OUR BLOG

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MRB Contracting |our space

Many of our renovations are for clients with growing families. We design, plan, and construct home improvements and extensions to their spaces, to better suit their needs. And so, as our family and business expand, we found ourselves in need of upgrades and improvements in our own space on James St. Come by and check it out, or check it out here! ...

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Purcells Cove Rd | update

Like a beehive this build is constantly abuzz with activity. Indoors the drywall is hung ready to be taped, the floors are finished (details to come!), and the call has gone out for our sub-trades to come back to finish what they started. Outdoors has been equally as industrious. The septic field is in, landscape has commenced and the final stages of this homes contemporary cladding are being completed. The coordination and organisation involved in pulling everything together over the coming weeks will keep Corey and the team on their toes. And squeezing in a weekend in Florida to catch Game 5, how does he do it? ...

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Gottingen St |portfolio reveal

We followed closely alongside Steevo, through the depths of the winter on this gorgeous 'old meets new' North end renovation. The portfolio photos are fabulous!...

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Chestnut St | homestretch

This renovation has rounded the final corner and headed for home! The painters have been through and given the entire house a fresh coat of paint. Pre finished hardwood flooring has been laid in the study giving it a 'rustic' warm feel. Nova Tile joined us on site, and installed the gorgeous white caesarstone countertop in the kitchen. As well as Tyler the Tiler in the bathroom laying beautiful 4" x 24" custom tile in the shower. Meanwhile the outside work is complete, removing the old super short and steep driveway that lead to the garage. An ICF wall now features a linear window inviting in natural light to the finished basement space. It's been our pleasure bringing the vision of Abbott Brown Architects to life, stay tuned for final photos of Scotties work here at Chestnut Street. ...

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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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Northend Neighbourhood | Crossfit Gym reveal

While we do love building houses, MRB Contracting are by no means strictly 'residential'. Check out what happened when we put our tools to work on this commercial space. What an awesome space to get Crossfit!...

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Marlborough Ave | update

Smitty has things moving along at Marlborough Ave. Drywall is in, taped and primed ready for paint. Stunning cherrywood flooring throughout the main level is almost complete, the beautiful maple staircase leading to the basement is installed, and the basement has dri-cor subfloor awaiting final flooring. In the coming weeks, millwork will be installed and with owners personal choices, this home will once again be beautiful. Updated, modern, convenient and comfortable. ...

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Clifton Street | interior reveal

When the final nail is in and the dust has all settled. When the 'House' has become a 'Home'. Enjoy Clifton Street Interior here.  ...

Purcells Cove | Cladding

It's all about cladding at our Purcells build. Corey has had the team meticulously placing and fixing the final layers on the exterior. Innovative, modern, contemporary materials demand utmost care and dexterity. Each requiring specific application. There are three different materials that finish this architectural residence and give it a formal, rigid appearance. Cembrit - on the ground level. Corrugated Aluminium - on both 2nd and 3rd levels. Wood - Maibec will fill the spaces around the windows. ...

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Chestnut Street | progress

Scotties update from Chestnut Street is yet another gorgeous example of marrying the old with new. Over the years, this home has been given several face lifts using a variety of finishes. This time, MRB Contracting will be using the tried procedures and tested products to ensure it will stand the test of time. By the time this project is crafted and completed the interior will be cosy and comfortable, and the exterior will look like new. Nice job Scottie! ...

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MRB Contracting | Our Culture

OUR CULTURE What is culture? Why is it important to a company? To the people that work there? To the product and services you offer? We knew we had a good thing going on at MRB Contracting. We grew organically, and are extremely fortunate with the team members that we have hired over the years. We never sat down and figured out what it was about MRB Contracting that we all loved. Why is it that every one of us cares so much about the houses we build, our clients and the people we work with? So we embarked on a different kind of project. Led by Nick Matheson of Shirlaws, we went through a series of exercises, some in small groups and some with the entire company. The common goal was to uncover what our common driving force was. It soon came to light that we all shared great pride in our work; that we liked to be recognized for it both as individuals as well as a company, and that we, as a group, are confident in our abilities. Now that we have verbalized the feeling that we all had about MRB Contracting, we all use it as a daily compass to...

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.     ...

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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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. ...

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...

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.   ...

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.   ...

So long February ;)

‘Storm day Wednesdays’ of winter 2014 had us thinking it couldn’t be worse. But Old Man Winterhad other ideas, and showed us (and a few others) how very wrong we were! The long range weather forecast according to The Old Farmers Almanac – useful with a pleasant degree of humour “…..2014/15 winter temperatures will be above normal, …..snowfall will be below normal…..” Ooooops Even Environment Canada ‘promised Nova Scotian’s this winter wouldn’t be anything like the last’. Suggesting we might liken this year to ‘a tropical heat wave in comparison.‘ I don’t think so. So here’s some freezing February facts: -Average Halifax snowfall is 16″ or 41cm, this year we had 51″ or 130cm -Average temperature High 0 and Low -8 degrees Celsius, this year High -5.4 and Low -11 degrees celcius. Brrrrr -There were only 4 days with a high that reached above 0 -HRM 311 received more than 10,000 calls regarding snow and ice removal (350+per day) -The price of gas went up 8.0c /litre So HELLO March, the beginning of daylight savings, the return of our feathered friends, a new season, and Scruffs 40th birthday! You are all very welcome:)   ...