Any school bus dweller will tell you the first step in turning a bus into a home is gutting it – specifically, seat removal. There’s a rush of adrenaline when you get that big yellow beauty where she’s going to be parked for renovations, and you just start tearing stuff out. Every time a seat comes out of the bus, we started visualizing what we’d put in its place. “This is where the bed will go.”, “That’s where we should put the kitchen.” It’s exhilarating and affirming. We got this.
“Today we’re going to rip the seats out!”, we stated confidently as we left the house on that first build day. We arrived at the property, surveyed the task, and drafted a plan. Kyle would go under the bus with a socket wrench, and I’d stay inside of it, making sure the bolts weren’t rotating as he unscrewed the nuts from below. Once he got under there, it didn’t take long before we realized that wasn’t the best possible plan of attack. We switched positions, and I popped under the bus and held the nuts stationary while he unscrewed the bolts from the inside.
It took some rigging and finagling, but we finally made a tool that would adequately reach the awkwardly positioned bolts and had enough torque to budge them. Everything was going smoothly for a bench or two. I mean, rust was falling in my eyes and we both had blisters the size of golfballs, but this was fun! We were clearing space for our new home!
By the time we got to the center benches, we started realizing we needed to go about things differently. The bolts and were stripped up top, and the nuts were nearly impossible to get to from below. We were determined to get all of the seats out so we could return home victorious. We made a quick run to Home Depot to rent some heavier artillery.
Kyle got right to work on grinding the bolts down, which made a world of difference (and a terrible smell, but that was a sacrifice we were willing to make). He’d grind the bolt until the head popped off, then hammer the rest through the floor where I’d collect them. A few hours later, we had all of the seats (and most of the chewing gum kids had stuck to them) out.
To some, it may just look like a gutted school bus, but to us, it was starting to look like home.
Stay tuned for more on our bus build adventure, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast ‘Roll With Us‘ for the audio experience.