OUR BLOG

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Westmount | Renovation

A significant renovation on this Westmount home has been keeping MRB newbie Jonathan and his team busy. The list of jobs is long, and include; -Complete main floor gut right back to framing -Installation of several structural beams to enable us to remove walls for open plan -Rewire of entire main floor and installation of new 200 amp electrical service -Reframed several window units to accommodate two large units that will allow ample natural light throughout the main floor -Reframed fireplace in center of main floor to integrate existing wood burning fireplace insert into the new clean modern lines of the new space -Kitchen will be relocated to the west side of the home -Addition of main floor powder room -Existing stairs and railings will remain to keep some of the homes original charm. ...

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MRB | Design Build

MRB's master carpenters don't just build, we craft. With attention to the finest detail, we are natural designers. How a project fits together is important to us, which is why we are now offering a fully design and build service. Our in-house designer Elaine Lourdes shares the MRB passion, and after a decade of experience practicing architecture in Asia and Scotland, Elaine understands how an integrated design and build team produces the results that our clients deserve. One team The MRB team brings together talented players who are invested in every stage of play. From first sketches through detail design, estimating, approvals to construction, one team works together and manages from start to finish. More Control With designer, carpenter, estimator and project manager working side by side, we have greater certainty over quality, cost and time. We understand the implications of design decisions and refine the details to find optimum solutions...

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For Sale | 213 Theatre Loft

Like what you see? Take a tour through this finely crafted, highly stylised, modern theatre loft that could be yours. Click on the photo below to watch a video of the space… 'A picture says 1000 words', but if you need more; New custom kitchen. Baltic birch doors and boxes, laminated with high gloss laminate finish, soft close Blum door hinges and drawer slides. Walnut panels and accents. Franke kitchen sink with Blanco faucet and LED under cabinet lights Stained spruce slat wall and ceiling cladding, front and back wall of unit. The carefully selected furnishings make this “pied-à-terre” a very exciting condo package for anyone looking to be close to all the action the Halifax Peninsula has to offer. Privacy, south facing windows & above compromise design & craftsmanship.   For further appraisal contact Jules jules@juleschamberlain.ca...

#icebucketchallenge #als
MRB | #icebucketchallenge

Challenge ' A call to engage in a contest, fight, or competition: a challenge to a duel.' In true MRB spirit, the team took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with energy and enthusiasm. With the 24 hour clock ticking, the site was prepared and plans meticulously reviewed. I'm not sure who was responsible for bringing uniforms, but thank goodness workplace safety was still priority! (Thanks Steevo:) Good on you team, a job well done.   ...

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Walnut St | Product choices

A new rear exterior clad with Cape Cod Wood Siding is a natural choice on a job like this. These gorgeous old homes have stood the test of time and earned the right to be repaired and restored with quality materials. The rear entryway was removed and rebuilt with rough sawn spruce that is treated with Lifetime. Lifetime is an all natural wood preservative used as an alternative to toxic treatments and poisons for outdoor applications. It's truly an environmentally friendly wood treatment product. After application, and over time, with exposure to the weather that usually causes the wood finish to deteriate, Lifetime treated wood is enhanced. The stunning grey and silver tones are beautiful. This finish treatment is a great choice for tying the old and new together in a restoration project. ...

Elite Marble and Tile, Mapeguard
Walnut St | Mapeguard

Unlike the start to finish MRB builds where we meticulously build walls and floors straight and level, Steevo and his team tackle the renovations in homes that have often seen 100 years of foot traffic, shifting, settling and life! So, Steevo not only uses his craftsmanship and skills to prop up, and replace tired footings and supports (the stuff you don't see), but also utilises some of the many innovative products available to us. This week, they have been inside ensuring the flooring through the kitchen is level before laying new tile. After a self levelling compound has been applied, our friends from Elite Marble and Tile came in to lay Mapeguard. 'This flexible, thin, crack isolation membrane helps to prevent future cracks in floors with movement of up to 10mm.' ...

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Congratulations Omar

Congratulations to our friend Omar Gandhi. Omar recently became the deserving recipient of the Prix de Rome prize from the Canada Council. The prize is awarded annually to a young architect or architectural firm in recognition of outstanding achievement.  Having worked closely with Omar on several of our builds, Moore Studio, West End Addition and Oxford Street, we are so excited to celebrate his achievements and success. Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. design studio is responsible for the drawings of MRB's upcoming build at Purcells Cove Rd. For a sneak peak at the fabulous location New Project and drawings 'Stereo Vision' ...

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Clifton St | green roof landscape

Work at Clifton Street is fast transforming this work site into a home. Neat and clean lines extend from the architectural design of the house to collaborate with the front entrance landscape, along with the sidewalk upgrades, this new home is really merging back into Clifton Street. Specially chosen membrane sealing the roof on the backyard shed will enable the space to become a roof top garden. Landscape Architect, Sue Sirrs 'Outside planning and design' approaches each rooftop with careful consideration to ensure that requirements are met and plants grow and thrive. We are on the home stretch, stay tuned for updates as this build nears it's completion. ...

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Black Point | progress

Outdoor living spaces have been fitted with convenient storage cupboards and built in bench seating. Relaxed decking and that stunning tricolour cladding settle the build into the landscape and invite you to explore the beach and stunning vista beyond. This MRB design provides our owner with the convenience of an attached carport that steps right onto the deck. With the inspectors tick of approval on the framing, electrical and plumbing indoors, Scottie and the team will see the spray in foam insulation commence today. When insulation is complete, the team can begin with interior finishes. Modest in size, but proud in attention to detail and design, I am loving watching this build grow. ...

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MRB | new fleet

'Feels like Christmas morning.' After weeks of chatter, build up, and anticipation it was time. Mike had been planning and crafting with his friends at 'O'Regans' to secure the right deal. Some new team members means some new team tools. The choice of color? well that was easy! The added extras? there are plenty; Tool boxes, Back racks, Side rails. Everything a contractor needs. And most importantly, the branding. The transformation of a single use expense to a multi tasking powerful marketing tool! Roll out the new and improved MRB Fleet. We hope to see you around! ...

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Walnut St | progress

Before Steevo and his team could start the new front porch, they had to jack up the roof to correct and straighten the sag and install new support posts. Usually, holes are dug and MRB prefer to use Postech screw piles for decking foundation, however, as Steevo discovered when he hit solid rock, this job required a different approach. Steevo drilled directly into the solid rock and installed rebar to reinforce the post footings. Meanwhile on the inside, the bathroom is awaiting inspection and ready for drywall. ...

#celebrationzone
#pei2014
MRB Family weekend @PEI

MRB team mates and honorary members saddled up the trucks early Thursday morning and hit the road bound for Prince Edward Island. With her exceptional organisational skill, Lindsay had planned this, the 3rd annual, MRB in PEI one to be remembered. A couple of action packed days swinging golf clubs and casting fishing lines, before resting weary heads in MRB built mobile homes (A.K.A tents!), primed the team for a final night on the town. Congratulations Charlottetown and PEI outdoor activities, you were magnificent. As was Mike Burns golf game! ...

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Black Point | Concrete floor

Scotties 'Black Point dream job' now has a floor! In floor heating was laid over 3 inches of spray foam insulation, then the concrete was poured. In this instance, the concrete was dyed 'dark grey', unlike the concrete floor Scottie recently installed at Wilson Blvd, where a finish/stain was applied after the pour. Once polished, a concrete floor is long lasting, durable, and low maintenance. A simple warm soapy wash once a week can see this floor give up to 100 years of service. A sensible choice for sustainable building. ...

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Black Point | Shades of Grey

I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by textile artist Kaffe Fassett titled 'Glorious Colour'. Reknown for his strong, bold, contrast use of colour, I was astounded by his appreciation and love of 'Grey'. 'Grey' is what Scottie and his team have seen this week at the Black Point site. Soft ocean spray, sea mist and the stunning colour choices of Cape Cod cladding by in house MRB architect really settle this build into the landscape. Almost like camouflage. While the north and west walls are clad in vertical grey, the south and east walls feature a horizontal combination of colour. LOVE IT! ...

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Lend a Hand | Weir building

A traditional MiqMaq fishing technique, 'Weir' fishing in Nova Scotia has been a way of life for many families for centuries past. As soon as spring weather allows countless hours of physical labour go in to build a weir . Dictated by the amazing tides of the Northumberland Strait, long posts cut from trees are driven into the exposed ocean floor. Meticulously placed and spaced in preparation for the net and brush that complete the fishing trap. When Tropical storm Arthur hit Nova Scotia last week, our dear friends saw their weir and their livelihood literally wash away with the tide. A group of friends including MRB's Smitty and Corey heard the S.O.S and headed out. House building vs. Weir building, how different could it be? With 2 daylight tides, 7am and 7pm, on Saturday the team made awesome progress rebuilding the weir and when they arrived for duty Sunday morning they were already reaping the benefits. Exhausted from a weekend of Work Hard and Play Hard, Corey headed home with 20lb of fresh caught flounder, while Smitty was emptied handed.  Next time he might check the currency of pay as he prefers NOT to eat fish! ...

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Clifton St | deck

As finishing work continues on the inside, there is exciting work commencing outside. In collaboration with designer Sue Sirrs 'Outside Planning and Design Studio', the team marks out the deck and puts in posts. The deck will be constructed with hemlock posts and framing, and decked with cedar, then finished with a timber stain in keeping with the buildings cladding. Sometime in the 1960's pressure (chemical) treated pine, CCA, became the choice of materials for decks and constructions exposed to the elements. 'Not only are the chemicals used in this process toxic, but overtime, it has shown that pine decking is not as durable as cedars in an outdoor environment.' The beautiful tall Hemlock posts will become support structure for a shade sail. This deck will provide the homeowner with extended living areas from inside whilst tying in the landscape outside. ...

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Walnut Street | renovation

Steevo and his team have started out on a new project. It will be exciting to watch progress on this renovation as the team work methodically through the home. Out with the old and in with the new. Owners will be looking forward to a new bathroom, replacement of flooring throughout the home, and fantastic updates to the kitchen. On the exterior this lovely home will retain all of it's charm with replacement of the porch on the front. While the back of the home will get quite a makeover, Cape Cod siding, new deck and entryway. ...

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Black Point |progress

Scottie and his team have really kept the ball rolling on this 'dream job site'. Already it's easy to imagine basking in the afternoon sun and soaking in the serenity. Windows and doors have been installed. The walls are strapped in anticipation of cladding, and decks are awaiting decking. A metal roof was choice for this build. As well as offering owners low/no future maintenance as it is extremely durable through cold winter temperatures, metal roofing ticks boxes with green building practises too. It is comprised of a high percentage of recycled materials AND 100% recyclable.  ...

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Clifton St | progress

Clifton St is a beehive of activity. The 'building' part is over, and the 'finishing' has began. Attention to detail is paramount and Smitty and the team draw on the finer skills of their craft with each task at hand. Corey is finishing the gorgeous contrast cedar cladding on the exterior entranceway. Inside, drywall is being hung. Not only does this enclose the structural bones of the building, but drywall also assists to increase the R-value of the finished home. Stay tuned for updates as the team lead this building down the final stretch for home! HAPPY CANADA DAY. ...

South Street
South St | complete

Steevo and his team have finished up their work on the South St home this week. Before the paint goes on and the house looks like new again, the photos below show just how much was involved in repairing the damage caused by water penetration. -Stripping the house back to reveal all the affected components; -Removing the damaged materials; and finally following MRB strict procedure; -Putting it all back together. Due to its unique properties, in life water is our best friend, but in building, it is our enemy! ...