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Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home

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This is the story of a man named Michael who bought a school bus and turned it into an amazing tiny home even though he had never built anything before.

When Michael started the project he was renting a studio apartment. He later moved into a tent to save enough money to finish the school bus conversion!

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share this inspiring story below. Thanks.

He Even Moved into a Tent to Finish the School Bus Conversion!

Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home

Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home

Michael’s Story

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. Follow me on Instagram! @Intalleyvision

Get the full story and see all of the construction process here.

The Bus When He First Bought It

Man Buys School Bus and Turns it into Amazing Tiny Home

You can see more photos and stories behind the project on Michael’s Imgur Album. Also, you can follow him on Instagram.


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Annette
    July 12, 2017, 8:59 pm

    Awesome project. A consolation for all your travails I hope. Quite inspiring.

  • Sally
    July 13, 2017, 3:12 pm

    I’m seriously at a loss for words here. This is one of the BEST skoolie conversions I’ve ever seen. His labor of love really speaks volumes here. If he were ever to put it on the market, he’d be well justified in asking at least $35k for it. The mass-produced RVs on the market just DO NOT hold a candle to this. Magnificently executed, Michael! *SWOON*

  • Claude
    July 13, 2017, 4:14 pm

    Very nice interior, conversion well done.

  • Mae
    July 13, 2017, 4:48 pm

    Great reno! The only thing that would annoy me over time is the A/C cord sitting on the kitchen counter 24/7.

    • Diane the Designer
      August 8, 2017, 11:28 pm

      I went through all of the photos and am so proud of you that you did all of this work. It turned out great and it is well thought out. I was just going to say that the air conditioner can be pushed back and an air conditioner bracket to hold it up can be added to the outside. That way it won’t protrude do much into your interior. I just thought I would tell you this because you said you did not like it and this is a way to fix that problem. I have one in a small travel trailer and it can be almost flush to the wall with support on the outside somehow. I am saying this to help you not to criticize you because you have done an absolutely wonderful job. Yes to have kept the original roof insulation would have been good and you would not have had to buy any but we live and learn. Pat yourself on the back and now you can concentrate on being productive with work and enjoying your home. Enjoy it in good health.

  • Kathleen
    July 13, 2017, 5:13 pm

    Not at all like tge school bus I rode to school in! Nice on remodeling job!!

  • Pam
    July 13, 2017, 5:57 pm

    This is out of this world beautiful! And I’d be so proud to say that I did something of this nature with no experience! Bravo! Enjoy living in this beauty!

  • Kathleen veltsos
    July 13, 2017, 6:53 pm

    You deserve happiness man. Great job on this awesome thow!!

  • July 13, 2017, 10:53 pm

    A beautiful, beautiful job and well worth it. Now enjoy.

  • Jana
    July 13, 2017, 11:34 pm

    Great job, well done! Love the clean lines and interior. Best bus conversion I’ve seen.

  • Maureen Douglas
    July 14, 2017, 4:56 am

    So curious if I missed it but I see no stove and no bathroom. I love the work you did though . Nice job.

    • James D.
      July 14, 2017, 5:06 pm

      It’s not shown, but that closed off space just behind the driver seat… It’s not storage, that’s the bathroom…

      For cooking, he probably has hotplates, etc. stored away that he only pulls out when he needs to cook…

  • Liz
    July 14, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I love this bus. It’s so pretty on the inside. However, the A/C looks to be in an odd place. Whatever. Still a very nice home.

    • James D.
      July 14, 2017, 5:15 pm

      It was probably a last minute addition… If he had raised the roof just a bit more he could have placed it over the gap separating the original height roof in the rear and the new raised roof height… But placing it on the side at least limits the effect of driving will have on it… Easier to brace side to side than in and out as it would if he had mounted it in the rear near the bed as then every time the bus accelerates or brakes would have put a strain on it…

      Though, a mini-split would have been a better choice… It cost a bit more than a window AC unit but it’s much more efficient and would have saved him more in the long run… Along with being quieter… and if he ever moved to cooler climate zones it could also provide some heat…

      Another design consideration that I don’t see many do with these conversions is to have a way to close out the sleeping areas… Given the limits on space and the difficulty in insulating curved metal walls… It can help if you only need to heat or cool the sleeping area at night and not the whole bus… Especially, as the original bus windows don’t provide any insulation…

  • Denise
    July 15, 2017, 1:06 am

    What an absolutely beautiful, lovely job!

  • July 15, 2017, 12:19 pm

    Michael, Hats Off To You! Your Home Is Amazing! Wow! You put a lot of work into this beauty! I loved viewing all of your pictures that entailed your Home coming together! The Subway tile work that you installed is gorgeous! For a first timer, You did an awesome job! I would not change a thing in your home! I can not say enough good things about it! This place is incredible! You really overcame a lot of obstacles in your way!
    My heart broke for you, I am so sorry that You lost Your Grandfather & Your Dog! During this time of your life! You have gained so much knowledge during this lifetime experience! I wish you much happiness & enjoyment in your beautiful home!
    Thank You so much for sharing and I really enjoyed touring your awesome home! In today’s age who would have ever thought of building & accomplishing a beautiful home out of a bus, or a van, or even a train! Again, Thank You for sharing!🌺🌼🌸

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 15, 2017, 9:59 pm

    Wow! Really nice job! Love the kitchen!

  • Cyndi ann
    July 26, 2017, 3:30 pm

    So sorry for the tests (to say the least) that you went through. Michael, this is quite an accomplishment. This is the best and really nicest that I have seen in transforming a bus. It is really nice, love it all. 🙂

  • Kim Pratt
    October 24, 2017, 12:02 am

    Wow, what a neat conversion, I used to ride a school bus too. I do want to say that I am sorry that your grandfather and your dog died, and that you lost your job. Maybe an outlet on the sidewall that buts up to the tiled wall, would be another place to plug the air conditioner into. At least the A/C is not taking up counter space and you can then plug other appliances in as you need them. I love the brick wall behind the sink. Speaking of appliances, I have found and bought an indoor electric grill/griddle, with removable plates so I can clean them, it is a Farberware brand, and I have also seen a double smooth stove top by the same brand. You can plug them in when you want to cook or unplug it and store it when you are not using it. I also have seen some counter top ovens, that can accommodate a 9 by 13 inch cookie sheet or cake pan, or also roast a chicken. That bed in the back looks very comfortable and with the TV mounted on the wall, a comfortable way to watch TV. I hope you enjoy your bus. If you have a computer, and I read that there jobs that you can do while traveling including doing a travel log job. If you have a camera, you can create a book about your adventures, and hopefully, get it published. Some thoughts to help you raise some money and do some traveling as well. Having a house on wheels gives you some freedom to travel. Great job on the conversion. Oh and the raised ceiling is awesome. Happy trails to you.

  • Dalien
    October 24, 2017, 11:33 am

    Best part is that you’ll find a better, more supportive and team orientated girlfriend….who’ll totally see the genius and passion and work ethic you committed to…… She became jealous of your bus dude…. probably a narcissist with abandonment issues. She couldn’t see the big picture of a potential adventure with you and cost efficient living… and couldn’t give you the support you needed for the 6 months that you hunkered down and did something awesome. I might need your help when I do mine as I’m in the planning stage. Stay awesome and happy in your home brother!

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