The Stanleys Are Building One Cool Home

By Karen Kosko

First posted on 10-15-2007

Bentonville, AR – Mark Stanley has some unique designs on an 1,837 square foot home he is building. Not only is Stanley designing the home to heat and cool itself so he does not have to relay on costly utilities like gas and electric, but he is also building the first tire-bale house in Arkansas.

What’s a tire bale? It’s a block made from up to 100 used tires that have been compressed and secured with metal or plastic ties. Stanley is using them as the basic building blocks for his new home.

Although he originally wanted to build the two bedroom, two bath tire-bale house separate from his current residence (a 2,000 square foot hale-bale home), he decided to join the two structures together in an L shape to frame his rain-fed swimming pool.

The perimeter foundation, load-bearing walls and insulation are comprised of 120 stacked tire bales with rebar, Gunite, concrete and plastics inside the bales. The walls will end up being about 5 feet deep.

The north facing wall is also protected by an earthen berm up to its tire-bale wall. The tire-bales will be encased in more concrete on the inside so that fumes and gasses from the rubber will not enter the home.

A typical tire-bale home construction

The south end of the structure will be lined in high-efficiency windows that will help warm the house in winter but not let in heavy amounts of sunlight in the summer months.

Stanley figures the home will naturally stay within a 10 to 20 degree temperature range all year round, even without heating or cooling devices. The tire-bales will help since they tend to absorb heat in the summer and release heat in the winter.

To further escape reliance on utility companies, Stanley is using a sloped, metal roof on his home so he can collect rainwater in cisterns that will feed the home’s water needs. In addition, Stanley is planning to install solar panels and use solar-powered hot water heaters.

Benton County donated and delivered the tire-bales to Stanley free of charge, which is a bargain for the county since it usually has to pay to have them removed and disposed of. In fact, in April of this year alone, the county had to pay a rubber recycling firm in Oklahoma $7,500 to take around 480 tire-bales off its hands.

According to Stanley, he has budgeted $80,000 on his tire-bale home. That’s only about $43 per square foot, a little more than one-third the $120 per square foot a traditionally built home would cost.

But, more than the money, Stanley says he likes the feeling of independence his tire-bale home provides. Plus, he said it’s good for the environment.

Contributing Editor’s Note: Currently, Mark Stanley and his family are in need of clean, plastic bottles to help insulate their home. Anyone interested in donating some to the Stanleys can call (479) 925-1701.


Hello from VA headquarters for

As a retired builder/financial/LIFE (Legal,Insurance,Financial,Estate) planner…  I’am looking to package a DIY home building ways & means systems site for anyone that wants to start small with a low or no mortgage home to build and grow their home as their family grows. Not to become a debted servant to banks to extent possible. To address various climate issues/options with recycled waste and/or alternative green building materials.  Also taking into consideration various skill level persons and what due dilligent research they need to do before initiating their path and be able to avoid some research & development & engineering costs.

We want to first say THANK YOU to all of You… the pioneers that have already been there done that!  So newbies can appreciate That the hardest part many times is making all the mistakes, finding solutions and sharing your stories blood, sweat and tears involved in the endeavor of getting a stamped approved set of plans with out breaking your spirit, heart and pocket book.

We welcome and ask you for all the folks that have gone before us… To please help us gather and be sure to give credits where it is due, for as much informational for alternative better living DIY home options with designs & specs packaged online with a forum resource web site.

If you can consider how you may be able to contribute, please email:

Because cost of various building materials fluctuates w petroleum and other cost variables… Reycled waste materials are absoutely the most energy and cost effecient and reliable way for critical construction path planning and money saving way to go.

Thank You in advance

Lets build a forum and start helping the masses get back to the basics… improving our quality of life… one home at a time.

Lou French

PLM @: 703 995 0320

By Lou French on April 23, 2012 – 6:30 pm

We are happy to discuss options with builders and educate them on what they can do using tire bale structures in their respective communities. Drop us a note to (construct the email address from that)

By Jon Duncan & Laura Hagar on April 24, 2010 – 12:43 pm

Quite interesting-I am a builder by vocation who is looking at alternative, but sensible ways to construct better and more affordable homes.

By Robert Melot on April 22, 2010 – 6:01 pm

Check out our tire bale house in Colorado at We’re excited about moving in just in time for winter and not having a large utility bill!

By Jon & Laura Hagar on October 02, 2008 – 10:00 am

Hello Susan –

There is a phone number at the end of the article, (479) 925-1701, that I believe is Mr. Stanley’s home number. At the time he was looking for some additional materials for his building project but you might be able to contact him with questions.

Good luck in reaching the Stanleys and in constructing your own tire bale home. Let us know how things work out.

Thanks for reading

Bob Korpella


By Robert J. Korpella on June 04, 2008 – 10:20 am

I would like more info or how to contact Mr.Stanley directly. I am looking into building a tire bale house here in PA and would appreciate any practical information.

Thank you.

Sincerely,  Susan Fisher

By Susan Fisher on June 02, 2008 – 1:58 pm