How Much Does A Bus Conversion Cost?
The biggest questions we get since starting our build is: “how much does a bus conversion actually cost?” The real answer depends on what making a home into a home means for you. You can do a simple conversion for a couple thousand, or you can budget what you would into a small house.
For me personally, I want a home that meets all my needs and is comfortable. If I’m going to live in a tiny home, (and reduce my belongings to only things that matter) I want really nice, meaningful belongings in that home. So our estimated starting budget is $35,000, with a huge chunk of that being the solar system that we’re going to invest in.
This blog post is a rolling update of our expenses. As we finish a project I will update this post as we go along.
Total Prediction based on research: $35,000
Last Updated: November 18th, 2020
It’s important to note we live in New Hampshire where there is no sales tax so the cost of items is the cost we paid.
- If there is a corresponding blog post for the topic the titles are clickable for additional information on what worked and what didn’t work.
- Some tools and blades were the wrong choice so please read the additional blog posts to avoid making the same mistakes we did.
- Some tools were used on multiple projects but I listed them at the stage we bought them at. Blog posts have exact breakdowns.
- I have also listed everything we used that was borrowed, given to us, or already owned so you have a general idea of what may cost you money if you don’t already own it.
- If you click on the product name you can buy direct from Amazon. Full disclosure these are affiliate links that will give me a percentage back when you purchase anything after clicking on the link. This helps support my time creating these blog posts for you to use and enjoy.
Buying the Bus: $3,998.40
- $4,000 minus the $1.60 we found on the bus 😉
Taking out the Seats: $226.70
- Dremel: Already owned
- Small Angle Grinder: Borrowed from Dad
- Large Angle Grinder: Borrowed from Friend
- Oscillating Tool: $79.00
- Scraper blade for oscillating tool: $7.18
- Triangle sander $12.59
- Cutting blades for oscillating tool: 34.98
- 4 angle grinder blades: $7.92
- 2 Angle Grinder Blades:$ 16.94
- 2 Dremel grinding wheels: $21.96
- Tool Tote: $24.98
- 7 inch wonder pry bar: $7.18
- Blaster Penetrant $4.99
- Wd 40, 2 pack $8.98
Removing the Heater:
- 2, 5 gallon buckets with lids: $10.96
Removing the Ceiling:
- Impact Drill – already owned
Prepping the Bus for Paint:
- Wire Brush Attachment for Drill: $5.38
- Gallon of Acetone $19.99
- Dewalt Palm Sander – already owned
Removing Bus Decals:
- We didn’t buy: Whizzy Wheel but it’s highly recommended by other people.
- Butane Torch: already owned
- paint scraper: already owned
FULL TRAILER OF TRASH up to this point: $200
Window Removal and Replacement:
- 6 piece Irwin pin punch set $13.98
- Heavy Duty box cutter: $8.18
- Box Cutters: Already owned
- Skillsaw: Already owned
- Metal sheets: $0, we repurposed the ceiling metal
- 2 XL Bubble Windows for the cats: $59.16
- Workpro scraper: $1.98
- 8oz Brasso Metal Polish $3.28
- Jigsaw to cut metal: Already owned
- Jigsaw blade: $2.39
- Dasco Pro Trim Kit: $12.99
- Impact Driver Kit: $99.99
- Screws $12.99
- Grabit to remove stripped screws $7.98
- 12 inch Magnet $16.48
- Skill saw blades $4.98
- Skill saw blades $3.98
- 3 boxes of screws (35 a box) for outside bus $15.84
- jigsaw blade $11.98
- weather stripping $3.78 each, $7.56
- Heavy Duty Gorilla glue $9.99
- 3 pack stainless steel sponges: $2.48
PAINTING BUS – Not finished yet
- 2 3M respirators $83.94 (41.97 each)
- 2 1 inch Blue Painters tape rolls, 4.99 each $9.98
- 1 ⅕ inch blue painters tape roll $7.99
- Paint Stripper drill bit $16.99
- Light duty stripping pads, 2 pack $3.59
- 2 gallons tractor white paint: $57.98
- 2 spray cans, white gloss: $11.98
- Spray gun handle for spray cans: $4.99
- Majik Catalyst Hardener: $15.99
- ½ foot paint rollers $5.49
- Metal Tray Paint pans: $12.57
- 1 gallon rust removal $27.48
- Layer 1: Ice and Water Shield
- Layer 2: 1/8th