Before building could commence, Scottie made arrangements for an existing addition (probably around 20 years old) to be removed. All electrical from the back of the house had to be deleted, and some relief cuts made to allow us to remove the addition without disturbing the original home. The excavator and it's claw made short work of demolishing the old to make room for the new. ...

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15 Oct St Margaret’s Bay Rd | our 3rd visit

The writing is on the wall. Literally. MRB Contracting returned to our valued clients property for the third time. Not for repair or replacement of work completed of course, but rather, for the next stage of our clients dream. Like we've said before, building your dream does not have to be done all in one hit. We love to work with you; design, plan, and budget. For now, and for your future. And so, on this our third visit, we will complete the re-shingling of this home. If you look closely at the photo below you can see handwriting on the original sheathing boards that were exposed when we stripped off the old shingling. Like a true artist, the craftsman that built this house on September 27th, 1931 has signed his name. We trust we are doing his work justice. And making him proud to see MRB Contracting give this home new strength to face the next 80 years.    ...

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08 Oct Elm St | progress

In just a few short weeks this dated house has been transformed. The photos really say it all. It was out with the old and in with the new. Kitchen, bathroom and laundry have been completely renovated. Homeowners, Stefan and Breanna, chose to install 'shaker' cabinets in their fully renovated kitchen. The word 'Shaker' refers to the recessed panel design of the cabinet doors. Traditionally the 'Shakers' were known to be fine craftsman and carpenters using traditional design and minimal adornments. The plumbers and electricians have completed their work, with finishing touches from painters and millwork today we are almost ready to call it a day. We wish our friend Stefan and his family every happiness in their new home! NB. Yes- thats Mike. Great to have him out of the office and sporting his tool belt ;) ...

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15 Sep Unbridled Path |Rothesay NB

New projects are super exciting. They open opportunity for us with new design and design teams, new clients, and best of all new challenges! This awesome design by The Acre, will become part of the local community in Rothesay. Just 15 minutes from Saint John in one of Atlantic Canada's most attractive living environments. First pics here show the excavation for the main house. Footings were poured and the ICF (Insulating Concrete Form) foundation wall locked together somewhat like LEGO. When construction of the wall form is complete it will be filled with concrete. This build will be one to watch! ...

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09 Sep Blind Bay | Shades of Grey Pt 2

Scottie has been back at Blind Bay and 'Grey’ is what he's been seeing! The stunning colour palette of Cape Cod cladding as featured on the main house has been used again on the detached garage. Like a camouflage, this 'part 2' will settle in to the stunning vista and surrounds. Interior is insulated and lined with plywood for dry and secure storage areas. We have loved being back at Blind Bay. ...

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02 Sep MRB family trip | PEI 2015

Hard to believe a year has gone by so fast. In MRB Contracting style and tradition, Thursday morning we loaded up the fleet bound for beautiful Prince Edward Island. Seriously wet conditions as we crossed the Cobequid Pass led to clearing welcoming skies as we came ashore the island. Again...

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26 Aug Elm St | new project

It's always great when we get the opportunity for a project from someone we know. Someone who has chosen MRB Contracting because they've experienced our company culture, not just read about it! We've worked with our good friend Stefan on many projects. He is our supplier and specialist of the innovative architectural products we use. Cembrit, Firestone, Vaproshield to name a few. Check out his extensive profile, knowledge and products at Keel Architectural Products. We have commenced work on Stefans house, and look forward to making it his family home. ...

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19 Aug MRB Contracting | expanding our wings

Since conception, MRB Contracting has developed and grown roots in and around our gorgeous hometown of Halifax. With a few amazing project opportunities ie. Kingsburgh Cottage, in outlying areas of stunning Nova Scotia along way. We are excited to announce that MRB Contracting is branching even further and is commencing work on projects in beautiful New Brunswick. Working in collaboration with architects at The Acre, Smitty will lead these first builds to completion. Excavation on the sites in Rothesay and St. Andrews will commence next week. Go MRB team New Brunswick! ...

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11 Aug Wyndrock Drive | Steevo’s Tips

How to make a stand off block for a light fixture. Step 1: Choose a piece of lumber thick enough to sit proud of your siding or shingles, ensuring it is about 3/4" larger than the footprint of your light fixture. Step 2 : Locate center on your block. Step 3 Using a 4&1/8" hole saw , plunge in about 5/8" to allow the pancake box to sit flush with the surface. Step 4 Using a small palm router , plunge in to remove the parts of the cut out. The first pass with the router should be about 1/4". Then take a second pass at 3/8" depth. Step 5 Mount the block on your rainscreen, be sure to flash it and drill a 7/8" hole for your wire to pass through. Now your light fixture will sit flat regardless of shingles or siding. ...

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04 Aug Bland Street | flat revamp

The team at MRB Contracting have always got something on the go. No job is too big or too small! Scottie has been busy in the south end giving our clients rental flat a complete overhaul. Now that we have all the interior walls filled with Roxul Safe and Sound insulation, the exterior walls are filled with 2 lb closed cell spray foam insulation. Ceilings have been covered with two layers 5/8" fire rated drywall, attached to resilient sound channel strapping, and we are completely painted out. Now it's time for finishes. Engineered wide plank hardwood has been installed in three bedrooms. Tile in the kitchen and bathroom finishes have commenced. The finishes on this one will roll out fast for move in time for the lucky new tenants! ...

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14 Jul One for Cats | portfolio reveal

If you followed Scottie on this build last year, you might remember the consideration in design that was for the furry members of this family in their renovation. The Wilson Blvd portfolio showcases the 'Catarium'. Along with a beautiful kitchen/living space too! ...

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10 Jul Purcells Cove Rd | taking shape

Given the enormity of this new construction we're not quite ready to say we're on the homestretch, but we are definitely seeing the light! Our full focus is on craftsmanship and attention to detail and we are really beginning to see the fruits of our labour. With the pending arrival of painters on Monday, the drywallers are finishing up. Electricians will also be back. Outside work is taking shape with landscape features that help settle this build back in to the surrounds. Stunning architectural design cladding continues in the soffit and drive through of the home. Every aspect as important as another. Corey and the team enjoy the beautiful summer days as they head for home! ...

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02 Jul For Sale | Moore Studio

Once upon a time, there was an architect Omar Gandhi, and a contractor MRB. They met and just knew they could work well together. Shortly after, they made this! And now, our first time collaboration, could be yours. Check out this listing! ...

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30 Jun Wyndrock Drive | biscuits and building??

I don't think you'd stand alone if you've never heard of 'Biscuit Joinery'! Steevo and the team at Wyndrock have been crafting 'cornerboards' using the biscuit joining system. Step 1. Steevo uses a biscuit joiner to cut mortises for the biscuits. Step 2. Then, he fills the hole with glue Step 3. Next, Steevo inserts the biscuit Step 4. He then joins boards together and secures them with clamps. Steevo further concretes the join using ring shank stainless nails. Step 5. Finally he runs a bead of caulking on the inside to really keep things watertight. And Voila. We have a strong and watertight cornerboard ready to install. NB. A cornerboard is used to frame siding or shingles at inside and outside corners....

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30 Apr Bauer Street | new project

After completing work at the Gottingen street project with Steevo, Jonathan is continuing the recent trend of restoration of early 19th century homes. You never know what you will find in some of these period homes. We were lucky enough to find an old coin dating back to 1861 lodged beneath the old floor boards (pics below). Pretty cool to find a coin that predates the inception of our great country. There were approximately 1.8 million of these one cent coins minted back in 1861. A wonderful little keepsake for the new owners of this property to remind them of their homes history. MRB Contracting have embarked on work at this home that will include: Patching and refinishing the existing softwood flooring, Expansion and installation of new kitchen, Update main floor powder room, Addition of 2nd floor bathroom, Renovation of 3rd floor bathroom and installation of some new replicated mouldings.     ...

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13 Feb Inhouse Design | Wish List

With the click of a button we add an item to a WISH LIST. And with another click, we make a purchase. Online stores make it oh so easy to make spontaneous purchases, turning our WISH LIST into reality. When it comes to building your home, your wish list is paramount. It is not fast fashion. These purchases and decisions need to fit you and your lifestyle for years to come. Not to mention these purchases will usually come with a significant investment! Our inhouse design team have put together a guide to help you make the ideal WISH LIST. 1.Challenges We enjoy challenges and are good problem solvers, but… we like to know from the onset what they are so we can plan and design your build appropriately. 2. Budget An idea of your budget will help us design an appropriate size build. We can point out what is possible within your budget and make suggestions for different solutions. 3. Size- how much space do you need A two bedroom home, with 2 ½ baths and open plan kitchen living dining, with about 1,200sqft? 4. Function For example if you want an open concept plan kitchen dining, or want to move all bedrooms upstairs, or add a mud room...

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11 Feb Purcells Cove Rd | Windows to the sky

Corey and the team on our 'Stereovision' build are on task following MRB procedures installing windows. As with any window installation, the prevention of wind and water penetration is of utmost importance. Keeping in mind this builds amazing location and it's exposure to the elements the team adhere meticulously to our step by step procedure to ensure success. The windows in this design command our craftsmanship as they highlight and frame the amazing vistas of Purcells Cove and the stunning ocean beyond. "A beacon high atop a hillside".   ...

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04 Feb Gottingen St | interior trim

Steevo and the team at Gottingen have been thankful for work indoors. This past week has been a big push on getting the interior trims completed. We called on our friends at East Coast Specialty Hardwoods to custom match the trims to the homes original. We sent them samples of what we needed and they shaped them out of poplar wood, which paints very well. Window casings were reproduced with two pieces. One wide trim and the second a backband. Each door has plinth blocks to set the casings on, and the baseboard is a three piece assembley with base, cap , and shoe. We also got the behemoth stone bathtub in place. The corbels that frame the arch in this were hand made by Forbes Restoration. They were made to replicate the two old plaster ones that unfortunately we were unable to save. ...

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29 Jan Green Roof | did you know?

We briefly looked at installation of a Green Roof in August 2014 at our Clifton St home. As preparations for the installation of a green roof begin at our Purcells Cove build here's some interesting facts you perhaps didn't already know. A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. - Green Roofs are not new! Green Roofs have been around in Scandinavia for centuries, and a superb reconstruction of Norse living can be seen at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. - Environmentally smart; reduce heating and cooling costs, reduce storm water runoff, filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, the list goes on. - The green roof acts as a shield to protect the roof membrane from the elements and therefore extends the roof lifespan by at least 200% - Green roofs can provide living space for not only plants but also local animals too! Pretty Bird. Pictures of what will be green roof at Purcells Cove ...

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