Monday, October 4, 2010

Befor and After!

Well, the Bamboo floor is partly done. These are a couple of before and afters of the progress so far. I still have quite a bit of trim work to do, but thought I would share.


Hallway before, carpet is icky.



Under desk before, excuse my mess :-) Also, all of the bus seats are now gone. Anyone need to buy bus seats? They're comfy LOL






After shots. Actually looks quite a bit nicer than these photos show, and I am quite pleased with the progress so far! I also believe that it is warmer, and quieter, added bonuses! Plus, when people see it they say "wow".





That thing on the left side is the start of a new desk, more on that later.




Next up will be counter tops in the kitchen area, I plan on continuing the theme, along with building a new desk and then some wall treatment to hide that oh so industrial aluminum look.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bamboozled!


And they didn't even give me a lousy T-Shirt! In shopping for Bamboo, I tried to be smart and requested samples from every company I could. Each company had it's strengths and weaknesses, but Lumber Liquidators seemed to win all around. The product was nice, they stocked trim pieces which I would need, and the price seemed fair, plus they were local. The only negative was that the product would need to be ordered and would take "A week, two at the very most" to get to me. We are not talking a lot of money here, I started out to do just half of the bus so my total was under $200 and I paid in cash.
I waited 10 days and checked again, "No, it's not here yet, but should be in a day or so."
14 days, "No, sorry, but I verified it would be here Monday."
Monday, "It's not on the truck, we don't know why, but I have sent an email to the person."
Wednesday, "The person in charge might be on vacation, there is nothing we can do."
Now, at this point, they had my money, I had no product, and they said they had no idea of where it was, AND they thought the person was on vacation, and there was nothing they could do. I asked if this person gets hit by a bus, do you just close the company? I decided to wait just a little more, so I gave them a few more days, and still nothing. So I did what any sensible person would do who had waited almost a month for something that was to take 1-2 weeks, I asked for a refund. "We don't give refunds." WHAT?!?! To get my money back, I was told that they had to send a request to the home office, after it was approved, they would mail me a check in...are you ready for this? "A week, two at the very most."
Now, in all honesty, I do not think the problem lies with this particular store, or this particular manager. A search of Lumber Liquidator Complaints instantly showed over 50,000 pages, and on page after page there are dozens, if not hundreds of people complaining about this company. How they are still in business I have no idea. They have been in court, sued, and called to task over and over again, yet another quick search shows that the company is growing by leaps and bounds, even in this economy, and that they are still adding new stores left and right. Amazing when you think about it. Just think what they could do if they had good customer service!
I have bought the product somewhere else now, it was in stock and is fine. Of course, at this point, I have paid for it twice until I see a refund. It has been a week...nothing yet. Buyer Beware.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bamboo Bus.

Well, after being in the RV park for a just over a month and a half, I am finally settled in enough to begin rebuilding the inside of the bus and to try to make it more "me". I have lots of time, if not money, as great jobs seem to be non-existent. While the original builder certainly created something that 'works', it is in no way pretty, nor does is suit any standard of aesthetics I might enjoy. While I have always preferred function over form, I think that both can be had with some careful planning. In it's present form, the bus is entirely functional, hopefully I will be able to retain that quality, improve upon it, and even make it greener by default.

I love Bamboo. As a product, it is perhaps the greenest plant growing, (it is really a grass) as it can sequester enormous amounts of CO2 and can replenish itself in a fraction of the time it takes wood to do the same thing. It grows so fast that you can almost see it happen (up to four feet a day when its young) and it has a better strength to weight ratio than steel. I also enjoy oriental design, and hope to combine the clean, uncluttered aspects of this Zen approach with my love of Bamboo in the rebuild.

I have always thought that any project is best started with a strong foundation, so I will be starting at the floor. Right now, it is blue, commercial carpet...ugh. I am ripping out all of the old bus seats, counters, tables etc. Hopefully in the next month it will be transformed into a beautiful Strand Woven Bamboo floor, natural in color which is 100% stable and 150% HARDER than Oak. I am hoping to continue the theme up and will be using the same product to rebuild the kitchen counters and back splash.

I will of course post before and after photos along the way. I am always open to thoughts and suggestions anyone might have.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

O M G


am I doing???? I feel like this sometimes, and perhaps rightly so. Then, I find a little gem like this video and I like the path so much more.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZM2G-PfEbc

I would like to meet this woman! Anyone know where she is?

I have noticed that there seems to be some interesting disparity and attitudes, even amoung members of the Tiny House Community on something. On one hand, you buy a flat trailer, build a cool little house on it, and live simply and are called quirky, forward thinking and green. But, taking a 26 foot school bus and building it out as a tiny house as well gets you the hippie, trailer trash, vagabond, low life etc. It's all very confusing. Perhaps I am missing the point, but is there really a difference here? And for that matter, what about the people who have chosen to live in small pull behinds and 5th wheels? Why are they somehow of a lower class that the aforementioned little house builder? Which, by the way, has it's very foundation on a trailer :) I think some of those very people seem to have forgotten what is under that new house of theirs. Thoughts?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to move.


Well, the time to move is almost here. While I enjoy boon docking or private land best, I am going to move into an RV park. Bigger city, better opportunities, and hopefully some new friends that are a little more like minded and understand what the tiny hose movement is all about.
This will be the first long trip with the bus fully loaded hauling the garage as well. Hopefully it will be uneventful :-)

It is also an ongoing learning experience. When I first moved into the bus, I spent weeks getting rid of things that I did not need, keeping only what I could not bear to part with. Now, as I get ready for the trip next month, I find I still have a long ways to go to reach that minimalist lifestyle that I desire. I found a box of things today that I had not opened in 10 years. 10 years!
This simply can not be anything I need, yet the sentimental part of me still has trouble letting go of things that remind me of people, whether it be a small shell found on the beach, or a tiny glass heart that is so much more than the glass itself.

I had read somewhere that someone pondered, "without all my stuff, who would I be?"
Who indeed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Hidden Downside.

When I first decided to fore-go the standard lifestyle, and move into a bus, I did so for many reasons. The economy was tanking, my industry in particular was in deep trouble, and I saw that there was simply no way that I could continue a 'standard' lifestyle. I did not want to become a burden to my family and friends, I did not want to add to the Governments growing pile of dependents, and I wanted to in some respects, be in charge of my own destiny. I knew there would be downsides, but I sure did not see all of them.

The Government: One would think that by being responsible, and by NOT going on welfare, I would be treated with respect. Not so. Governmental agencies simply will not accept a PO BOX as an address. They want my "physical" address. Asking them "what time?" does not help, not much of a sense of humor here. I even had a local police officer classify me as a vagrant. Maintaining an excellent credit score, never being late on my billls, and not becoming a statistic has little influence on anyone. The system simply believes you must have a real house to be a real citizen.
Other companies: Insurance companies, bank (if you owe them money) Credit unions, credit card companies, all of these people get quite uptight when they find out you do not have a 'real' house. Even the local library will not allow me to check out books, as if somehow tires on my house make me a higher risk for a three dollar paperback.
People in general: "You live in a bus?" "Oh, I am so sorry, times are hard." rarely do I hear anything positive about this.
And lastly, women. As a single guy I have an interest in the fairer sex. I'm smart, articulate and handsome (oh, and humble) I might add, but women treat me like the plague when they find out about my living arrangement. Somehow, moving out of the house into a bus has made me less. Some do not even realize that this bus might be a million dollar coach, which of course it is not, but its just the attitude, that a responsible (don't forget handsome) guy like me can't be much of a catch. Maybe it has to do with that security thing, who knows. Or, possibly, I have just yet to find that green eyed, 5'3'' brunette (nature lover please, grin) that can think out of the box, or in it so to speak.
I love my bus. I love what it allows me to do, I love that I am not late on bills and can still have a great car, a nice bike, and a almost done kayak without all of the stress that would have came with the house. A Tiny house is the way to go...
I am not changing a thing :-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Benefits unseen!


Everyone who has ever lived in a tiny space, or even thought of it, knows of the immediate benefits to this lifestyle. Bills are reduced to an almost insignificant point when compared to a standard home. If I add up heat (propane) electricity (plugged in all the time) and water, I seem to spend about 75 bucks per month, an amount that will go down as it gets warmer considering most of the cost is the heat. Better insulation would help here too, but that's for another day, and I am open to ideas on how to insulate the roof of a steel bus without it looking awful.

What I did not foresee, was all of the other benefits. I eat better, a lot better. Without a huge fridge, I buy fruits and vegetables more often, so they are always fresh. There is no couch to vegetate on and watch TV, so I am outside more, and projects have more appeal than they used to. All in all it lends itself to a healthier lifestyle.

I also find that I am being kinder to the earth. I now have a dedicated water bottle, a stainless coffee cup I use at coffee shops and such, and since I have less space, I consume less of everything. Less plastics, less paper, and when I do buy something, I consider the purchase much more carefully than I used to. I go to the library more than the bookstore, and when they finally build an eReader that does everything I want, I will add that to the mix.

All in all, lots of benefits to this lifestyle, and I am discovering more every day. Like I sleep really well when it rains, its a wonderful sound.