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The Story of Stuff….share this with everyone

June 8, 2010

The Story of Stuff is a most interesting story that everyone on this planet should watch, learn, and do something about.
Many of you may not be aware of how much brainwashing is actually going on–to YOUR BRAIN–until you watch this. If you miss the point, you’re totally brainwashed. If you get the point of the story, then don’t just sit there–TAKE ACTION!
Spread the word.
Break the cycle.


Our Solar System Arrives

June 8, 2010

The first pieces of our solar system have officially arrived.  Here Guy Larson from Simply Efficient delivers the first pieces of our solar system–micro-inverters, solar panels, and the communications device (so that we as well as the manufacturer can monitor how much power we’re generating over the internet).

our solar system is delivered.

The begining pieces of our solar system are officially delivered

We are really jazzed about getting this system installed as we work toward a zero carbon footprint home.

Next week the pole arrives and we begin assembling all of the pieces and, then begin making FREE power!  Yippee!

Even though we’ve installed all Energy Star appliances, plus we have an on-demand propane hot water heater, and our walls are minimum 6 feet thick, we have not qualified for any tax credits or rebates.  That was not a deterrent for us.  Now that we’re getting our solar system installed, we’ll actually qualify for rebates through the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) as well as tax credits through the Federal Government.

Solar System–at last!

April 11, 2010

Laura has been researching solar systems for several months now and believes she has a design that will work for us. This is a 3-kilowatt photovoltaic tracking solar array based on a solar system that was recently installed at the Middle Park High School



The simple design is a rack that would be installed to the west of our home that could hold up to 9 Canadian Solar Panels with 9 Enphase micro-inverters. Our home is already wired for Netmetering (feeding back to the grid), which will make the installation of our solar system easier and take much less time.

Hagar simplified solar system

Simplified solar system

Our intention is to work with a local co-op of home owners here in Grand County who also want solar systems installed this year to keep our overall installation costs down while taking advantage of the Federal tax credits as well as the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) rebates this year. All of us look forward to cutting down our electricity bills considerably.

We’re in the Wall Street Journal

March 20, 2010

Laura worked with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal to communicate the issue we’ve been suffering through this last year and some in securing a regular mortgage (getting away from a balloon LOC note) on our home.

Two of Three Little Pigs Would Have Trouble Getting a Loan

He even came out to visit with us all the way from New York City!

In the midst of this mortgage crisis, we found that we weren’t alone, as evidenced by the article.

Check out the video and slideshow too.   Ignore the comments.

Finally, An Appraisal for the Tire Bale Home

March 1, 2010

This last week, we finally were able to secure an appraisal for our credit union. Hopefully, this will assist us in securing a regular mortgage of our LOC balloon loan. It won’t be a lower payment but it will also NOT be a very large note hanging over our heads due in one lump sum.

Anyone who intends to build an experimental home of this type needs to know that lenders and appraisers are nearly clueless in finding the value in them-even when this type of home is much more efficient than a conventional formula stick home.  The fact that we were finally able to achieve an appraisal is a major feat accomplished, since we have been looking for an appraiser for over a year.

As Lone Waite said, “Endeavor to persevere” (from the movie The Outlaw Josie Wales).

Checkout the thermo infrared images of our home

January 10, 2010

Hopefully, the thermo infrared images of our home taken in Dec. 2009 when it was 11 degrees outside will stir up some discussion of how our tire bale home performs in the winter.  (go to  Wonder how these compare to a conventional stick home?

Introducing Guests from Australia to Our Tire Bale Home

January 2, 2010

We entertained some friends from Australia over the Christmas holiday and even held an open house. What FUN! So far everyone loves the house! The most common saying is “your house is so-o-o-o quiet”.

Laura has found that she must “squeegee” the windows each morning due to the sheer amount of humidity the house holds (above 35% most days) and the condensation that collects on the windows at night when it is cold outside. We are still living with blue styrofoam as window coverings for the east end windows and that doesn’t help. It seems that anything that is a cloth window covering doesn’t seem to allow as much condensation on the window. As the water runs down, it is washing the clay off the lower wall, which is disturbing. We’ll have to find a remedy for this.

Please checkout the thermo images of our home taken by a guy from our local utility company and then visit our blog for the discussion on these.

We have been hearing of more tire bale homes under construction and are very glad to hear this. If you have a tire bale home being designed or under construction, please let us know via email.