craftsmanship Tag

MRB Contracting, Shoebox, Kingsburg, cladding, siding

23 Jul The importance of proper rain screening

What's a rain screen? Here's the Wiki definition: ..the rainscreen is the first interruption between conditions that exist on the outside of a walled building and conditions that are required on the inside of a walled building. [caption id="attachment_2577" align="aligncenter" width="510"] VentGrid rain screen provides a 1/2" air space between the moisture barrier and cladding.[/caption] Weather in the Maritimes is of often characterized by driving rain and gale force winds. Keeping water from entering behind exterior walls is practically impossible. Proper rain screening allows both drainage and air flow -ensuring that water drains and dries. We use various forms of rain screen depending on the cladding program. Below is an interesting abbreviated history of previous technology solutions that failed. Our friends over at Keel Agencies originally posted this article written by Dan Morrison for Builder Magazine. [caption id="attachment_2211" align="aligncenter" width="478"] 5/4" pressure treated strapping provides over an 1" of air space.[/caption] 1930s Paint peels off walls after wall cavities are filled with a new product — insulation. Because walls do not dry evenly in an insulated wall, moisture pushed its way outward. Result: Paint peeled off in sheets, first “insulation is evil" cries break the airwaves. Solution: vapor retarders, like kraft-faced insulation 1970s Vapor retarders graduate to...

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MRB Contracting, Kingsburg Nova Scotia

21 May Materials: Plywood Vs. OSB

At MRB we strictly use plywood over OSB (oriented strand board) for all wall, roof and floor sheathing applications. As part of a new “materials” series on our blog we’ll be discussing building materials and why we choose certain products. A quick Google search on the use of plywood vs. OSB provides and array of anecdotal and evidence-based information. A University of Massachusetts study published in 2005 by Paul Fisette delves into great detail in comparing plywood and OSB. He states that OSB and plywood share the same performance and span ratings. While both products may perform the same in lab tests, that is not the case in real world applications where OSB consistently underperforms when in contact with moisture. OSB is a less expensive product and perhaps because of this it has become a standard in construction applications over the last few years. However, cost savings in the beginning don’t always equal cost savings in the long run. A few reasons why we choose plywood over OSB: OSB off-gasses higher levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde than plywood - making it more of a health hazard for homeowners. Plywood is much more stable when in contact with moisture. OSB’s density allows for greater absorption and expansion...

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MRB Contracting, custom homes, Kingsburg, modern

16 May Kingsburg 1 finished interior

Kingsburg 1 is complete now and we are very pleased with the results. We showed you some photos of the interior finishes as they were being developed. Today we have photos of the finished interior. This is just a sample however, as we will be doing a full portfolio shoot in the near future. [caption id="attachment_2602" align="aligncenter" width="510"] All the millwork was done in-house by our cabinetmaker Tom.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2606" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The kitchen features glass tile back-splash, Ceasarstone counter tops and Baltic birch cabinets.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2601" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The view from the entrance hallway to the back of the house. There is plenty of natural light in this ocean front home.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2615" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The wood burning stove will provide a cozy feel in the living area.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2612" align="aligncenter" width="364"] The bathroom walls and counter tops feature a solid surface Formica panel for complete water resistance and long lasting beauty.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2611" align="aligncenter" width="342"] A Baltic birch vanity sits atop heated concrete floors.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2605" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Custom barn doors in the master bedroom provide a traditional cottage feel.[/caption] ...

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MRB Contracting, siding, Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, custom homes

13 Dec Cape Cod siding at Kingsburg 1

Cape Cod siding is a beautiful product. It demands the utmost attention to detail during installation to ensure a clean uniform finish. It exacts a carpenters skills and patience as every single piece must be cut to size with either 45, 22.5, 15, or 5 degree angle depending on where the piece is going to land. In addition, all fresh cuts are painted, nail holes near ends are pre-drilled, and joints are glued with PL construction adhesive. As rows go on they are checked to ensure that they are plumb or level depending on orientation. The end result? You'll see soon enough. One thing is for certain, you can't beat the durability of wood siding.             ...

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MRB Contracting, Halifax, NS

10 Dec In response to Steve Maxwell’s “When trades are devalued”

Passion for craftsmanship is not a relic of the past. MRB's team of young builders is proof of this fact. Last week Steve Maxwell, a widely syndicated home improvement columnist, wrote a piece about the decline of craftsmanship in the trades. Maxwell harkens back to a time when Canadian homes were built start to finish by a small group of tradespeople. He states that specialization in the industry over the past few decades has created an environment where accountability and pride have taken a back seat to profit. He also states that the trades have become a fall-back career for those who can’t seem to make it in careers that are perceived to be better. According to Maxwell, the current state of affairs is essentially a decline in quality and accountability. While many of Maxwell’ points ring true, there is well documented proof that there is a renaissance in the spirit of craftsmanship, not only in the building trades but also in many other fields like brewing, custom furniture and many other fields. Young people are re-energizing the traditions of craftsmanship. At MRB we specialize in building homes from start to finish. We do everything from the foundation, to framing, and finish...

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