foundations Tag

Seashell in mortar

11 Dec Gottingen St | Seashells in Mortar?

Most of our work at this gorgeous old home has been concentrated at the back. However, the foundation at the front of the home required some attention from MRB too. As Steevo and the team prepared the foundation and removed the old mortar, they found a lovely old seashell. Typical of building practises of yesteryear, sand used to mix mortar was collected straight from the beach! Traditional mortar was made from lime putty, or slaked lime, combined with local sand, generally in a ratio of 1 part lime putty to 3 parts sand by volume. Often other ingredients, such as crushed marine shells (another source of lime), brick dust, clay, natural cements, pigments, and even animal hair were also added to mortar, but the basic formulation for lime putty and sand mortar remained unchanged for centuries until the advent of portland cement or its forerunner, Roman cement, a natural, hydraulic cement. Photos show Steevo and the team forming up and repairing a section of the foundation, as well as replacing and centring the basement window. ...

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Gottingen Renovation

02 Oct Gottingen St | new project

Our renovation expert 'Steevo' and his team have commenced work on a gorgeous old home in Halifaxs 'North End.' Before they get started on the list of improvements and upgrades that will be done, the team peel back the layers of this home and remove the old 'add-on' to reveal what's beneath. It's no surprise for Steevo to find the old homes kitchen not bearing on the foundation at all, with nothing but dirt below and hence rotting sills. So, first priority tasks are: build temporary beam supports to prop up the 2nd floor while the 1st floor structure is removed, followed by preparation and installation of concrete foundation walls to support new structure. ...

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20 May Black Point | update

After finishing up his work on the extension at Wilson Blvd, foreman Scott Billard and his team have been busy getting the new project at Black Point out of the ground. Foundations have been stripped, the removal of forms to allow the concrete to cure properly, and waterproofed in preparation for the backfill. The piers you see are for the deck that will wrap around two sides of the house. ...

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08 May Clifton St | Basement

Clifton Street has been a hive of activity. Not only are all the windows in place and cladding progressing well, but the team have managed to fit in preparations for the basement slab! After the plumbing and electrical had been roughed in and as specified by the architect the process was step by step: 1. Basement is filled with tamped gravel to 2 inches below the footings 2. A 2 inch layer of rigid foam, gaps filled with foam and joins sealed with Tuck Tape 3. A complete covering of PERMINATOR, a 15 Mil Underslab Vapor Barrier/Retarder that extends up the height of each wall 4. Second layer of rigid foam, this time 1 inch, again gaps filled with foam and joins sealed with Tuck Tape 5. Finally, the steel mesh in readiness for the concrete pour Each of the steps is an investment in the overall success of the build. Ensuring its environmental impact is minimal and comfort for the homeowner optimal. ...

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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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MRBBlackpoint

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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15 Apr New West End Reno

Last week we embarked on a West End Halifax renovation. Without giving it all away, we can tell you that the reno encompasses expanding the footprint of the home, updating the floorplan in the living area, and deleting an old (and I mean Old) shed from the backyard. Beneath the asphalt shingles on the shed roof were discovered slate shingles. Amazing! It was like being in Wales. The crocuses seem to thrive in spite of the crazy spring weather shifts and demolition happening all around. The old sky lights are gone. Next, the entire roof line will come down to make room for the expanded footprint. The new living area received a full basement treatment with ICF walls and FormADrain footings. A day or two more of demolition and the framing begins. Stay tuned for more updates!   photos by Omar Gandhi & Scott Billard  ...

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MRB Contracting, ICF construction

18 Feb MRB attends ICF training course

Last week a few of the guys attended an all day training session put on by Nudura - manufacturers of insulated concrete form blocks, otherwise known as ICF. ICF utilities EPS foam, plasctic and heavy gauge wire, to construct giant Lego-like buidling blocks that act as both concrete forms for walls and  insulators. While ICF technology has been around for over 20 years, it's only in the last few years that it's become a more mainstream building material. At MRB we like using ICF construction and we often use it for basements on new builds. EPS foam has very low VOC's (volatile organic compounds). It can be recycled and it's a flexible building material. ICF walls provide great insulation value by sandwiching a concrete wall between 2 layers of closed cell foam. The workshop was a great refresher for us and we're looking forward to our next ICF project.  ...

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MRB Contracting, concrete

20 Sep Kingsburg 2: what there are 2?

What we didn't tell you? It's true. We've been commissioned to build two homes on adjoining lots. And although the early photos of the foundation work may look similar, the two homes are completely different on the outside. Both foundations feature ICF walls and Form-A-Drain technology. Both are modern homes - designed by architects specifically for each client. Both overlook the majestic North Atlantic. [caption id="attachment_970" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The quintessential MACK Truck concrete mixer in a red and yellow colorway.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_974" align="aligncenter" width="510"] It's not quite like looking down the barrel of a gun. But anyone at the end of this slide feels a sense of urgency to get the job done.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_971" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Caption contest photo. Comments are open.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_975" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Who says you can't push a loaded wheel barrel with style?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_973" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Scott moves material while Andrew and Rob deliberate about some final details.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_976" align="aligncenter" width="510"] The boys take the time to screed the concrete to get it level. This step is key in ensuring that the ICF walls, and everything else that goes above for that matter, remains level and true.[/caption] Wow. There is a lot happening down in Kingsburg. Stay tuned as we...

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