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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.

Notes:

  • 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:

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

 

FLOOR Removal

  • 1 gallon rust removal $27.48

Subfloor Installation

  • Layer 1: Ice and Water Shield
  • Layer 2: 1/8th