MRB Contracting, beach cottage, modern architecture, kingsburg

19 Nov Testimonial | The Shoebox

We are always humbled when we get testimonials like the one below from Kevin and Jodi - owners of the Shoebox in Kingsburg. An artist with a painfully scrutinizing eye for fit and finish along with a registered architect and residential developer that has directly managed the creation of over 1500 homes squarely qualified us demanding clients. In addition, living in Vancouver meant that we would be building remotely. This set up our two main criteria for selecting the builder of our dream cottage:  1.Someone we could trust implicitly as we couldn't be there 2.Someone that was capable of digitally communicating every detail of the progress on the site, every day. 3.Someone that really understood modern architecture and the attention to detail . We investigated nine builders, interviewed four, then narrowed it down to two to provide initial proposals with their thoughts on budget and timeline. Ultimately we settled on MRB and we are very glad that we did.  MRB completely delivered on our expectations with respect to communication that included almost daily photographs, e-mails, and precise budgeting/invoicing. Through this detailed communication and the ongoing dialogue through the many design iterations and budget adjustments MRB ultimately delivered on our first criteria; trust.  With respect to attention...

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Kingsburg, beach house, MRB Contracting

08 Oct Kingsburg I revealed

Those of you who've been following our blog over the last year will remember the Kingsburg beach houses. We chronicled the progress of two homes from start to finish. Now we are pleased to show you the homes as they exist with their owners personal touches. Photos by Kelly Neil. First off is Kingsburg I, designed by architect Chad Jamieson, Halifax. We'll let the photos speak for themselves. ...

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MRB Contracting, demolition, Halifax builders

13 Aug 100th blog post

Wow! Time flies when you're busy building dream homes. It's been one year since we began blogging. And this is our 100th blog post. We'd like to thank everyone who's been following us here, on Facebook and Twitter. As I write this I wonder what has inspired you to continue to read our blog. Is it the photos? Or perhaps following the story behind each project? Or maybe you like some of the pieces we've written about building techniques and theory? Whatever it is we'd love to know so that we may continue creating content that you want to see. Send us an email or Tweet, or simply leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Below -a collection of  brief moments in time from the past year. Thanks again for reading.     ...

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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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06 May Kingsburg 2: photo roundup

It's been a little while since the last Kingsburg update. We're close to completion - just a few finishing details remain. Below are a photos from the mill work installation, outdoor details, and the custom stairs. [caption id="attachment_2513" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Every beach house deserves an outdoor shower![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2514" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Sliding barn door on the bunkhouse.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2515" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Tom the cabinetmaker inspecting the view in between installations.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2516" align="alignnone" width="383"] Some of the kitchen cabinets were installed.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2517" align="aligncenter" width="510"] We love the hardware on these upper cabinets.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2518" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The master bath vanity was installed as well.[/caption] ...

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MRB Contracting, modern architecture, kingsburg nova scotia, beach house

04 Apr When metal meets wood

A few weeks ago we gave you a sneak peak of the cladding on Kingsburg 2. The design called for a natural horizontal wood siding for the main house, and white corrugated metal for the bunkhouse. To bridge the gap between the two, the architect added recesses and bump-outs to the main house and incorporated the white metal detail. The windows have a natural galvanized finish detail. You may wonder why the roof line looks unfinished. That's because the metal drip cap has yet to be installed. Keep checking in for our full completed portfolio of Kingsburg 2. ...

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MRB Contrating, Halifax Nova Scotia, custom kitchen, baltic birch

01 Apr Baltic birch kitchen: Kingsburg 1

So far we've showcased the exterior of the Kingsburg projects. Today we wanted to show you a little from the kitchen and one of the bedrooms. Our cabinetmaker executed the architects cabinet designs using a mix of melamine and Baltic birch plywood. The matched end-grain detail is flawless and gives these custom cabinets a refined finish.   Below is a short sequence that shows the cabinets before the Caesar Stone and glass tile back splash installation. Pine was used for flooring. The colours of the pine pop once they are sanded and finished.   The photo below is one of the living area ceiling. Two large north west facing windows provide lots of natural light late into the afternoon.   The master bedroom also graces Baltic birch cabinets built in-house.   Stay tuned for more interior photos of Kingsburg....

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MRB Contracting, modern architecture

11 Mar Photo roundup: Kingsburg 2

The beginning of the week bathed us in sun as we continued cladding Kingsburg 2. The week however turned windy and cold. The North Atlantic never fails to provide plenty of weather excitement.   Tom strikes a line and gets ready to trim the ends off the deck boards. Three out of four walls are complete. The next step is a surprise.  ...

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MRB Contracting, cladding, Kingsburg, new construction

28 Jan Monday’s field notes

Last week was beautiful with clear skies and amazing light. With the clear skies came cold weather. Air temps hovered below -10 C. for the entire week. Cold enough that some of the more sheltered bays around Kingsburg were frozen. It's strange to see a frozen briny ocean. It even seemed as if the tides had stopped affecting the shoreline along the bay roads. We spent the week working mostly on Kingsburg 1 - finishing off the Cape Cod siding and installing the skirting and decks. The place is coming together nicely. The drywall crew braved icy roads and finished up their side of things not without their own challenges from the cold.       The James Street portfolio had a few photo additions. The kitchens were fitted with modern minimalist Baltic birch cabinets. Concrete floors in the kitchen give way to beautiful hardwood floors throughout the rest of the space.   Hope you enjoyed the first on our Team Profile series featuring Mike Burns. Keep an eye for a new profile on Thursday. And as always, thanks for stopping by!...

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MRB Contracting, carpenters, builders, halifax nova scotia

17 Jan Thursday photo roundup

  From gray misty Monday, to bluebird sky Tuesday,   to snow storm Wednesday,   this week threw just about every type of weather at us.       Kingsburg 2 has windows and doors in and is ready for cladding. What will it be? It will be a combination of wood and metal. Stay tuned and as always thanks for checking in.   ...

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MRB Contracting, Halifax, renovations, VaproShield, Keel Agencies

10 Jan Yes it’s cold: Thursday’s field notes

[caption id="attachment_1892" align="aligncenter" width="510"] A giant slab of ice that came out of our stainless steel dip tank lays in the sun unfazed. The block is over ten foot long and a foot tall.[/caption] It's true. Last week was really cold. This week has been warmer and yet it's still below freezing most days. With insulated coveralls and thermal gear it's like any other day. Progress is our goal. This week we have project updates from our two Kingsburg homes as well as from 2454 Halifax. 2454 received a makeover with a full removal of the old shingles and exterior trim. A layer of grey VaproShield was added for weather protection and pressure treated strapping was applied over the top to attach the exterior cladding. We won't tell what that's gonna be yet but we'll give you a hint. It's going to be white. At Kingsburg the team has been making steady progress with the Cape Cod siding on Kingsburg 1. The mix of vertical and horizontal orientation posses some challenges -we love challenges. Final windows installations took place as well. Finally, Kingsburg 2 is almost completely wrapped and strapped for siding. On this one we used the orange VaproShield for the both the bunkhouse...

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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, KIngsburg, Nova Scotia, Modern Architecture

06 Dec Photo roundup from Kingsburg

We've been working high and low this week. From finishing up framing the second story of Kingsburg 2, to starting the cladding on Kingsburg 1, things are moving along as they should. Below Brian and Angus perform the framing nailer hand-off as they start installing the roof trusses on Kingsburg 2. This house features a concave roof that will funnel water into a scupper and down a drain pipe on one side of the house. There will be no roof overhangs.   The shot below was taken from the second story of Kingsburg 2. In the foreground is the similarly shaped bunk house. And behind it on the adjoining lot is Kingsburg 1 with it's elegant roof line. The next time you see a photo of that house it will be claded in beautiful Cape Cod wood siding. Another shot from upstairs. This corner of the house features two giant windows. The photo highlights some of our water proofing and insulation techniques - measures that happen during framing. On the left of the photo you can see 1.5 inch rigid foam that is sealed around its edges with acoustic caulking. Then a 2 ply LVL beam is installed for structural support. The foam will...

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MRB Contracting, Kingsburg Nova Scotia

26 Nov Kingsburg 2: framing

In many ways building a house is a straight forward process. All details pertaining to design, measurements, specs, and other essentials are contained in the plans. Things aren't quite as simple however when the task is at hand. Carpentry requires a whole lot of problem solving and creativity. Take dimensional lumber for example.  A 2x4  seems like a fairly standard piece of lumber that anyone can get at a hardware store. However, on closer inspection you'll notice that it may be bowed, it could wane, and almost always it is crowned. It's this simple challenge of making all of those imperfect pieces of natural lumber come together in a square and plum frame that makes us love what we do. Getting a week of clear sunny skies sweetens the pot. ...

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MRB Contracting, HALIFAX Nova Scotia, Omar Gandhi

15 Nov Photo roudup

We could lament the rain. The truth however is that it's been a great week so far. While getting up before sunrise to make the trek to Kingsburg can feel daunting, sometimes watching the sun rise over country roads has its benefits. This week we received some photos of an Oxford Street deck we did a few months ago. We'll be adding a portfolio entry for this project soon. Here are a couple of shots to get excited about. And of course here we have our man Chester. Dapper and always alert for deer and squirrels. Architect Omar Gandhi sent us a couple of shots from living room renovation project he executed with MRB Woodshop. Stay tuned for a project portfolio. Down in Kingsburg the beginning of the week offered some amazing late Fall sunshine. The top of the bunkhouse offered an extra special vantage point for the guys as they worked on the parapet. The drive home from Kingsburg. On this evening we could feel the approaching storm in the air. Thanks for reading....

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08 Nov Kingsburg 1: windows & walls

  This week the team has been busy weather proofing window and door openings, installing windows and doors, and starting to install the strapping for the siding installation. As you can see from the photo above, we begin our day before the street lights go out. Kingsburg is quite exposed to our erratic North Atlantic weather. Heavy winds and rains can wreak havoc on doors and windows. That is why we are using some innovative new technologies to ensure water stays out while providing some breathability to allow any moisture to dry. The orange membrane around the window and door opening is called WrapSheild -by a company called VaproShield. It is water resistant and vapor permeable. Once installed a layer of Liqui-Flash is applied to enhance moisture protection. Before the doors and windows go in, a bead of special weather resistant caulk is applied to create a seal between the framing and the door and window flanges.     Finally, another layer of WrapShield is applied over the finished window installation. The layering of weather proofing materials ensures that the doors and windows will stand up to the extreme weather conditions. We also began installing the strapping that the siding will be attached to. You'll notice that...

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MRB Contracting, kingsburg nova scotia, modern home

05 Nov Kingsburg 1 & 2: Sandy’s week

What a crazy week last week was for the East Coast. Our best wishes go out to those who have been affected by hurricane Sandy. We were lucky that we only got a bit of wind (nothing out of the ordinary for Nova Scotia), and a lot of rain.   Even with the bleak weather forecast the team maintained a steady pace in Kingsburg. Kingsburg 1 in the photo above has the roofing completed as well as the tar paper. Kingburg 2 Below is a shot showing the floor joists installed.   Another view of the floor joists. The scenery from this house will be spectacular.     Last week we showed you the wall construction of the bunkhouse. In the photo below you can see the mezzanine beginning to take shape.   The photo below was taken from the main floor of the bunkhouse with the opening in the mezzanine in the background. The design will afford the space a feeling of open space with its high ceilings.   Later this week we'll profile a local company that provides some really interesting architectural building products. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!...

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