the Tire Bale house project

The Tire Bale House Project

In a nutshell to date --

  • Clearing for the driveway
  • Clearing the site
  • Digging the house site
  • Stacking the bales
  • Building the interior walls
  • Pouring the bond beam
  • Window framing
  • Roof joists
  • Roof
  • Tunnel door
  • Pouring the floor
  • Stucco
  • Four cisterns
  • Berm over the cisterns
  • Gutters
  • Building the stone front
  • Starting the electrical
  • Earthbag bathroom walls



If you're looking for an alternative building technique to the rammed earth tire (earthship) home or to the traditional stick built, tied to the utility grid home, the tire bale house may be for you.


Our names are Steve and Kathy King and we have developed this web site in response to the many questions about the feasibility of building with tire bales. We are building our home in western Colorado similar to the "earthship" concept created by Michael Reynolds but with several changes, many which use conventional building techniques.

We really liked the idea of using tires, cans, and bottles to build with and using solar for electricity and warmth, but physically pounding dirt into 1000 plus tires - ouch! Instead of pounding dirt into all those individual tires, a good friend and architectural designer of earthship houses, Michael Shealy, suggested we use TIRE BALES for the outside walls.

Our house will use 134 full bales and 7 half bales or approximately 12,000 to 15,000 tires as opposed to around 1,000 tires if we used the standard pounded dirt tires. Cost per tire bale is zero. They were free. The only down side is that we had to get them from just south of Denver about 280 miles away and pay the freight at $450 per load. Each of the 7 loads consisted of an average of 21 tire bales.

The tire bales are stacked up like huge bricks to make up the outside walls. If we had our act together, we might be able to stack up the walls in about a day. Yeah, right.

For more information on the tire bales and how they are made, go to Michael Shealy's web site. We had our tire bales delivered from Front Range Tire Recycle, Inc. in Sedalia, Colorado. See the industry section of Front Range Tire Recycle for more on tire bale uses.

Now follow us as the Journey Begins.




Please note that this web site is under construction and updated as the building progresses.


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