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Family Converts An Old School Bus Into A Mobile Home
One man's trash is another man's treasure. While most people would never live in a school, this father saw a school bus as an opportunity to get creative. With a vision in mind, this dad converted a school bus into a stunning home!
Jonathan Maes
04.21.17

Tired of spending exorbitant amounts of money on their apartment rent, Brian and Starla Sullivan decided to do something rather unconventional when it came time to renew their apartment contract. Instead of playing it safe and renewing, they decided to live smaller in a spectacular way.

“We are ridiculous people and this is a ridiculous lifestyle, and it just works,” said Starla Sullivan.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Rather than re-signing the lease or finding a new apartment that better suited their needs, Brian and Starla decided to buy an old, out of commission school bus.

The price tag was two thousand eight hundred dollars, but there was still a lot of work that needed to be done.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Unwilling to live somewhere that was a constant reminder that it was actually a vehicle, Brian and Starla invested a little over thirty thousand dollars in transforming the bus into a mini house.

“I wanted to feel like I was living in a tiny house, and not a vehicle,” Starla mentioned.

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Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Parents of Charlie, 3, Henry, 2, and Lincoln who was just three months old, the Sullivan family had their work cut out for them if they wanted to truly transform this bus into a home. Installing a living room and a fully functional kitchen, including an oven and fireplace, the bus became as homey as ever.

Starla wanted to be sure the kids had a true bathtub to use, so she had a metal one installed in the bus. At least for now, the bathtub is a perfect fit for Henry, Charlie, and Lincoln. To make sure things are staying clean and tidy, the bus is even outfitted with a full-size washing machine.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

They also made sure that the kids would have plenty of room to play and sleep, and their sleeping areas are large enough and outfitted with full-length mattresses to make sure that they won’t outgrow the bus anytime soon.

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Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

When Starla first suggested the idea of moving into a bus to Brian, he jokingly said yes thinking she was only kidding.

When Starla made it clear that she was actually serious, the couple decided to look seriously into the possibility of this potential project. They quickly realized that living in a large, retired bus would end up having tons of benefits.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Living inside a bus would also throw any concerns regarding commute off the table.

When they were still living in their apartment, Brian would have to commute one hour to work, each way. However, that’s only in the best scenario, because he’d spend up to three hours during rush hour on the road just to get home. Some days, Starla and the kids never even saw him. They realized it was time to make a change.

Buying the bus three years back from a local dealership, Brian and Starla began investing their time, money, and effort into making this bus based home a reality. After a lot of hard work and many long days and nights filled with challenges from every direction, the Sullivan family finally created a home for themselves using this old bus.

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Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Since moving into this bus, they pay a mere five hundred dollars a month for rent, compared to the fifteen hundred dollar rent they were paying for their tiny apartment. Not only does rent cost a third of what they were originally paying, but other expenses like utilities have also decreased massively, allowing Brian and Starla to focus their funds on paying off student loans and providing for their children.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

Not everything has gone as planned, however, as the family dealt with a couple of severe issues ever since they started living on the bus. Brian and Starla have already been through frozen pipes, not enough propane, a lack of hot or running water and they’ve also lost electricity once. Luckily, none of those things happened at the same time, and the issues were always fixed relatively quickly.

One day, the bus will become too small for this family of five, but the couple already has some plans for the future.

“If we do move out of the bus, it’s going to be something equally as ridiculous,” Starla told. “Yeah, it’s gonna be something else that’s unconventional, Brian added.”

“We want to build a house out of mud, and that is probably our next step. We are ridiculous people,” Starla said with a smile.

Barcroft TV / YouTube
Source:
Barcroft TV / YouTube

One of those plans that they’re currently exploring is building a house out of mud! It may seem crazy, but then again, so was the thought of living in an old school bus.

Sometimes the least conventional ideas produce the best results, and this bus is a perfect example of that. In this case, Brian and Starla did something most people would never even consider, but in thinking outside the box, they created an affordable and unique living experience for their whole family.

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By Jonathan Maes
hi@sbly.com
Jonathan Maes is a contributing writer at Shareably. He is based out of Belgium and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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