How to Make a School Bus a Home Part 3
Part 3 of How to Make a School Bus a Home took longer than Part 1 and Part 2 because Jeff took his time looking for used parts and lumber at a discounted price. He was able to find a water pump, furnace, water heater and a considerable about of lumber by just being patient and searching Craigslist. He also checked our local home improvement store for cull or damaged lumber and luan that he could still use on the school bus.
This tip saved us several hundreds of dollars. While searching for materials, Jeff worked on whatever part of the bus he could. This meant that one day he would be in the back of the bus and a few days later he would be working closer to the front. In some ways, this slowed Jeff down because he likes to finish one area completely before moving onto another area. Saving money trumps pre-planning in this case!
Tip #2During a school bus conversion make sure to complete the outside during warm dry weather.Click To Tweet
The weather slowed Jeff down a bit. Even though, he got the outside painted before the “raining season”, several other things didn’t get finished before winter weather hit. You can ask him but I think he would agree, crawling around under the bus to install black and grey tanks in the cold is not his idea of fun.
He also had to cut a hole in the side of the bus for the propane furnace, install the hot water heater, and work on some wiring outside the bus. On the next bus build, he will make sure to complete these things before winter.
During the last 4 months, Jeff completed:
He got the shower installed. In this bus, we decided to put the shower on the left side of the bus and the toilet and sink on the right side. There will be a door on the toilet area and a shower curtain on the shower. He has the toilet in but needs to finish the sink area. The bathroom is located in the master bedroom area and will have a door that closes it off from the bunk area.
Jeff made a template for the curve of the ceiling. This way it makes cutting each board for the wall easier. Joshua was his helper for the day. Once the walls are cut, he staples them in place and fills in all the staples indention’s with putty. After he finishes sanding the putty and wiping it down, I will paint. (Jeff does NOT like to paint!)
This is Katie’s bunk area. Don’t you just love the little shelf at the head of her bed? I will be able to put some of her everyday supplies in cute containers that will be easily accessible.
A Hospital Bed in a Converted Bus?!
A gentleman that Jeff knows took Katie’s old hospital bed , cut it down and welded it back, so that, it would fit in the space allowed. Jeff also installed several outlets for Katie’s medical equipment in this area. Katie’s feeding pump, suction machine, pulse ox, and O2 will have a place under, over, or near her bed.
Jeff you are such a good daddy!! Thanks for making this area special for our Katie – girl.
Jeff built cabinets above Katie’s bed and the master bed. Check out this YouTube video on the cabinets.
The bunks across from Katie are for Hannah (bottom) and Melissa (top). Each of these bunks have outlets, so the girls can play their electronics. Under Hannah’s bed is a small storage area but most of it is taken up by the wheel well.
The next section toward the front of the bus, is Andrew’s bunk (bottom) and Jacob’s (top). Across from these bunks, will be a storage/closet area for the kid’s clothes. Joshua’s bunk will be above the closet.
Jeff is still working on getting the trim around the walls and floor. There will also be a door leading into the boy’s bunk area and a curtain separating the boy’s area from the girl’s.
We have one rooftop unit that has a heat strip in it. However, once the temps starting dropping below freezing it was not enough to keep the bus warm. Jeff and Dan, a family-friend, installed a propane furnace under Andrew’s bed. It is controlled by a thermostat on the kitchen wall. This heater keeps the bus nice and warm!
Even though we were patient and shopped around for supplies and the weather turn colder quicker than we expected, Jeff still accomplished an amazing amount of work.
Sometimes converting a school bus takes longer than you originally plan. Click To Tweet
Here is a list of things that still need completing.
- Bathroom cabinet and sink
- Joshua’s bunk and closet area
- Complete the kitchen
- Cabinets above the couch
- Mattress/foam for bed and couch
- Put up the doors
- Put up the lights
- Install outside lights and outlet
- Connect propane to stove
- Put hardware on all cabinets
Jeff hopes to finish the bus by the middle of March.
Update: Instead of finishing this bus, we had someone who wanted to purchase it and have us remodel it for him. Check back to see Bus #3 and follow it’s conversion.
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