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, (the late) 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 was 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.

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.


Note: We have recently been alerted to the fact that some people are being charged as much as $80 per tire bale. So, shop around to all the tire dumps and tire recyclers you can. The one we went to had huge piles of tires that they were trying to get rid of. For once, we were in the right place at the right time.

Second Note: We need your help!

We are frequently asked if we know where tire bales can be purchased. We would like to ask your help in compiling a list of places that sell tire bales, like tire dumps, recyclers or other businesses. It doesn't matter what country you live in either. We've had several requests from the UK and Canada. If you know of a seller, please send us the name of the business, the city and state or where they are located, a phone number, and the cost per bale. Please go to the Contact Us page and use the form. Thanks in advance for your help.



Now follow us as the Journey Begins.



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

In an effort to do our part in helping this economy and stimulating job growth, we firmly support buying American made products as much as possible.

Even at the grocery store, shop for U.S. grown produce and other foods. Look for the "Made in America" label on everything and help bring back jobs.



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accesses since June 23, 2004