OUR BLOG

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MRB Speedsquares | Play On!

'Hockey night in Canada's Play On! is the largest participatory sports festival in Canada', so of course, we were there to be part of it! There was hype and excitement leading up to the weekend, and by the time the team convened at the MRB woodshop for a Friday night beer, the whole city was abuzz. This weekend was the opportunity for anyone to showcase the skills they spent a lifetime mastering. Who can't recall a childhood street hockey tale? Saturday morning came, and so did the rain. The MRB Speedsquares hit the ground and a convincing first game win of 7-1 set the tone for what was to come. Despite the rain, the team continued to dominate, and with game scores of, 13-2, 6-2, 8-2, 4-1, they were ready for finals. Somehow, amidst the excitement...

Thermalwise |energy efficient building

As you know, innovative technologies and energy efficiency are priority to us. R-2000 is an industry standard introduced by Natural Resource Canada to promote energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in home construction. This week we had a series of tests performed by 'Thermalwise' on our Clifton St build. These tests are performed to produce a score.Airtightness testing is conducted by using fans to induce pressure differentials across a buildings air barrier system. We were excited to watch the testing process and even more excited to hear how we rated. So you can compare: New house with typical batt insulation average score 3.5 R-2000 house average score 1.5 Our Clifton St preliminary score 1.09! This test has been performed prior to installation of drywall to allow us to easily access any potential problem areas (air leakage) that may show up. On completion of this build, our standard of excellence at less than 1 should be easily met. Phenomonal! ...

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Lobster | support local business

Wherever you go, when people hear you live in Nova Scotia, an immediate topic of conversation is Atlantic Lobsters. I hosted an international visitor last week. Played 'tour guide' around our stunning province and of course finished up her visit with a feast of local Lobster! At less than $5/lb, it's more affordable than any meat. There's no growth hormones, and it's nutritional value is awesome! (Without the melted butter!) But best of all, it's fresh. Most lobster vendors around the city claim it's caught the same day. As we support local business in the building industry, we should all make an effort to support our local lobster fisherman. After all, eating is everyone's industry! ...

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South Street | Repair

The owners of this south end home called upon MRB when they discovered water damage and rotting shingles after a renovation that had been done a few years prior. Steevo and his team found that although the previous contractor had used Tyvek and Tuck tape when sealing the joins, there were no proper flashing installed leaving the water no where to go. Hence, the rot. In addition to installing additional flashing to promote drainage, the team (following MRB procedure), also repaired the corner boards and window trims before replacing the shingle cladding. This job is an example of why we invest in procedures. Prevention is always better than cure! ...

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Black Point | Framing

Beautiful bright sunshine has been a great motivation for Scottie and the team to get to work on the Black Point build. 'Its a dream job site!' Working on a site like this with it's stunning panoramic views and amazing backdrop commands immediate and ongoing respect for how this home is going to settle in the landscape. While the building commences, excavation work continues to create the final grade of the land. The sequence of photos demonstrate the pace of progress over just one week. ...

MRB Contracting, halifax nova scotia, contractor, builder,
A worthwhile Investment

Investment- 'is time, energy, or matter spent in the hope of future benefits actualized within a specified date or time frame.' With each opportunity of a new build the investment feels equally ours, until we hand you the keys and it becomes yours! Time- from conception of a project we invest hours ensuring we understand your requirements and needs. We strive to achieve the highest standards of craftsmanship are maintained while deadlines are met. Energy- stop by a work site to get some idea of the energy that we use to build your home! Kinetic energy of the team is just one form. Matter- with our expertise we will guide you through the vast choices of local, reclaimed, environmentally efficient and sensitive, building products available and suitable for your build. We invest because we want you TO LOVE IT. ...

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Clifton St | more concrete

The preparations for pouring concrete were traditionally over when the foundation of a house was complete. Modern day application of concrete has seen this versatile composite building material, become second only to naturally occurring water as most commonly used component in all infrastructure. Modern architect design and application sees the use of concrete extend well into the later stages of this build at Clifton St.  Smitty and the team set out and prepared the second floor spaces- bedrooms and bathrooms for Fridays pour. After careful monitoring to retain ideal moisture levels over the weekend, Monday the team cut control joints in the slab work for a perfect finish. ...

Bluenose Marathon
Runners and Royals

This Victoria Day long weekend made Halifax buzz with excitement. Who could ask for a better start to the weekend than the beautiful sunshine that we had on Friday. A huge congratulations to our project foreman Scott Billard on his fantastic effort in his 1/2 marathon run on Sunday. Scott crossed the line in 40th place in a field of over 2000 starters. Awesome! And to finish the weekend, royal followers were out to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall 'Camilla' enjoying Halifax and the weekend festivities. ...

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Black Point | update

After finishing up his work on the extension at Wilson Blvd, foreman Scott Billard and his team have been busy getting the new project at Black Point out of the ground. Foundations have been stripped, the removal of forms to allow the concrete to cure properly, and waterproofed in preparation for the backfill. The piers you see are for the deck that will wrap around two sides of the house. ...

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Clifton St | Dream Home

The progress at Clifton St this week has been phenomonal. It started with the basement concrete pour early Monday morning and by Wednesday afternoon the team are fast making this Nova Scotian Dream Home a reality! The walls are being clad with a pre finished product from Cape Cod. 'This product joins traditional value with advanced technology. The top quality finish is applied under strict factory conditions resulting in a maximum protection uniform finish that cannot be achieved with field applied paint'. As you can see in the pictures below, aesthetically speaking, this modern design, is really going to blend nicely with its period built neighbours. ...

MRB Millwork
Wilson Blvd | millwork

With Scottie and his team's work on the exterior all but complete, Tom from the woodshop has moved in. The new extension is being fitted with custom crafted cabinetry and millwork right from the MRB woodshop. The pantry doors have been fitted with zero protrusion hinges allowing the internal drawers to glide open unobstructed. The stunning kitchen peninsula dividing the new addition is flooded with daylight from doors and skylight above. This project is shaping up to be amazing, stay tuned for photos on completion!...

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Clifton St | Basement

Clifton Street has been a hive of activity. Not only are all the windows in place and cladding progressing well, but the team have managed to fit in preparations for the basement slab! After the plumbing and electrical had been roughed in and as specified by the architect the process was step by step: 1. Basement is filled with tamped gravel to 2 inches below the footings 2. A 2 inch layer of rigid foam, gaps filled with foam and joins sealed with Tuck Tape 3. A complete covering of PERMINATOR, a 15 Mil Underslab Vapor Barrier/Retarder that extends up the height of each wall 4. Second layer of rigid foam, this time 1 inch, again gaps filled with foam and joins sealed with Tuck Tape 5. Finally, the steel mesh in readiness for the concrete pour Each of the steps is an investment in the overall success of the build. Ensuring its environmental impact is minimal and comfort for the homeowner optimal. ...

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Clifton St | Windows

There was excitement in the air for the much anticipated arrival of the Clifton Street windows. The team were on site early to unload the 28 Accurate Dorwin Triple pane fibreglass windows. In keeping with MRB philosophy, these windows are incredibly energy efficient and offer substantially low U- values. They commenced work immediately, meticulously installing several of the windows following the MRB window installation procedures as we detailed in a previous blog post. As each window is installed the team are able to move forward with the exterior finish of cladding. While there are many steps in this installation process, each plays a vital role in the functionality of the final build. As usual, Smitty and the team practice their craftsmanship and attention to every detail. ...

Clifton St | Green building practices

As you may know, innovative practices and energy efficiency are priority for MRB. Through each stage of a build, from design to construction and maintenance, the common objective is to reduce the overall impact of the build on our natural environment. This is evident here at Clifton St. A 10300 pound cistern tank was installed with the brawn of excavation equipment and guided by Corey and Smitty. The cistern tank will be the collection point for rainwater and is fed by a series of downpipes from the roof. The pipes leading into the three toilets that the tank will service have been heavily insulated with sand, gravel and finally enclosed in a rigid foam box. From an aesthetic point of view, you would never know the tank was there. From an environmental point of view, this installation is a great example of green building practice.  ...

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Wilson Blvd | The truth about cats and dogs!

Here  you are seeing the final stages of this extension come to life. As shown in past updates, the additional space this extension will allow for family living and entertaining is exponential. And every member of this family's needs have been considered, even the 4 legged ones! This thought-out extension incorporates an outdoor enclosure to allow the resident cats to roam outdoors while staying safe from the dangers that lurk outside. It also eliminates the impact that our feline friends can pose to other animals. Each day, even before the exterior is complete and the crew leaves, the resident cats are enjoying the 'Catarium'. The truth is, whether we like it or not, our furry four legged companions become an integral part of our families.  Whatever makes them happy!<3 ...

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MRB | the new woodshop

What do you do when you are handed the keys to your new address? A blank canvas. An open space. A place to bring your dreams to fruition. Just like a young family, as it matures and grows, we found ourselves outgrowing our James Street home. The expansion of the MRB Woodshop has led to a new address off Creighton St in Halifax's North End. Before we begin transforming this place, MRB took advantage of the open space and brought in the team for Friday night floor hockey! We will keep you posted with updates and photos as the relocation and creation of the new MRB Woodshop unfolds. Mike and the office team will continue their work at our James Street address, but what will become of the James St shop? Even the shop dogs came by to checkout what all the talk has been about! ...

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MRB Procedures | windows

MRB has strict procedures and applications for the procurement of materials we choose and craftsmanship we employ. Whether its from the ground up, or a renovation of an existing dwelling, it is our focus to ensure exceptional quality and standards are maintained. Every 2nd Friday the MRB team convene in the woodshop to fine tune and reaffirm the implementation of these processes and procedures. This week Smitty took the stage with a demonstration of the MRB procedures for window installation. The images below demonstrate a brief play by play of our procedure: Keeping in mind the biggest consideration is penetration of wind and water . 1. Walls are wrapped in WRAPSHIELD IT - a breathable, water resistant membrane 2. Strapping is nailed around the window opening 3. Another great Vaproshield product, is Vaproshield SA  (self adhesive). This seals the Vaproshied IT wrap and strapping to the building, thus eliminating water and wind penetration. 4. Next we apply Liqui-Flash and a bead of Dow around the opening before fitting the window in place. 5. Then comes flashing. 6. Voila! Ready for cladding. ...

Stunning new apartment for lease Agricola Street Halifax
Amos Wood | flat unveiled

We are excited to showcase the unveiling of the Amos Wood renovation. You may remember from the beginning this project entailed two parts? The ground floor renovation to be storefront for owner Jeff Amos' business expansion. From its base in Blockhouse to the Halifax North End (stay tuned for photos). And the second floor renovation to boast 560sft of stylish bright and modern living space. This apartment is an exhibition of the passion for quality wood, texture and craftsmanship shared by MRB and Amos. Contrasting original chimney bricks with smooth clean white walls, robust industrial light fittings and polished yellow poplar floors. More of a rebuild than renovation. Soaked with natural light, a south west facing front deck overlooks the treed North End neighbourhood. The every day conveniences and treats of Tasty Agricola at the door! Want to be the first to call this home? Available now!   ...

Wilson Blvd | flooring

Scotty and his team have made great progress on this renovation. Our homeowners will soon be enjoying their stylish open living addition as well as a fantastic split level deck. Perfect for summer evening entertaining. Remember the concrete floor? A unique finish by Concreations has transformed the basic grey colour to a stunning translucent copper tone with a natural mottled finish. A perfect choice for a high traffic space. It will maintain its quality appearance with no risk of chipping or peeling. ...