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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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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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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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02 Jun MRB @ Nova Scotia Planning Conference

MRB Contracting would like to thank Jacob Ritchie - HRM Urban Design Manager and Jessica McDonald - HRM Senior Planner. We were flattered by their invitation for Mike to speak at this years Nova Scotia Planning Directors Association’s Annual Conference. Mike Burns would like to thank fellow panel participants for jumping in and helping him feel comfortable during his first public speaking event! We strongly urge you to visit and explore some of our local websites. See what they're all about, and give them a Like on Facebook to stay up to date with some of the most exciting Halifax Entrepreneurs going. Ben Boudreau | GoFullSteam Stefan Kaubler | Upland Planning & Design Studio Kerry Lynch | Urban Renewable Eric Stotts | Skin+Bones...

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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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Stereovision

16 Dec Purcells Cove Rd | 2nd floor framing

On our last visit with Corey at Purcells Cove we saw him finishing and straightening the framing on the first floor. The pictures do most the talking; After crafting the massive 60ft LVL's at ground level, in came the crane to lift these one tonne beasts onto the second floor. The team promptly laid the floor and late last week with a gathering of MRB teammates the 2nd floor grew walls! ...

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Seashell in mortar

11 Dec Gottingen St | Seashells in Mortar?

Most of our work at this gorgeous old home has been concentrated at the back. However, the foundation at the front of the home required some attention from MRB too. As Steevo and the team prepared the foundation and removed the old mortar, they found a lovely old seashell. Typical of building practises of yesteryear, sand used to mix mortar was collected straight from the beach! Traditional mortar was made from lime putty, or slaked lime, combined with local sand, generally in a ratio of 1 part lime putty to 3 parts sand by volume. Often other ingredients, such as crushed marine shells (another source of lime), brick dust, clay, natural cements, pigments, and even animal hair were also added to mortar, but the basic formulation for lime putty and sand mortar remained unchanged for centuries until the advent of portland cement or its forerunner, Roman cement, a natural, hydraulic cement. Photos show Steevo and the team forming up and repairing a section of the foundation, as well as replacing and centring the basement window. ...

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Corrugated Steel Peak Audio

05 Dec Peak Audio |cladding choices

What is your home clad with? When you look around, you'll notice many different cladding materials. Home owners traditionally made choices according to their budget, style and what was available. 'Shakes' wood shingle cladding is prevalent on buildings in North America constructed throughout the 19th century. Shingle cladding has stood the test of time and is still commonly used today. 'Vinyl' siding became popular in 1950's, largely due to its durability, versatility and ease of maintenance. Vinyl siding does not stand well with 'green and environmentally friendly' building practises. 'Cape Cod Siding' an MRB favorite. A product we often choose. Not only for its strength, durability and low maintenance qualities, but largely for its controlled production with craftsmanship of yesteryear, architectural profiles, and contemporary look. And then there's 'Corrugated Steel'. A lightweight, easily transportable building material composed of hot dipped galvanised steel. Commonly used in early construction in countries such as Australia where a corrugated steel roof is as common as 'Budgie smugglers on Bondi Beach!' An awesome example of this 'eco-responsible' green building material application is on Scotties job site at Peak Audio. ...

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11 Nov Remembrance Day

Who do you remember today? All around the world, today is a day to honour, respect and remember past and present members of the armed forces who dedicate their lives to our countries during times of conflict, war and peace. Lest We Forget. On this beautiful fall day perhaps you will attend one of the events or ceremonies in and around Halifax.     Photo credit : Point Pleasant Park...

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04 Nov Inverness | Renovation

After completing and handing over the Clifton Street build, Smitty's next project is this bathroom renovation. A complete tear out of the existing fittings and fixtures to make a clean slate for the new. Electric in floor heat, tiles, custom shower, and vanity will fill this space. When Smitty is done here our owners may never want to leave this sanctuary, spending many hours soaking up the serenity in their whirlpool tub! Here are the before photos: And a special shout out 'Congratulations' to our team estimator Brian Mitchell. Dressed to impress on Halloween Friday, Brian set scene for a very romantic marriage proposal to his girlfriend Dianna. A well executed display of fireworks on the lake followed her acceptance. Love is in the Air! ...

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MRB Contracting team member Phil volunteers his weekends

09 Oct MRB | what are you doing this weekend?

The team at MRB Contracting are a diverse group of motivated individuals. Midweek we come together and share a passion for custom modern architecture, skilled craftsmanship and the overall urge to build things. Weekends are filled with all array of activities, however, to no surprise, many of us are still building things. Our team member Phil, humbly volunteers his time to 'Habitat for Humanity.' "I've been involved with Habitat for Humanity on several builds over the past couple years. What got me involved with the organization was simply that I really enjoy doing carpentry and it was a great chance for me to use my skills to help someone. I usually work as a Crew Leader and can have as many as 12 volunteers working under me. A majority of them have never swung a hammer before but with so many volunteers we accomplish a lot in one 8 hour shift." Check out the project Phil is currently working on in North Kentville. If, like Phil, you would like to support this organisation you can volunteer your time, or alternatively, you can shop for building and renovation supplies at their ReStore [caption id="attachment_5612" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Kingscountynews photo[/caption]...

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Gottingen Renovation

02 Oct Gottingen St | new project

Our renovation expert 'Steevo' and his team have commenced work on a gorgeous old home in Halifaxs 'North End.' Before they get started on the list of improvements and upgrades that will be done, the team peel back the layers of this home and remove the old 'add-on' to reveal what's beneath. It's no surprise for Steevo to find the old homes kitchen not bearing on the foundation at all, with nothing but dirt below and hence rotting sills. So, first priority tasks are: build temporary beam supports to prop up the 2nd floor while the 1st floor structure is removed, followed by preparation and installation of concrete foundation walls to support new structure. ...

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25 Sep Clifton St | finishing touches

The countdown is on for finishing up work at our Clifton St build. As our team put their focus on structural details and interior finishes, the team from Concreations were back to lay paving and bring the architectural vision of Outside Planning and Design to life. Photos show the gorgeous bespoke cedar bench carefully crafted by Corey and Phil, and the stunning slate pavers that complete the exterior architect design. Stay tuned for the final reveal of this MRB showpiece. ...

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23 Sep Clifton St | Not just a ceiling

Our Clifton Street build has many bespoke features, the stairs, and outdoor cedar benches to name a few. Another stunning installation in this home is the design and craftsmanship of the drop ceilings. Photos show Pete at work meticulously cutting and fitting SPF (Spruce, Pine, Fir), more often used as flooring, into this stunning feature ceiling. Holes are cut in preparation for lighting, and corners are carefully mitred for a perfect finish. Finally, a urethane coat is applied for a subtle matt finish allowing the beauty of the natural wood to become the highlight. ...

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18 Sep Westmount | Exterior

Jonathan and his team are fast crossing things off that long list at our Westmount renovation. And that was just the interior! We have also commenced work on the extensive list of upgrades that are being embarked upon on the exterior. -Stripped complete exterior cladding and fascia/soffit from house -Installation Vaproshield building wrap on entire house -Installation of cladding rain screen -Installation of new cape cod siding, cap cod v-joint soffit and cape cod wooden fascia boards -House will also be re-roofed. ...

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16 Sep For Sale | 2454 James St

Remember our James Street job completed in early 2012? These gorgeous flats could now be yours. Design by Omar Gandhi and craftsmanship and work by MRB Contracting, an investment opportunity like this doesn't come along too often. For full details and further appraisal of this listing head to Red Door Realty Attention to detail is evident in all aspects of the buildings form & function The design offers clean architecture with an intuitive living space ...

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11 Sep Clifton St | Stairs

Take a minute to check out what foreman Smitty has been crafting. Wow! Way beyond a functioning staircase, these stairs are a focal point and fabulous feature. Smitty cut these awesome stringers from 3 1/2 x 12 inch Parallam. Parallam is made from clipped veneer strands laid in parallel alignment and bonded with adhesive. Parallam can be made from any wood species, but Douglas-fir, southern pine, western hemlock, and yellow-poplar are commonly chosen because of their superior strength. Brackets were mounted before drywall (inside the wall), so leaving just a 'fin' protruding to attach the stair landing. 3" thick pine treads, coated with Urethane, and all fastened together with the strength of galvanised carriage bolts, leave this installation looking as though it's floating in air. ...

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