03 Apr Supporting local business

When you look out your window it may be hard to believe, but there is one tell tale sign that spring is on the way. Our local mills are back in full swing. New timber is coming in, and going out processed and ready to hit the job site. We are very fortunate to have suppliers like Hefler Lumber (shown here) and Amos Wood close by who provide us with a fantastic selection of high quality materials as well as a range of other products not available in the big box stores. Its always great to support local business! We love to handpick lumber like this:   And craft it into something like this!. ...

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01 Apr Old Man Winter

Just when we thought it was safe to pack away the insulated overalls for the year, back came Old Man Winter to let us know otherwise! Forecasts for wintry blizzard conditions were right on for yet another Wednesday storm. Turned out to be the best, or worst, of the coldest winter Halifax has endured in years. With wind gusts in excess of 100kmph this kind of weather is a good reminder of what our builds are going to have to endure. From laying foundations, sealing windows, and battening down the roof, every part of an MRB Build is meticulously crafted to stand the test of time.   ...

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27 Mar Black Point | foundations

Our MRB design build at Black Point was front and centre stage last. Some warmer weather allowed Scotty and his team to place and pour footings in preparation for the foundation. As you can see, this house will take full advantage of its fantastic location and orientation. Not only with its close proximity to the water but with views of both the pond beside and the waves crashing on the rocks in Blind Bay right from the living space. ...

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Purcells Cove Rd

25 Mar Purcells Cove Road | new project

From start to finish, we love to take care of everything! Before construction even commences on this site in Purcells Cove the MRB team are there. This build is located on the apex of a massive hill and so first job is to give ourselves safe and easy access. We employed some big machines to get to work. The existing rough road required compacting and an additional topping of stone to ensure a good solid base driveway for material delivery and concrete trucks. All that's left to do before the eager team  can start construction  is to bring in power. Some power poles will be put in place at the top of the driveway. As we begin to see traffic on this driveway, we will be thankful we invested the time and energy now. Perhaps the most unique MRB build to date, I recommend you stay tuned for updates as this fantastic house project unfolds! ...

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20 Mar Spring | new season new projects

'It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: When it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.' - Charles Dickens What does the MRB team look forward to about Spring? 'Breaking 97!' 'The bluenose marathon and some serious training leading up to it' 'Not having to wear 10 layers of clothes anymore. Being able to actually feel my hands when working. And destroying Brian Mitchell in golf. (But that goes on all summer long, not just spring)' 'Planning and planting my vegetable garden, and the fashion and excitement of the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival. Though I've got some waiting for that this year!' Good bye winter 2014, Hello Spring! ...

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Wilson Blvd Murphy addition

18 Mar Wilson Blvd | wedgewood addition progress

With the electrical complete, spray in insulation done, and a finished concrete slab the team from MRB set back in action. Photos show what was the external wall of the home demolished and framed, and give you an idea of the space and open plan living concept that this addition will provide. In floor electrical heat will make this family space warm and welcoming in even the coldest Halifax winter! ...

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I love North End

13 Mar MRB’s home | the north end

The North End right in the thick of the urban core. We are seeing a wave of urban renewal flow through streets of an area where some were once hesitant to embrace, not only has this area shaken that stigma but has now become a hub for revitalization. A blend of modern architecture harmoniously growing amid the small wood frame and semi- detached row houses. This area is where early industry thrived, and a popular choice of homes  for new  companies and creative organizations. Diverse shopping with a variety of art galleries, furniture shops, and an expanding repertoire of vibrant restaurants and bars. There is real community and support, and it offers us a sense of camaraderie from our neighbours who have also dared to dream!     ...

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Firestone V-force roofing membrane

12 Mar Clifton St | roof

One step closer to water tight at Clifton St. The bright sunny clear blue sky enticed the team up to the roof.  For workplace safety a railing was constructed around the perimeter. This allowed the team to continue work free of their harnesses. After clearing a winters worth of ice build up they rolled out the first step of weather proofing and sealing. Firestone V Force Barrier membrane is not only a reliable vapour barrier, but also doubles as a way to quickly weather-proof a new construction. It is non-slip and UV resistant and so will allow the team to continue working until temperatures warm when the final membrane EPDM roofing system can be applied. >...

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07 Mar Clifton st | Vaproshield

With the framing complete at Clifton Street  the next stage was wrap the entire building tightly in Wrapshield, a Water Resistive Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Membrane construction by Vaproshield . Along with its energy saving and cost reducing benefits for the life of the building , Vaproshield boasts 'All Climate Construction'. Just as well!- as the team bravely continue work outdoors through ongoing Halifax wintry weather and sub zero temperatures. The team have added strapping around the exterior of the building in readiness for cladding. Windows are temporarily covered to allow access for sub trades to make a start. Plumbers have roughed in, and electricians were on site yesterday. Full steam ahead and bring on spring! ...

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MRB Contracting, Hickey Day, The Team

04 Mar our team | pond hockey

Saturday, the team from MRB Contracting put down the tools and sharpened their skates for the first annual competition of the MRB cup. Corey and Smitty convened early to craft a quality hockey net and groom the ice in anticipation. The morning brought sunshine and blue skies on Cranberry Lake where the puck was scheduled to be dropped at 1pm. Teams were decided and play commenced. Mid term breaks made way for our very own MRB Timbits to showcase their skills and show up their Dads! With all the guts and determination of Sidney Crosby and Team Canada, play continued until a brave move from Bryan 'Rockett' blocked a shot and the final siren blew. At the end of the  day not everyone's name made it on the MRB Cup Trophy, but the entire MRB team totally enjoyed the opportunity for some 'off-site - tools down' building of a different kind.                ...

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MRB Contracting, garage addition

27 Feb Garage Redux project portfolio

Remember the Garage Redux project? We've created a portfolio of the completed project on our work titled St. Margaret’s Bay garage addition. Click on the our work button on the left to see it. ...

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MRB Contracting, renovation, south end halifax

25 Feb South End living room & kitchen reno

We recently added a new portfolio item of a renovation to a South End Halifax home. You may remember it from some of the posts last fall when we installed a giant parallam beam. Mouse over to the our work section and see it for yourself. ...

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MRB Contracting, architectural cottage,

20 Feb Black Point | first glimpse

Black Point is our latest in-house designed project. The cottage will look out onto Blind Bay and will be set amongst the trees. A couple of sketches and some photos from the site should give you a glimpse into what is to come. ...

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halifax winter, construction, framing, mrb contrating

18 Feb Clifton St. | framing bedrooms

The guys managed to get the roof on before the scheduled 'snow Wednesday.' It was a good thing too because with more flurries throughout the rest of the week it was a welcome relief to be out of the elements. Corey and Rockett focused on the interior walls for the bedrooms while Adam worked on the layout for recessed storage areas. Framing is almost complete. In the next few days the team will begin wrapping the house in VaproShield to get ready for cladding. ...

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MRB Contracting, halifax renovation, addition, ICF

11 Feb Wedgewood addition

The team has been building an addition on this bungalow in the Wedgewood neighbourhood. The addition will create a large living area that opens up to the kitchen. The best place to begin is with a fully insulated ICF foundation wall.  The next step will be to backfill the foundation and get ready for framing. Stay tuned. This promises to be a cool project. ...

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MRB Contracting, clifton st., TGI trusses

06 Feb Clifton St. | roof layout

It seems like the prevailing weather pattern thus far this year includes bluebird skies sprinkled around snowy Wednesdays. Inevitably every Thursday then begins with some snow removal. Regardless of those frigid facts the crew is making headway on the framing. By the time you read this the roof will be completely framed (unless of course we have a snowy Wednesday). The roof truss layout on this build is made slightly complicated by the lighting layout. So before the trusses are installed, foreman Adam uses the electrical plans to locate all the pot lights. He draws a red circle on the floor where the light will be located. Then he transfers that location to the walls so that when the truss location is laid out (typically every 16 inches), no trusses land where the lights will be.  Once the layout is complete the guys begin installing beams and hangers for the trusses. ...

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04 Feb Tasty Agricola St.

Agricola St. seems to be in constant flux. Luckily it's always for the better. In the last few months a few new doors have opened up to the public. The most notable additions are the Agricola Street Brasserie and Lion & Bright. The reviews for both of these places are quite positive so far and they definitely give the street a new vibe. Lion & Bright is an extension of the Local Source Market & Catering which has been in the area for many years now. Across the street are the classics like Smith Bakery and Nauss Bicycle Shop. It's great to see indy businesses thriving in our neighbourhood. ...

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MRB Contracting, Clifton St, halifax contractor

30 Jan Clifton St. | 2nd story framing

Below is a pictorial essay of the progression of the second story framing at the Clifton Street house. As one of the carpenters on the job site it's always amazing to see what a group of people working in concert can accomplish. The walls go up one at a time and before you know it there's a house. In a few more weeks we will be wrapping the house in VarpoShield and getting ready for cladding. Time flies when you're busy! ...

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28 Jan Amos Wood | textures

What role does texture play in architecture? Encyclopedia Britannica has this to say: Texture plays a dual role in architecture: it expresses something of the quality of materials, and it gives a particular quality to light. Although one absorbs both qualities simultaneously by eye, the first has tactile, the second visual associations. The Amos Wood project is a great example of the use of texture. Mixed mediums create warmth and a sense of space in an unlikely urban environment, where row houses fight for space with the sidewalks and trees. Two spacious second story decks afford private views of the street and the backyard. The original chimney bricks would almost contradict the clean new white walls. Except that they don't. Instead they provide visual warmth with their rich hues and charred bits. This project is nearing conclusion. Stay tuned for final photos. ...

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