New Construction


17 Jun Purcells Cove Rd | update

Like a beehive this build is constantly abuzz with activity. Indoors the drywall is hung ready to be taped, the floors are finished (details to come!), and the call has gone out for our sub-trades to come back to finish what they started. Outdoors has been equally as industrious. The septic field is in, landscape has commenced and the final stages of this homes contemporary cladding are being completed. The coordination and organisation involved in pulling everything together over the coming weeks will keep Corey and the team on their toes. And squeezing in a weekend in Florida to catch Game 5, how does he do it? ...

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12 May Purcells Cove | Cladding

It's all about cladding at our Purcells build. Corey has had the team meticulously placing and fixing the final layers on the exterior. Innovative, modern, contemporary materials demand utmost care and dexterity. Each requiring specific application. There are three different materials that finish this architectural residence and give it a formal, rigid appearance. Cembrit - on the ground level. Corrugated Aluminium - on both 2nd and 3rd levels. Wood - Maibec will fill the spaces around the windows. ...

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05 Apr Purcells Cove Rd | Mille Feuille Roofing

These April showers will hopefully bring flowers and plenty more days allowing progress like this! Corey and the team at our Purcells build started out this clear blue sky day with one thing on their minds……ROOF. So you will remember the first step in weatherproofing and sealing this build was applying the v-force vapour barrier. Thus providing us with a ‘weathertight’ construction site. The next step was to apply Densdeck prime cover board. This fantastic modern roofing product boasts the benefits of being highly fire and thermal resistant, water resistant, and adds structural strength to the entire roofing system. Densdeck board is applied in accordance with local build codes (determined on a wind uplift calculation) with a minimum of 12 fasteners per board. Fasteners are carefully marked out and screwed in. At this stage, it is integral that the team move promptly on to the final membrane. No more boards shall be installed than can be covered with membrane and completed before the end of each day’s work or before the onset of inclement weather. Last but not least comes EPDM. This rubber membrane, specifically designed for low sloping roofing and therefore ideal for this Omar Gandhi design, is also perfect for use with green...

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03 Mar Purcells Cove Rd | roof tight

Not all construction schedules align with ideal building conditions.  Clever products allow us to soldier on through even the harshest of East Coast winters. The application of  V-force Vapor Barrier Membrane is a fast easy and ‘temporary’step to becoming roof tight. This self adhering puncture resistant membrane is an excellent solution for quickly weather proofing a new construction and thereby allowing work to continue inside. Prior to this application the team ensure the roof is clear of ice and use blow torches to dry any excess moisture. A priming product is rolled on to the dry plywood prior to rolling out the self adhering V- Force. The boys still manage a big smile through their chattering teeth;)  ...

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20 Feb Roofing | Ice Dams

With this seemingly never ending snowfall, and temperatures consistently sub zero, the term ‘Ice Dam‘ is commonly heard. What is an ‘Ice Dam’? An Ice Dam occurs when snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface, then freezing and turning to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. As the bottom of the snow pack continues to melt, water continues to flow down the roof surface until it hits the ice, thereby creating a larger and larger ice dam. The problem – Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams. Prevention – In new construction, ice dams are easily prevented through building designs with adequate insulation and roof ventilation. As with window installation, MRB  follow strict procedure and use specialty product when it comes to putting on a roof. We’ll see this in more detail as Corey commences the roofing process at Purcells Cove Rd. Cure – as with any ailment, prevention is the best cure. However, if...

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Omar Gandhi Stereovision

07 Oct Purcells Cove Rd | watching the ships roll in

With MRB foreman 'Corey' at the helm, it's full steam ahead on our Omar Gandhi 'Stereovision' design on Purcells Cove Rd. Stunning northerly views to the opening of Halifax Harbour, Point Pleasant Park, and McNabs Island, will be one of this homes many features. As usual, right from the start, MRB have invested time in preparing this amazing site in readiness. The sizable build will sit on two already completed foundations. Pictures below show Corey and the team from RKO steel setting two 16 inch thick 'I' beams in place. These beams span between the two foundations and will pick up the weight load of first floor and wall loads above. Trenches were dug and lined with concrete casement to house the power lines in the from road and out of sight. Follow us on this project, and for a sneak peak of Omar's vision check out his website 'Stereovision' ...

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14 Aug Congratulations Omar

Congratulations to our friend Omar Gandhi. Omar recently became the deserving recipient of the Prix de Rome prize from the Canada Council. The prize is awarded annually to a young architect or architectural firm in recognition of outstanding achievement.  Having worked closely with Omar on several of our builds, Moore Studio, West End Addition and Oxford Street, we are so excited to celebrate his achievements and success. Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. design studio is responsible for the drawings of MRB's upcoming build at Purcells Cove Rd. For a sneak peak at the fabulous location New Project and drawings 'Stereo Vision' ...

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03 Jun Black Point | Framing

Beautiful bright sunshine has been a great motivation for Scottie and the team to get to work on the Black Point build. 'Its a dream job site!' Working on a site like this with it's stunning panoramic views and amazing backdrop commands immediate and ongoing respect for how this home is going to settle in the landscape. While the building commences, excavation work continues to create the final grade of the land. The sequence of photos demonstrate the pace of progress over just one week. ...

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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, 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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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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MRB Contracting, blizzard

23 Jan Clifton St. | the blizzard

There's a lot of talk about the latest blizzard. Schools were closed. Roads were slippery. The sorts of things one can expect to happen with a large snowfall well -just happened. There seem to be two major schools of thought when it comes to these seasonal weather events. Those who bemoan the white stuff and generally feel put out by it, and those who get out their shovels and continue on with their normal lives just as if everything is normal. Sure we had to do some shovelling this morning. We cleared a few of the neighbours driveways as well. And yet the work progressed as it usually does and we had a good laugh. Perspective is a beautiful thing. ...

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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, Clifton St., framing, air tight

09 Jan Clifton St. | framing part 2

For many carpenters, framing is one our favourite aspects of building a home. And what's not to love? We get to take a giant pile of sticks and convert them into a structure using nail guns and saws! In our last post we talked about some of the techniques we use for controlling air and moisture. Air and moisture can find ways of sneaking into (or out of) a house in ways that you never imagined. Each step of the build process offers opportunities to enhance the ability to minimize this fact. During framing we use acoustic seal between all plates (floor and top-plates) as well as in between the post laminations and header areas. The smallest space in between two pieces of lumber can cause the house to loose heat. The bead of acoustic seal creates an air and moisture barrier between the sandwiched together lumber. Sometimes when you think about how many things have to come together for an empty space to become a liveable house it seems really abstract. It's not unlike running marathon. You start with one foot and then the next. Every step counts and every step can make a difference. A runner cannot skip steps and...

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MRB Contracting, modern home halifax, framing

07 Jan Clifton St. | first floor

And we're back! We hope you had a great holiday. We did, and now we're ready to get back to work. Both the Agricola St. and Clifton St. projects are moving along - crazy weather not withstanding. At Clifton St., we completed the basement walls and  the main floor before the holiday break. Below, Corey and Brian install and LVL beam that will support the transitional area between the living area and kitchen. Engineered I-beams span with width of the foundation and will be the building blocks for everything that comes above. Mitigating the unwanted entry of air and moisture in a new house is one of the most talked about topics in modern building science. We will be talking about some of the techniques we use as we follow the build. Below, spray foam is used to fill a void between a beam pocket and the exterior ICF wall. The layer of foam reduces the possibility of thermal bridging. Once the beams and floor joists are installed it's time for the sub-floor. Construction adhesive and screws work together to make a solid and creak-less floor. The rear area of the home is a slab on grade. Once the small ICF wall was back filled,...

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MRB Contracting, modern homes, halifax

17 Dec Clifton St. | and then came snow

It's winter. Yes it's true. You can tell on our work site when everyone is wearing their insulated Carhartt overalls. Classy eh? Maybe not but definitely warm. At Clifton St. the guys have been working on building an architectural wall for the front entry as well as beginning on the framing. Below our man Rocket inspects the form work for the 8' x 8'6" x 4" wall. It's not easy being the foreman. Adam takes his job very seriously. And then came the storm. Sunday brought quite a bit of snow. It required a bit of digging to get ready for back-fill. Corey lines up the sill plates and installs them in preparation for the floor joists. Charlie looks on from the tractor as he waits for a load of gravel. The plates are first lined with a layer of BlueSkin. The water proof barrier protects the wood from the concrete. A thick bead of accoustic caulking is also applied between the concrete and wood to create an air barrier. Next up is framing. Stay tuned....

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