Welcome to our latest Gallery page that documents our tire bale house project outside of Granby, Colorado. We call it the "House of the Holey Rocks."

Scroll to the bottom for the latest updates.

2007 Update

We made a change at the end of 2006: We let our contractor go (per plan) and went with a building consultant: Breakthrough Energy Technologies International (BETI). This has allowed us the flexibility to take on quite a lot of the work ourselves.

We worked a replan, changed the schedule around, as well as picked up some of the finishing work ourselves, which we are hoping will help with cost containment. We are currently working toward a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) by June 2008.

A few things to keep in mind as we progress through this project are: 1) we used an architectural designer and a professional engineer (PE) versus an architect, which means we are figuring out things as we progress through the building process. It is still an arduous task even though Jon Duncan and Laura are both engineers. And, 2) although we started with a general contractor (GC), we took over the GC role ourselves. 3) We hired a building consultant, Jeffery Kean, to "coach us" through the building process, but 4) the overall project is an experimental house even for him. It is quite an adventure overall but is still very stressful.

Laura has been adding some artistic touches here and there to personalize the house. For example, the double glass panel front entry door will have 2 of her wildlife photos laser etched into the glass (Enduring Images). (check out the etched images below...)

She and Jeffery have put radiused edges on the bathroom walls (corner of master bath ) that will be covered in copper, and glass block will be used for a portion of the bathroom walls. Once you look at the pictures, you'll have a better feel for the design as well as the amount of privacy it still allows. Jeffery has had "fun" framing, and Laura has gained an artistic outlet.

  • On the top of our list for the 2006-2007 winter season was skiing. It was an excellent year for skiing at Winter Park Ski Resort, but a bad year to try to keep the road open to the house! Jon Duncan and neighbor Mickey spent many a day clearing snow from our "back country" road. Thank goodness for the skid steer and a large snow blower for it!
  • Our plumbers were busy this spring making sure all the plumbing is ready to receive the fixtures. They will return as soon as we get the drywall completely in.
  • Our electrician (KC Luckow, AAA Electric) has been very busy wiring our 120-foot long structure this summer--with some help from his favorite helper.
  • We had a heavy-duty insulated garage door installed in time to keep the snow out of the garage during a hard, snowy winter.
  • Laura has been designing software during the day and the kitchen and bathrooms in the evenings. The internet has made shopping and research much less time-consuming. She has also tracked down a Littleton company to wire blinds for the 20+ windows in the house. The blinds will be electronically controlled for time/temperature.
  • Jeffery has been framing the interior of the house and helping to install the septic system.
  • We decided to do the stucco and install the septic system ourselves to save money. His friend Bill Gerblick came up to lend a hand digging the holes for the septic system. Jon Duncan has been sealing the house, getting ready for stucco.

Jon Duncan had a "special" visitor while staying on site in early July. As you can see, it was of the four-footed furry kind around about 300 pounds.

March 2007 Update Polished Concrete Floors!

  • Peter Hagar came out from Ohio (with some of his floor polishing equipment from Ewing & Sons out of Dayton) and the guys polished the concrete floors in the unfinished house with minus 22-degree weather outside. They had several heaters in the house which kept them warm. And, when the sun was out, the house warmed up quickly, in spite of the low outside air temperatures.
  • They also managed to get in some skiing with the family (Stephanie and Dylan). Dylan also helped his Dad on the polishing.
  • Stephanie and Laura "oohed" and "ahhed" sufficiently to show the guys how pleased they were with how the floors turned out. See for yourself!
  • Laura says it looks like a giant hershey bar with nuts in it when it is all cleaned up!
  • The aggregate, wood, marbles, and shells add a special touch to the floor.

June-July 2007 Update Septic System & Stucco

  • Beautiful weather brought us outside to get the preliminary work on the septic system started. We wanted it to be complete before fall, and we made that happen with the help of friend Bill Gerblick, and Jeffery, our building consultant.
  • The septic design was originally an auto-siphon but somehow things got mixed up between ordering it and what was delivered. We ended up with an electric pump system, which should serve us well. The new septic designs are pretty strange compared to just having a septic tank and leach field. Do some research and ask a lot of questions. Then, ensure that what is specified in your septic plans and what you order are the same thing. In our case, the latter system was less expensive.
  • Here are a couple of images of the septic system work to show you how our leach field and leach field turned out and how our septic tank was installed-- twice, plus a couple of related shots, like Jeffery explaining the septic and leach field system.

    I almost forgot to mention that we bribed a young man named Nick to come out and work in the HOT sun to help us get the septic installed. He did a terrific job and comes back to help when he can get away from winning soccer games.

  • We did get an impressive storm in July that was quite something watching it come across the ridge and then hit us!
  • Laura and Jeffery changed the master and south guest bath to be more "artsy" than plain square or rectangle. Neither can hardly wait to complete them. Stay tuned on this piece of our project as there are many things to do before completing the bathrooms.
  • We decided to do the stucco work ourselves, and hindsight tells us now, it is REALLY HARD WORK!
  • We coated the whole house in something called Emerald Green from Sto Products. This actually waterproofs the house materials. Then, we put Gold Coat (again from Sto) on all the seams, joints, parapit walls, and other places that needed to be joined together. Then, we coated the Gold with the Green again. And, then put up lathe to affix the stucco. Oh, and I didn't tell you that we also had to grind down the edges of the the parapit walls--in the HOT summer sun to make them more subtle and smooth
  • This whole process has taken the summer months and now into fall. Thank goodness for friends: Bobby Pate, who came out from Florida the first 2 weeks of September, and Art Wilson who gave up some good fishing days to help us! I'll have blackmail pictures of these fellows later.
  • We could not keep the dogs out of the green or gold. It washed off of our skins but had to be cut out of the dog's coats.
  • Laura recorded one of our first visitors. Actually we have seen LOTS of these little guests since stacking the tire bale walls.
  • Although our property does not have trees, we look at the surrounding hillsides that are just ravaged with pine beetle killed trees. We plan to use as much beetle killed pine in our house as possible, specifically on the ceilings in east and west parts of the house.

August-September-October 2007 Update MORE on Stucco

November 2007

My Goodness! Look how far we have come in a year. This time last year, we were hoping for a roof before too much snow settled in. This year, a final roof, drywall, kitchen, and at least one working bathroom are high on the list of wishes before Christmas.

Today (Nov. 7), we got our first glimpse of the etched glass for the large arched front door. The images (both were taken by Laura) are pretty exciting. Imagine....these images are approximately 19-inches tall by 24-inches wide and will greet visitors at our front door.

It is nearly Thanksgiving. We have been working very hard to install as much insulation as possible throughout the house before the heavy snows come. Nephew Jon, and Mikael B. "smoked" for several days completing the ceiling in nearly one week. Here is a victory photo from when they completed the ceiling in the garage.

Laura thought you'd enjoy seeing one of Colorado's famous alpenglow sunsets over Granby, Colorado, and the same sunset taken from Windy Gap Reservoir.

All photos on this web site are copyrighted by Laura M. Hagar, unless credit is otherwise given. To prevent copyright enfringement, please ask for permission from Laura before using any photos from our web site.

Update March 2008

Friends Judy and Bobby Pate came to ski with us and insisted on helping do some drywall inside. Here Jon Duncan shows them the truth wall where one can actually see part of the tire bale.

Laura designed a wave for the ceiling, which all of us have had to figure out how to frame, etc. This ceiling wave gives the house a more comfortable (less shopping mall) feeling.

Come back soon and see our progress!





Please remember that our site will be constantly under construction and updated as the building progresses.


First Steps




Doors & Windows

Nearly Completed Exterior

Hagar's House of the Holey Rocks Layout

Gallery Page 1


Gallery Page 2


Gallery Page 4


All photos on this web site are copyrighted by Laura M. Hagar, unless credit is otherwise given. To prevent copyright enfringement, please ask for permission from Laura M. Hagar before using any photos from our web site.

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