When people retire from their jobs, they need to make a plan to find new things to do to occupy their time. That’s why 70-year-old retiree Greg Flint decided to sell his house and build a new one out of an old bus!
“I’ve always loved small homes on wheels. I wanted simplicity, economy, less stuff,” he said.
Greg had been planning to rebuild the bus, which is lovingly known as “Buster,” for a couple he was friends with. The couple had wanted the bus to be made ready so they could drive it to Mexico, but they ended up breaking up before it was completed. Greg offered them money to buy the bus himself, but they ended up just giving it to him instead!
“I had fallen in love with Buster and had a vision for its transformation. I asked to buy it, and they gave it to me!” Greg said.
Greg’s nickname is “Papa Smurf,” and when stepping on the 30 foot long 1965 Chevy bus, it becomes obvious why this is! The home looks and feels as if the Smurfs themselves constructed it.
A previous owner had welded the top section of 2 VW vans to the top of the bus, including windshields at each end, which Greg considers to be a major plus.
“The upper windows made it possible to cover many lower windows allowing for more buildable wall space. The front section has a VW ‘pop top’ giving access to the rear deck on top which provides wonderfully cooling airflow in the summer,” Greg said.
Greg made sure the house had everything, including a fully functional kitchen with a sink, dishwasher, and oven/stove-top. He explained that having this home has made things a lot easier for him financially as well.
“Without Buster and this trade arrangement, I would have a very hard time living on my small fixed income,” he said.
“I redid the whole interior to create an organic curving and flowing light-filled room using cedar trees bent by time and weather conditions,” Greg said. “The counter tops and kitchen table and bench backs were all made from an old cedar chest that was a gift from my daughter. The floor is redone with salvaged tongue and groove planks.”
Greg even put a fireplace in the home!
“Buster once had an iron woodstove, but it overheated the small space when burning and left me freezing when the fire went out,” he said. “I built a soapstone fireplace stove. It does not overheat the space plus, after two or three hours of burning, I can let the fire go out, shut everything down, and the soapstone continues to radiate heat all night.”
Greg is sure working hard for someone who is retired!
Greg said that he has taken steps to make sure the home is cozy year round, even in cold weather.
“All window glass plus entrance area get thickly covered with bubble wrap,” he said. “I use huge burrito bags full of fall leaves tucked under the bus the insulate the underside, etc. If that doesn’t cover it, I can switch on a small super-efficient electric radiant space heater if I need too.”
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