Getting Floored

Two fundamental laws of our universe, one thermodynamic and the other ecological, weave through our lives. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy or disorder generally increases in a system. That is to say that things fall apart. Pessimistic some might say but no less true. This is balanced, however, by a positive and fundamental characteristic of living systems which is that they are creative and self-ordering.  These two aspects of our existence, chaos and order, balance each other in the delightful and often tenuous moments of our lives. And it is true that creation can come from the seemingly destructive or, as Nietzsche said, through chaos comes order, or something like that. This is no more or less true as we are embarking on converting a 1988 Thomas Built school bus into a tiny home.


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Before pictures: front looking back; back looking back.

You would assume buying an old school bus that is mostly converted into livable space would make it easier to convert into a tiny home. However, after a year of ripping things out and building things back up again I do not know if that is a valid assumption. At least we didn’t have to unbolt, remove and dispose of all those bus seats. Hey, that’s looking on the bright side! Seeing how someone else designed and built the livable space was a great way to see what we did and did not want to do. Suffice it to say we did not keep a single design aspect from the previous conversion and it did show us how we don’t want to do things. We want more light, more space and more beauty.

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Front looking back. Left is before repainting, before removing paint from windows and rust neutralization; Right is after.

After removing everything down to the bare metal floor, we set to filling in bolt holes in the floors (think: every seat was bolted down multiple times) and neutralizing surface rust, which was extensive but not damaging, then we began the process of creating a home out of an empty shell. We began by repainting the ceiling to replace the vibrant rainbow across the middle of the bus with something that would reflect light, namely white paint. We did this everywhere except in what will be the girls bedroom, where we painted a blue ceiling with white clouds. At the same time, Kristin painstakingly removed paint or opaque, plastic coverings that were stuck to the windows (inside and out!) to limit visibility into the bus. Sharp razor blades and lots of painter thinner were her partners in that endeavor.

With the ceiling painted, it was time to start on the flooring. I will share some pictures now and will return to this process in more words and pictures soon.

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L: Insulation put down and framing of cabinets etc begun. R: Vapor barrier on top of insulation.



Juniper dancing on the newly laid bamboo floor!



6 thoughts on “Getting Floored

  1. Daniel

    LaFevers, I’m fascinated…. keep the posts coming. It’s very exciting, and charming, and leaves me with dozens of questions. I’d love to send you a home warming gift if there is anything the home could use. More importantly, I’d love to wind up out there for our families to see one another. Take care my ol friends, Dan


    1. Thank Daniel! The best gift of all would be having y’all out here or seeing you in NM! Hit me up with your dozens of questions (I know you are due a reply letter from me but you could just preempt me and send another one). Hello to Steph!


  2. Kelly

    Wow, this is so exciting. And I’m thankful for your blog so that I can follow along and see pictures (since we’re not on facebook). It looks like a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Is it stationary, or can you actually drive it? If it drives, we’d love to see it on the east coast if you’re up for a road trip 🙂 Enjoy your “bus-yness” and your “bus-iness” ventures. Keep the posts and pictures coming!


    1. Thanks for your message Kelly! The bus is currently stationary, parked along the side of our house. I barely fit and Kristin did a superb job parking it there. We have pictures of that to share as well. But it is fully functioning and we plan on driving it to wherever we move next. I would love to bring it to the east coast but don’t know if she will ever make a trip that long again. The bus is originally from Ohio and was then in upstate NY before it drove out here. You never know but I think she will stay on the West Coast. Will keep the posts and pictures coming. Hope you, Ben and the kiddos are doing great!


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