Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Benefits of Container Homes

Cargo Container Homes

Container homes, also called shipping container homes or cargo container homes, are a very awesome idea and have many benefits, including:

  • Affordability – Shipping container homes are way cheaper than your standard house, making home ownership a possibility to more people.
  • Durability – Cargo containers have been built to withstand the elements of sea travel, such as strong winds, harsh rain, etc. This means that container homes are not going to leak, they’ll stand up to extreme weather conditions and, some even claim, are earthquake proof and hurricane proof.  
  • Sustainability – You won’t be using up new resources when you purchase a container home, you’ll be purchasing a home made from recycled material.
  • Room to Grow – You can stack shipping container homes on top of each other to create a larger living space.
  • Speedy – Container homes can be put together very quickly, making them a great shelter solution in emergency situations (for example, when towns have been wiped out by floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes).
  • Easy Relocation – If you decide to pack up and move across country, you can bring your home with you. After all, a shipping container home was originally designed to … well … ship!

Container Home Construction

An article published on the CBC website says, “…the containers have become abundantly available during the last decade due to a deficit in manufactured goods being transported overseas from North America.

Goods are shipped to North America from Asia and Europe but with nothing to send back, shipping companies face a considerable expense hauling the empty units.

It is often cheaper to buy new containers in Asia than to ship old ones back. As a result, the containers get left in North America, seeking new uses such as garages, artist’s studios, and cargo homes.”

Shipping Container Homes

Because of these benefits, more and more people are purchasing container homes worldwide, from the Netherlands, to New Zealand, to the USA and, of course, here in Canada. Here’s a look at a few Canadian companies that create these awesome container homes or provide shipping container home plans (designs):

ZiglooYou can check out various concepts, projects, or purchase shipping container home plans from – a company located in Victoria, British Columbia.

Ecopods – Located in Toronto, Ontario, Ecopods creates custom designed shipping container homes.

A-Just Housing Corp. – This Canadian company designs and develops shipping container homes and is based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Zigloo Container Homes


Would you live in one of these container homes? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Top 24 Things to Do to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Get your home ready for winter


The year’s coldest season is just around the corner, here’s a list of what needs to be done to get your home ready for winter.

Autumn is officially here, which means winter is quickly approaching. It’s up to you whether you want to be the lazy grasshopper or the prepared ant (for you sadly deprived souls who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the story). Sure, chances are you don’t need to gather food to survive the season of starvation and hibernation, but there are some things that should be done to get your home ready for winter.

Getting ready for winter



1. Plant your bulbs. And not just your flowers, garlic needs to go in the ground in the Fall as well.

2. Check the roof’s shingles for holes, rips, rot, or possible leaks.

3. Mow the grass one last time and then winterize and put the lawn mower in storage.

4. Check your gutters/downspouts and clean them out if necessary.

5. Drain and pack up the garden hose.

6. Turn off outdoor taps (faucets) to prevent them from freezing and bursting.

7. Put away lawn ornaments.

8. Put deck furniture and other summer items in storage.

9. Have the chimney cleaned.

10. Ensure your outdoor steps are slip-resistant and if need be, apply a coat of slip-resistant paint or other material.

11. Trim or cut down any large tree branches.

12. Get your septic tank pumped while the ground is still workable and not frozen (nothing’s worse than having to chisel it out mid-February because the crapper won’t flush!).

13. If you’re one of those people who leave their Christmas lights attached to the house year-round, now’s the time to check and replace any burned out or faded bulbs.

14. Dig the snow shovels out from storage and keep somewhere handy (you never know when you’ll wake up late for work and there’s 5 feet of snow on the ground!). While you’re at it, might as well get all the snow toys out and ready too (and don’t forget to read about the 5 ways to kill yourself on a snowmobile!).

15. If you own a snow blower, check that it’s working and doesn’t need any maintenance.


16. Check windows and doors for drafts and apply weather-stripping or caulking as needed to help reduce heat escaping and cold air entering your home, saving you money on your electricity bill.

17. Replace your old thermostat with a new programmable one.

18. Dust, vacuum, or wipe down your baseboard heaters.

19. Ensure your home is well insulated (check the attic and basement).

20. Replace single-pane windows with double-pane insulated ones or, at the very least, buy some plastic that puts another layer over the window.

21. Insulate hot water heater with an insulating blanket.

22. Check the furnace is working, isn’t due for maintenance, and clean or replace the filter if needed.

23. Check or replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

24. Vacuum your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to remove dust and test them to ensure they’re working.

Get your home ready for winter checklist


What do you do to get your home ready for winter? Share your tips and ideas by leaving a comment below!

MHB TreeGO Adventure: Outdoor Obstacle Course & Zip Lining in Moncton

Martell Home Builders Team

The building season has been a busy one, so the Martell Home Builders team decided we needed to do a little something to help us blow off some steam. So, did we book ourselves into the spa for the day? Hell no! Did we go out for dinner and a movie? Phttt! Boring! We decided to go to TreeGO Moncton for a little fun (and maybe because we have a sick sense of humour and enjoy seeing fear in the eyes of our fellow co-workers).

TreeGO website

If you’re looking for an outdoor obstacle course or zip lining in Moncton, TreeGO offers activities for both adults and children. And, if you’re scouting out a place for corporate challenge obstacle courses, TreeGO has that too; they have group adventures and team building activities that can accommodate large groups (15+). Check out the TreeGO Moncton website for more info.

Here are some photos of our MHB TreeGO adventure:

From left to right: Dan Cormier, Kelly Zwicker, Pierre Martell and Bruno Poitras

MHB Team

Corporate Challenge Obstacle Courses

Zip Lining in Moncton


Outdoor Obstacle Course

TreeGO Moncton

Have you been to TreeGO or any other outdoor obstacle course or zip lines? We’d love to hear about your experience! Leave a comment telling us about it and, if you’ve got a link to some photos, share that too!

Party at Your Place! We’re Paying!

Housewarming Party

We’re footing the bill for our clients who have just moved into their new Martell home and intend on having a housewarming party.

MHB 2010 Client Appreciation Day

Yep, that’s right. We like our clients so much we don’t just love ‘em and leave ‘em. Martell Home Builders client benefits extend way beyond having the awesomest home ever (for example, check out the photos from our client appreciation day)! We know how much our clients are loving their new home and how incredibly likely it is that they’ll be inviting all their friends and family over so they can show off the best house in the neighbourhood, so we thought we’d help pay for the housewarming party!

All they need to do is invite the Martell Home Builders team (because we like to par-tay!), keep the receipts, and whatever is spent on food and entertainment up to $100, we’ll pay them back! The only stipulation to this is alcohol; sorry guys, but thanks to legal mumbo-jumbo we can’t open our wallets to that.

MHB Client Appreciation Day

What does your builder do for you?

What are some of the cool things you’ve heard of home builders doing for their clients? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment below!

Top 5 MHB Blog Posts Totally Worth Revisiting

MHB Blog

We thought it’d be fun to highlight some of our previous posts that are worth revisiting or checking out in case you missed them when they were first published.

1. 5 Ways to Kill Yourself on a Snowmobile

Looking for a great way to kill yourself on a snowmobile? You’ve come to the right place! Forget the boring “ride on extremely steep hills” (we ain’t got ‘em in New Brunswick anyway!), or “go too fast” as a means to end your life, who wants their demise to be so predictable? If you really want to go for a Darwin Award, check out this list of the 5 best ways to kill yourself on a snowmobile.

2. 4 Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill

Everyone knows that in order to save money on their electricity bill they should turn off the lights when they aren’t in the room, close the windows if the heating is on, buy Energy Star appliances, etc., etc. Here are some ways to cut down on your electricity bill that you might not have considered.

3. Impressive Ways to Enhance Your Bedroom

Whether you’re looking for a place to sneak off to so you can take a breather from your hectic day or noisy kids,  or you want a way cool love nest to make an impression on the ladies, here are some impressive ways to enhance your bedroom.

4. Video: Dual Purpose Furniture for Small Places

Looking for spacing saving ideas? Check out this YouTube video which illustrates some amazing space saving desks, very awesomely designed space saver beds, tables, and more. If you want to make the most out of your tight living quarters, this space saving furniture by Resource Furniture is definitely for you!

5. Top 33 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home for Under $100

Whether it’s for your own personal happiness, because you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, or because you just want to get your nagging mother-in-law off your back, here are the top 33 cheap home improvement projects that will enhance the look of your home for under $100.

Honourable Mentions

Choosing only 5 blog posts for this list was extremely difficult since all of our posts are super awesome. So, here are a couple more that deserve an honourable mention:


Crazy about Finding a Cure for Breast Cancer – We’re still fundraising for this. Our goal is to raise $5000, we’re at $1645. Please help us by making a donation.

20 Cool Wall Decorations to Impress Your Friends

Interesting Facts about New Brunswick

What’s your favourite MHB blog post? Is there something you’d like to see that we haven’t blogged about? We’d love to hear from you!


Six Most Expensive Pieces of (Residential) Land in Moncton

Home for Sale


Thinking about purchasing a house in Moncton, New Brunswick and plan to spend a couple mil? If you’ve got the money, but haven’t considered the prospect of calling Moncton home, check out Why the City of Moncton, NB Rocks! And, if you’re planning on moving here, after purchasing one of these houses, it might not be a bad idea to have a look at 10 New Brunswick Companies that Create Jobs – you’ll need to pay that mortgage somehow!

So, without further ado, here’s a look at six of the most expensive pieces of residential land in Moncton currently on the market (listed from the least expensive to the most costly; clicking on the price will bring you to its MLS page):

1. For Sale: $1,200,000.00

This piece of property is 32 years old and is located at 124 Queensway Drive. The house is 5700 square feet and has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and an impressive 12 acres of land.

124 Queensway Drive

2. For Sale: $1,299, 000

This gorgeous home is only 6 years old and is located at 10 Mayfair, Riverview. This place boasts a whopping 9000 square feet (seriously!), has 18 foot ceilings, and is positioned on nearly 2 acres of land. Although this home is only second on our list of the most expensive pieces of residential land in Moncton, I certainly wouldn’t complain if I was handed the keys to this place!

10 Mairfair

3. For Sale: $1,495,000

It just keeps getting better and better. This dream home is also only 6 years old and is located at 57 Rossmount Terrace. With nearly 10,000 square feet of living space – including a 2,000 square foot pool house! – this home has just as many bathrooms as it does bedrooms (6) and also includes a theatre and gym.

57 Rossmount Terrace

4. For Sale: $1,499,000

Just 4 years old, this 6400 square foot home has just a whisker under 1.5 acres of land. Located at 590 Shediac Road, you’ll find all the features you’re looking for, everything from his & hers walk-in closets in the master suite, to a to-die-for kitchen that has two islands, granite countertops, and a walk-in pantry.

590 Shediac Road

5. For Sale: $1,990,000

This 6080 square foot bungalow is 7 years old and is located at 369 Rogers Road in Berry Mills. This home has so much to offer, you definitely need to check out its MLS page for full details. To sum it up ever so slightly, it has an incredible 157 acres of land, indoor pool, 6 bay garage, surveillance cameras, driveway optics … the list just goes on and on.

369 Rogers Road

6. For Sale: $2,400,000

And finally, the most expensive residential property currently for sale in Moncton is located just a few minutes from downtown at 421 and 419 Charles Lutes Road. The reason for the double address is because in addition to the 6027 square foot home, there is also a 5000 square foot office building. This home is on 42 acres of land that includes a 2 acre man-made lake. Check out the MLS page for all the details.

421 and 419 Charles Lutes Road

Which is your favourite?

Which of these properties do you like the most, and why? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Top 10 New Brunswick Bloggers Worth Checking Out

Top New Brunswick Bloggers

With so many people blogging nowadays, the real good blogs can get lost in a sea of rubbishy ones. Here’s a look at some great New Brunswick bloggers that are worth bookmarking and subscribing to via email or RSS feeds – no matter what your interests may be.

Here are the top 10 New Brunswick bloggers, listed in alphabetical order:

1. Brian Branch

Brian is a Moncton graphic designer. His blog, which reads in both English and French, has some pretty great – and creative – photography definitely worth checking out.

Although you can share Brian’s blog posts via Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t look like he has a Twitter or Facebook fan page (Psst! Brian – if this changes, let us know and we’ll be happy to update this with the details!). Click on his name above to visit Brian’s blog.

2. Brian Cormier

Brian’s blog is about social media; everything from blogging and Facebook to Twitter and YouTube is covered in Brian’s blog.

You can follow Brian on Twitter (@BrianCormier) or click on his name to visit his blog, where you can also find out how to follow him on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and subscribe to his blog via RSS feed.

Brian Cormier - New Brunswick Blogger

3. Chris Nadeau

Chris’ backgrounder reads: “Sharing my life experiences as a dad, husband, web entrepreneur and hockey dude.” What more could you ask for from a New Brunswick blogger?

Clicking on Chris’ name above will bring you to his blog, where you can get the details on how to follow him on Twitter (@cnadeau), Facebook, subscribe to his RSS feed, etc.

4. David Campbell

Next up on our list of top New Brunswick bloggers is David Campbell. David’s blog, called It’s the Economy, Stupid began in (copied from his blog) “October 2004 as a forum for discussion about economic development in New Brunswick and the Atlantic Provinces.  I felt then, as I do now, that economic development is not discussed widely enough in this province.  After over 2,000 posts and 5,000 comments and upwards of 6,000 readers in a month, I think it is serving its purpose.  Let’s have a conversation about economic development and ideas that can transform New Brunswick.”

There isn’t an obvious way to follow David on Twitter or Facebook, but you can subscribe to his blog via RSS feed by clicking on his name above.

Update: David’s Twitter is @jupia (thanks Jim!).

5. Deborah Carr

This freelance writer’s blog is called “What If?” And, according to Deborah, the blog consists of “musings in the middle of life.”

You can check her out by clicking on her name above, which will also provide you with a link to Deborah’s Facebook page.

Deborah Carr - New Brunswick Blogger

6. Gair Maxwell

Gair Maxwell is a New Brunswick blogger who calls himself unconventional. His blog is called The Seamless Brand, which contains “thought-provoking threads about remarkable people & brands.”

You can visit his blog and subscribe to it via email or RSS feed by clicking on his name above. You can also follow him on Twitter (@GairMaxwell).

7. James Mann

If you like gardening, here’s a blog that will interest you. James Mann blogs about pretty much everything to do with gardening. To give you an idea, here are a few of the categories within his blog: backyard gardening, composting, container gardening, garden tools, herb gardening, and gardening tips.

Click on James’ name above to visit this New Brunswick blog, and to get details on how to subscribe to his blog via RSS feed or email, as well as links to follow him on Twitter (@GardenMann), etc.


8. Matthew Klem

Despite the fact that the blog is called BobsRoom, the New Brunswick blogger is Matthew Klem, aka Zor. The blog has several topics and catergories, some of which are: Adventures, Photos, Bobcasts, and Games. Matthew’s Twitter bio says he’s a “Husband, dad, geek, geocacher, and oddball all wrapped into one small package.”

You can click on Matthew’s name above to visit his blog, or follow him on Twitter (@Zor_).

9. Stephen Brooks

A Director of Marketing, Stephen’s blog is about … well … marketing! Some of the blog categories include: Bad Marketing, Bar Management, and New Marketing Trends.

You can follow Stephen on Twitter (@sbroox) or click on his name above to visit his blog and to be directed to his Facebook, Flickr, and LinkedIn profile.

10. Martell Home Builders

Did you really think we would write a blog post on the top New Brunswick bloggers without including yours truly? Uh, yeah right! We blog about everything from tips on how to kill yourself on a snowmobile to moving tips to cram more crap in your car. While we’re doing a little shameless promoting here, a few other blog posts worth reading are:

Interesting Facts about New Brunswick

10 New Brunswick Companies that Create Jobs

New Brunswick Concert Pics – Top 13 Best Concert Photos

Top 33 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home for Under $100

Top 10 Videos that Highlight Why New Brunswick is a Great Place to Live (or Visit)

Of course, you can follow us on Twitter (@martellhomes) or click on our name above to visit our blog and subscribe to it via email or RSS feed, as well as follow us on Facebook and YouTube.

Favourite New Brunswick Blogger

Who’s your favourite New Brunswick blogger? We’re always looking for great local bloggers to follow, so make sure you leave a comment letting us know who your favourite is!