Sure, school buses don’t exactly sound luxurious. I have distinct memories of sitting in a pool of my own sweat on many a bus ride back in my school days (my school district couldn’t afford the newfangled air conditioned buses), and I don’t think you could pay me enough money to get on a school bus as an adult. But maybe, just maybe, you’d like to live in one.
In April, Austin graphic designer Michael Talley purchased a bus from Austin ISD for just $2,200 on an online auction site and decided to convert it into his own tiny-home-slash-RV. He posted the full conversion on Reddit, explaining the many issues he came across during the process: the fact that he’s 6’6” and the bus’ interior only allowed 6’1” of clearance, the “grueling process” of removing all the seats, the construction of his roof-raising rig -- not to mention getting insulation in his beard, which meant he had to shave it off completely.
Talley wrote that the process of rebuilding the bus, while tedious, was worth it:
“When I bought my bus I was living in a studio apartment in North Austin for around $1200 a month including rent and bills. I moved into a tent in order to save money while working on the bus, commuting 40 minutes to work every day, just to afford more steel and more wood. I had never built anything before, and I couldn't sleep for months because my brain was constantly going a mile a minute about how to build this and what I was going to do to build that. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. While I was building the bus I was cheated on, my dog died, I lost my job, my grandfather died, and Central Texas saw it's wettest year in ages, putting me through 2 floods and multiple hail storms. In the end the whole thing cost me around $15,000 and six months of work. I know it's a cliche at this point, but seriously: If I can do it, you can too.”
The process, for which Talley provides step-by-step photos, is mesmerizing. Read the whole story and see the photos here (and marvel, like I did, at those reclaimed wood walls and Talley’s insane good fortune when it comes to scoring really good deals at IKEA).
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