For the video tour, see the video at the bottom of this article.
A double-decker bus converted into a luxuriant RV living space has proven that you don’t have to sit around and wait for your dreams to come true, because you can build them.
Adam Collier is a 42-year-old carpenter from Brighton, in the UK that doesn’t have much patience for letting things happen on their own.
The adventurous Collier is also a father to teenaged daughter, Devan, with whom he shares a passion for riding the waves that crash against the country’s beaches.
Being the independent DIY-er that Colier is when he passed a double-decker bus on his drive home, he’d already planned the full conversion.
Unconvinced that he would have to have exorbitant amounts of cash to create his dream mobile living space, the confident carpenter set himself a budget.
Determined to prove you don’t have to be rich to live in the lap of luxury, he only allowed himself an initial amount of £10,000 to acquire the bus and do a complete overhaul.
While the bus had only recently been removed from service and so was still a good runner, there were a lot of structural issues he was about to face if he wanted to do it right.
While the double-decker was meant to hold plenty of people, it was never designed to become a full-on house on wheels.
The first thing that would have to go was the 42 bust seats welded to the floor, but after ripping out the benches and beginning renovations it quickly became apparent that Collier was going to have a long road ahead of him.
When he took a look behind the paneling to see what kind of insulation he was working with, he was surprised to find that there wasn’t anything being used at all.
After stuffing every bit of space he could find with sheet insulation, the hard-working father got to work on drilling beams together to reinforce the structure of his soon to be home.
A solo-worker at heart, Colier took on the entire project himself, stating in an interview with Amazing Spaces that he wanted it done right and had the ability to get it done on his own.
“I’m a tradesman as well, so I knew how to do everything, and there was no point in asking anyone else to help. Also, it was my project. I couldn’t expect others to share my level of enthusiasm.”
While there were many challenges in terms of layout and finding the best materials at an affordable price, the skilled craftsmen kept hammering away at every single detail until the bus’s jaw-dropping transformation was complete.
Collier had to use some seriously intelligent design to get the living space he wanted while keeping the bulk of the weight on the lower deck, to say nothing of the weight’s distribution.
Brilliantly, he put the dining space on the lower floor in the back of the bus, where he’d done away with the old seating.
Using newer, “spongier” foam, he made thick cushions for the dining benches and upholstered in bright, cheery green. When not in use, the dining table folds up for seamless, easy storage and to open up space even more.
To keep things looking high-end while still having a function, Colier covered the walls of his bus in tongue-and-groove wooden paneling that created beautiful symmetry while simultaneously holding in heat.
To retain some of the bus’s nostalgia from its past life, the whimsical carpenter left some things alone.
He left old signage up like the bus’s seating capacity and warnings to “Watch Your Head!”, as well as the mirrors for the driver to be able to monitor both decks while moving.
To keep weight distribution even on the lower deck, Colier located his kitchen between the driver’s cab and the dining area, keeping fairly in line with some of the double-decker’s former layout.
Collier was able to purchase the bus for £4,500, nearly half of his original budget for the conversion.
Halfway through his renovations, and after a few unlucky surprises (like a broken generator), he realized he would eventually have to go over his budget, but still wanted to keep costs as affordable as possible.
Collier is a stubborn man, though, and his desire to keep expenses at a minimum was at war with his dream of a beautiful, fully functioning kitchen.
When you’re a hard worker with a dream you find a way, and this ambitious adventurer did just that.
Collier found a very inexpensive kitchenette to install in his bus, complete with plenty of storage. To add an element of design, he created a new facade for it that matched his existing furniture, and attached sleek chrome handles to access the interior.
According to Colier, the most expensive element in his kitchen is the solid wood countertop.
“The most expensive part of it [kitchen] was the worktop. The whole kitchen cost peanuts, really.”
Not bad for an RV kitchen that’s, Colier claims, even bigger than the one he has at home.
From the kitchen, you can walk up the bus’s original steep staircase that opens out into what Colier has reclaimed as a resting nook.
Here he has infused his upholstering skills with his patriotism in the nook he has created with the seating space above the driver’s cab, Adam’s favorite place to sit as a kid on the iconic double-decker.
Collier has left managed to pay attention to every possible detail in his new home away from home, including bringing life onto the bus with the use of well-placed houseplants.
It seems that there is absolutely nothing that the surf-loving father has left out including adequate sleeping quarters for his daughter and anyone she might bring along.
A gorgeous, seamless corridor runs the length of the bus that leads to the three beds, with plenty of natural lighting to lead the way from the old bus windows.
Along the corridor, you’ll find what Colier calls his “pride and joy” of his project, his sliding bedroom doors the effortlessly glide into place and lie completely flush with the walls, making it look like it’s not even there when closed.
Once opened, the doors lead to the serene looking bedrooms that this master of trade has handcrafted around the large windows for max aesthetic appeal.
Collier managed to fit 3 bedrooms that sleeps 6 people onto the upper deck of the bus by miraculously fitting a bunk bed in at the back.
After six long months of hard work, frustration, and excitement the passionate surfer had his perfect beach time home ready to go whenever he and daughter Devon have the itch to hit up the waves!
So after all was said and done, was the skilled carpenter and visionary able to stick within his £10,000 budget for this magnificent moving vacation home?
Unfortunately, the price tag on his dream bus was just a little over what he was expecting.
Added together, the total cost of the conversion from the purchase of the bus down to the green paint used to make it pop, this amazing renovation only cost about £15,000, which is still much better than the tens of thousands it would have cost him to purchase a second home.
To get the full tour, check out the video from Amazing Spaces below!
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