02 Sep MRB family trip | PEI 2015

Hard to believe a year has gone by so fast. In MRB Contracting style and tradition, Thursday morning we loaded up the fleet bound for beautiful Prince Edward Island. Seriously wet conditions as we crossed the Cobequid Pass led to clearing welcoming skies as we came ashore the island. Again...

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05 May MRB Contracting | Our Culture

OUR CULTURE What is culture? Why is it important to a company? To the people that work there? To the product and services you offer? We knew we had a good thing going on at MRB Contracting. We grew organically, and are extremely fortunate with the team members that we have hired over the years. We never sat down and figured out what it was about MRB Contracting that we all loved. Why is it that every one of us cares so much about the houses we build, our clients and the people we work with? So we embarked on a different kind of project. Led by Nick Matheson of Shirlaws, we went through a series of exercises, some in small groups and some with the entire company. The common goal was to uncover what our common driving force was. It soon came to light that we all shared great pride in our work; that we liked to be recognized for it both as individuals as well as a company, and that we, as a group, are confident in our abilities. Now that we have verbalized the feeling that we all had about MRB Contracting, we all use it as a daily compass to...

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MRB Wedding Car

28 Oct MRB team | Love Is In The Air

A HUGE congratulations goes out to our team members Scottie and his wife Megan, and also to Phil and his wife Janna. Blessed with beautiful days and surrounded by their closest family and friends, the boys recently declared their love and commitment to their beautiful brides. We hope your futures are filled with good fortune, good times, and good luck! CONGRATULATIONS. XX ...

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Scissor lift training

21 Oct MRB | Skill building

Before Scottie and teammate Daniel can embark on their next project, they are required to extend their already broad repertoire of skills. So, MRB Contracting sent them off for an afternoon of scissor lift training. Commonly used in the construction industry, a scissor lift allows access to otherwise inaccessible areas, particularly at great heights! Utilising a tool like the scissor lift will assist us to optimise productivity on our architecturally challenging builds. As with all MRB practises and procedures, safety is of foremost concern. While the boys pay particular attention to proper technique and operation, they also had a little bit of fun! ...

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14 Oct MRB | what does your Thanksgiving look like?

Here's a peek of what some MRB team members Thanksgiving weekend looked like. We hope you had the chance to take a moment to enjoy yours! Thankful for Sunshine Thankful for 2nd helpings of Pie Thankful for Sisters and Weddings Thankful for Downtime Thankful for Cousins Thankful for Cabinlife Needs no words. X   ...

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MRB Contracting team member Phil volunteers his weekends

09 Oct MRB | what are you doing this weekend?

The team at MRB Contracting are a diverse group of motivated individuals. Midweek we come together and share a passion for custom modern architecture, skilled craftsmanship and the overall urge to build things. Weekends are filled with all array of activities, however, to no surprise, many of us are still building things. Our team member Phil, humbly volunteers his time to 'Habitat for Humanity.' "I've been involved with Habitat for Humanity on several builds over the past couple years. What got me involved with the organization was simply that I really enjoy doing carpentry and it was a great chance for me to use my skills to help someone. I usually work as a Crew Leader and can have as many as 12 volunteers working under me. A majority of them have never swung a hammer before but with so many volunteers we accomplish a lot in one 8 hour shift." Check out the project Phil is currently working on in North Kentville. If, like Phil, you would like to support this organisation you can volunteer your time, or alternatively, you can shop for building and renovation supplies at their ReStore [caption id="attachment_5612" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Kingscountynews photo[/caption]...

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09 Sep Black Point | Deck

Meanwhile, back to Scottie and 'the dream job.' He and his team have been crafting the finishing touches on the exterior of this MRB design-build. Each post on the deck has been meticulously rabbeted to allow the glass panels to slide in snugly with no handrail leaving unobstructed views of Blind Bay and beyond. Simultaneous work on the interior, and the drywall is all but hung and taped ready for painting. ...

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Elite Marble and Tile, Mapeguard

19 Aug 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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05 Aug 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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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, Clifton St., architectural homes, beams, mud

21 Jan Clifton St. | do’s and don’t’s

Don't: get your boots stuck in the mud. It took Rockett about 5 panicky minutes and a whole heap of shovelling to free up his sinking foot. Do: ask the excavator to help hoist a several hundred pound, 4-ply LVL beam ten feet into the air. With the benefit of the lift we were able to assemble the 4 ply's on flat ground with plenty of construction adhesive and a pile of fasteners. This thing will never come apart again. As I write this we are getting very close to framing the second story. So stay tuned for a visual of the complete structure in the coming days! ...

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MRB Contracting

16 Jan Team Profiles | Bryan Rockett

What's your name and job function? My name is Bryan Rockett and I'm a Carpenter Can you talk about your building trade background? My building background began in my grandfathers wood shop. I positively loved cleaning up all the saw dust he’d make, and most of all the smell and atmosphere of his shop. After graduating high school I spent 2 years working in commercial construction and soon came to realize if I really wanted to hone my carpentry skills I had to make a move to residential construction. I’ve been doing residential work ever since and proudly became a Red Seal carpenter. What's the most satisfying part of your job? The most satisfying part of my job is  when I can come up with a quick and correct solution to an issue that I run into during an elaborate renovation. I also love trying to come up with more efficient ways to complete tasks without compromising the end product. Favourite tool? My favourite tool is a toss up between my 21oz Dalluge hammer and my worm-drive Skill Saw. But if I had to choose I would probably go for the worm drive. Hobbies? I absolutely love playing squash, weight lifting, mountain biking, motorbiking and sharpening all my hand...

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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, dump trailers, housekeeping,

18 Jul Housekeeping: trailer makeovers

Even though we're as busy as usual, we have to take advantage of these warm sunny days to take care of our gear. Our two well-used dump trailers needed some maintenance.  From lubing up all the moving parts, to grinding off rust, to a fresh paint and wood panels, the trailers are getting complete makeovers. Nothing feels better than taking care of our tools. ...

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MRB Contracting, team, halifax ns

04 Jun Team Profiles: Angus Erskine

What's your name and job function? Angus Erskine, carpenter. Can you talk about your building trade background? I first got an interest in high school shop class. I completed the NSCC  carpentry program in 2012 and started working in construction. What's the most satisfying part of your job? The most satisfying part of the job is seeing the finished product and looking back on the trials and tribulations, the ups and the downs, and constantly trying to improve on what I've done. Favourite tool? My favourite tool is my Estwing catspaw. Best catspaw on site...

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MRB Contracting, team profile, Halifax Nova Scotia, builders, custom homes

09 May Team Profiles: Brian Mitchell

What's your name and job function? Brian Mitchell, Carpenter Can you talk about your building trade background? I started my experience in the building industry building log and timber frame homes.  After attending a trade school to learn the necessary skills, I worked as a craftsman building custom homes for about 6 years.  After moving east I continued to develop my skills in conventional home building, and MRB is a great place to learn and use some of the newest technologies and techniques our industry has to offer. What's the most satisfying part of your job? The most satisfying part of my job is seeing milestones in a project as they are completed.  When walls are framed, cladding is finished, or drywall is hung, the project takes on a new shape, and results in a sense of accomplishment and pride in what our team was able to create. Favourite tool? My favourite tool would have to be ( and I didn't want to be the first repeat) framing nailers. They are pretty awesome...

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MRB Contracting, Halifax NS

07 Mar Team profiles: Tom Premier

What's your name and job function? Tom Premier, Cabinetmaker Can you talk about your building trade background: In 2001 I started an apprenticeship at a custom woodwork shop in Maple Ridge, BC, where I worked for six years. I learned about all aspects of the trade, while gaining experience building high-end custom millwork for both residential and commercial applications. I also attended BCIT, where I attained my journeyman ticket as well as Red Seal endorsement in Joinery. During this experience I developed a keen eye for quality and design, as well as a love for the craft. In 2007, I moved to Rossland, BC where I worked for a contractor, renovating old homes from the gold rush era and getting really dirty. I continued with my woodworking on the side, all the while making custom furniture and helping friends with kitchen renovations. In 2011, I followed my heart to Halifax, and in doing so found the perfect job with MRB Contracting. If I’m not in the shop creating top-of-the-line cabinetry, you can find me on site with my tool belt on, making jokes and filling up Scott Billard’s tool belt with pebbles. All joking aside, I’m lucky in that I love what I do, and that I’m...

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MRB Contracting, Halifax Nova Scotia, Lindsay

21 Feb Team profiles: Lindsay Langille

What's your name and job function? Lindsay Langille, Operations Manager Can you talk about your building trade background? I grew up around construction my whole life, from drawing floor plans on restaurant napkins, to driving around "checking jobs" after dinner with Dad. As the daughter of an entrepreneur and land developer, construction was bound to be my path of choice. I graduated from NSCC with Construction Management in 2009 and worked for a commercial construction company for 2 years, before joining MRB in 2011. What's the most satisfying part of your job? The most satisfying part of my job is knowing I am a part of something awesome! And when I say a part of it, I mean it's not just a "job." Doesn't the quote say "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!" That's how I feel. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with, and I feel proud to be a part of the MRB team! Favourite tool? I'd have to say my favourite tool is our accounting program Xero, it is a web-based program that is incredibly user friendly and allows us to keep our financial data completely up to date and our...

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MRB Contracting, team,

14 Feb Team profiles: Robert Emberley

What's your name and job function? Rob Emberley - Carpenter Can you talk about your building trade background? I attended the NSCC for carpentry from 2009 to 2011. I worked framing new homes during the summers of 2010 and 2011. I was put into contact with MRB through a friend that I attended NSCC with, and I have learned more in my time with MRB than I learned in all my previous experiences. What's the most satisfying part of your job? I would have to say the joy of creating is probably the most satisfying part of my job. Seeing an empty lot or an older house transformed into a beautiful home, and seeing every step along the transformation is very satisfying to me. Favourite tool? I would have to say my favourite tool would be my speed square -mostly because of the many uses that extend beyond a simple straight edge. The speed square can be used to find angles, as a lay out tool for wall framing, and as a guide for skill saw cuts. Hobbies? When I'm not working, I enjoy playing music and playing hockey....

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