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. ...

Read More

07 Aug Black Point | progress

Outdoor living spaces have been fitted with convenient storage cupboards and built in bench seating. Relaxed decking and that stunning tricolour cladding settle the build into the landscape and invite you to explore the beach and stunning vista beyond. This MRB design provides our owner with the convenience of an attached carport that steps right onto the deck. With the inspectors tick of approval on the framing, electrical and plumbing indoors, Scottie and the team will see the spray in foam insulation commence today. When insulation is complete, the team can begin with interior finishes. Modest in size, but proud in attention to detail and design, I am loving watching this build grow. ...

Read More

10 Jul Clifton St | deck

As finishing work continues on the inside, there is exciting work commencing outside. In collaboration with designer Sue Sirrs 'Outside Planning and Design Studio', the team marks out the deck and puts in posts. The deck will be constructed with hemlock posts and framing, and decked with cedar, then finished with a timber stain in keeping with the buildings cladding. Sometime in the 1960's pressure (chemical) treated pine, CCA, became the choice of materials for decks and constructions exposed to the elements. 'Not only are the chemicals used in this process toxic, but overtime, it has shown that pine decking is not as durable as cedars in an outdoor environment.' The beautiful tall Hemlock posts will become support structure for a shade sail. This deck will provide the homeowner with extended living areas from inside whilst tying in the landscape outside. ...

Read More

28 Nov Amos Wood | street view redo

Did you miss Amos Wood yet? The guys have been there all along, refining all the structural details that you'll never see but nevertheless play an integral role in the finished product. Aside from continuing the interior, the team ripped off the entire facade. The photo below shows an almost uninterrupted view of Agricola Street. The extra light allowed for better detailed photos of the interior framing. The place is beginning to take shape. Some of the interior walls are complete. New sheathing and a deck were added up top. Our usual window and door program was used here as well. Finally, a view of Amos Wood from across the street. It won't be long before the team starts cladding and then we'll really have something! ...

Read More
MRB Contracting, fence, slats

17 Oct We build fences too

Summertime. What a better time to build a new fence in the backyard? Traditionally, fences were built to restrict movement across boundaries. In dense urban areas fences are a great way to add privacy. We designed this fence to serve both purposes. The slat design is a recurring theme for us and we've done various interpretations of it. This particular iteration uses the same dimension of wood and space to create a symmetrical viewscape along the property line. The only break in the line is the tree that straddles the  property line. We decided it was best to let nature be and work with the tree. ...

Read More
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. ...

Read More
CBC news, deck collapse

24 Sep Dartmouth deck collapse | what we learned

The deck collapse that happened in Dartmouth this past week has a lot of people talking about proper construction methods and also wondering about their own safety. Decks are not unlike houses in that they require the same engineering principles to handle the load capacity that they are designed for. The way decks are supported and attached to a home, especially if they are elevated, should receive as much attention and importance as the home itself. After all, they are living spaces and we should feel as safe on them as we would in our living rooms. [caption id="attachment_1745" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Multilevel decks in West Halifax[/caption] And because decks are exposed to weather year-round, extra care must be taken wherever wood makes contact with concrete, or even with other wood, where moisture may stay for long periods of time deteriorating the integrity of the lumber. It’s also important to note that building codes usually delineate the baseline or minimum requirements for construction processes. Conscientious builders and homeowners alike tend to exceed the minimum standards to unsure safety, and just as importantly, a longer lifespan. [caption id="attachment_2663" align="aligncenter" width="510"] It's always best when wood and concrete don't make direct contact.[/caption] For more information on HRM's...

Read More
MRB Contracting, renovations, garage, cedar deck, construction

17 Sep Garage redux part III

Last week we showed you photos of the garage project halfway through its development. Today we have some similar photos with more complete finishes. For the front entry we installed a new cedar deck with a horizontal slat detail. The side entry to the garage deck also has a slat detail down to the grade to compliment the front. Glass panels fill the voids for the rest of the deck railings, allowing unobtrusive views of the landscape. The cedar decking looks fresh with its natural red hues. Soon the salty air from St. Margaret's Bay will turn it to a classic grey. Cedar has the longest lifespan of any other outdoor decking material. Below is another view of the deck railing detail. Finally, a photo of the finished concrete floor in all it's polished greatness. ...

Read More
MRB Contracting, renovations, concrete floor, halifax, builder, contractor, cedar deck

03 Sep Garage redux part II

Our garage reno project is coming along nicely. The garage is fully framed and insulated. The concrete floors poured and finished to a smooth texture. Each piece of cedar used for decking has been individually dipped in a Lifetime solution to further expand its life expectancy. This 22' by 26' cedar deck offers great views of the amazing landscaping on the property -and when the leaves fall, a fantastic view of St. Margaretes Bay. The guys blended the new structure with the existing walkway to create a seamless transition between the two. Access to the deck from ground level on the top side of the property was created using pre-existing piers. Below is a view of the two car garage before the deck was installed. Check back for the next update to see what the cladding will look like! ...

Read More
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.     ...

Read More
MRB Contracting, Halifax, renovations, modern architecrture, Omar Gandhi Architect, contractor Halifax

30 Jul West End reno wrap up

Perhaps you thought we'd forgotten to show you what the West End reno looked like when it was finished. Nope. Here are a few teaser  shots by Ricardo from MRB and Omar Gandhi - these will give you an idea until we get the final set of pro photos for our portfolio. This project came out nicely and we'd like to sincerely thank everyone involved. [caption id="attachment_3195" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Scott and Simon review final details of the project on the back deck. This photo really shows the scale of the large upstairs window. The views from up there are stunning.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3210" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Evening Instagram photo by Omar Gandhi[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3190" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Flooring detail.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="510"] Bath detial Instagram photo by Omar Gandhi[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3187" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Upstairs view of the backyard before sodding.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="510"] Evening Instagram photo by Omar Gandhi[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3209" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Exterior cladding detail Instagram photo by Omar Gandhi[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3211" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Evening Instagram photo by Omar Gandhi[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="510"] Scott was the project foreman for the West End reno. He's happy with the outcome.[/caption]...

Read More
MRB Contracting, Halifax builders, renovations, epdm

27 Jun EPDM roof and deck reno

Below are a few photos of a small rooftop patio renovation. For a roof covering we used Firestone's EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) single-ply roofing system. While EPDM has been used in commercial applications for some time, its use on residential applications in our region is starting to take off. It's an easy to install, long lasting roofing membrane for low sloped roofs. Thanks to our friends at Keel Agencies for the support on this great product. Brian and Angus roll out the adhesive on the sheathing before installing the membrane. The deck construction consisted of a traditional design with pressure treated lumber to match the pre-existing structure. A new deck just in time for summer! ...

Read More
MRB Contracting, halifax nova scotia, contractor, builder,

23 May Ironstone update

It's been a while since our last Ironstone update. Lot's of work has happened inside, primarily insulation, electric and plumbing. Among the new changes out back are a new concrete drive shared between our office and the Ironstone home. On the office corner we created a form to cast our logo into the drive. [caption id="attachment_2662" align="aligncenter" width="510"] We chose to fence-in the back patio with plywood installed in a horizontal tile style. The plywood was treated with Lifetime to protect it from the elements. In a few weeks all of the ply will fade to an even gray.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2665" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The stairs and railings upstairs will also feature ply cladding.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2663" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Cool hardware. Below that colar is a long stainless steel pipe that goes down to the frostline.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2666" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Geometric lines accent a beautiful old tree.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2668" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Scott is decking the top floor on a sunny day.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2669" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Here Angus is installing the stair risers and treads.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2670" align="aligncenter" width="478"] The boss pressure washing the concrete to prep it for sealing.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2660" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Meanwhile, in the wood shop, Tom is working away on a special project.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2667" align="aligncenter" width="510"] In the office,...

Read More
MRB Contracting, press, The Coast Halifax

02 May See us in The Coast

MRB is featured in The Coast's 2013 City Guide edition. You can see more photos of this backyard deck on our portfolio page. ...

Read More
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!...

Read More
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....

Read More

24 Aug Oxford St. outdoors

Our client wanted a new front entry and two story rear deck. We took some photos after completing the construction. Completed project photos featuring the custom lighting will be up on our portfolio section soon. Photos by Omar Gandhi...

Read More
view from inside

22 Aug James St. backyard stylings

We crafted this beautiful table out of heavy slabs of rough cut lumber. Its simple lines work to compliment the design of the outdoor space while maintaining the rough hewn appearance of the wood. ...

Read More