Siblings renovate double-decker bus into incredible Airbnb getaway
Three siblings from County Cork, Ireland shared the original renovation they undertook in a double-decker bus.
The McCarthy siblings – Anna, 28, Thomas, 26 and Rachel, 24 – bought the vehicle for € 2,500 (£ 2,100) in September 2020 after being inspired by a friend who completed a similar project .
“When we bought the bus we left it untouched for a few months and in December we were really stuck,” Thomas said.
“We first emptied the whole bus and planned our site, then moved it to the site where the real fun began.
“We started by insulating and installing new flooring and planning the rooms to go.
The half-timbered walls came up and we wanted to keep all the windows so we had a lot of sealing to do on the exterior windows.
“The plumbing and electrical quickly came into play, and then before we knew it, we were planning our kitchen units and choosing tiles and hardwood floors.
“We kept the interior very colorful and playful and we did some graffiti on the exterior and chose a farm theme.”
Not only did the siblings redesign the interior of the bus, but the exterior was also modernized.
Anna’s partner Aiden created a tiled patio and installed a makeshift bar made of pallets. A hot tub finished off the area and they covered it up using the sails of a boat.
“We like to improvise and try to use second-hand materials as much as possible and come up with original ideas,” Thomas added.
Along with the renovation of the bus, the siblings also had another project on hand – a renovation of their father’s 170-year-old farm after his death.
The trio planned to spend € 20,000 (£ 16,800) but went over budget and had to use up some of their savings.
Overall, the renovation took a total of six months and cost around € 30,000 (£ 25,000) for the bus, site preparation, electricity and interior work.
“We got a lot of corporate sponsorships in exchange for exposure on our social media, which helped cut costs,” said Thomas. “Upstairs probably costs us around € 7,000.
“The biggest cost was the kitchen, outdoor space and electricity.
“The plumbing cost around € 1,000. It’s a big investment but it will pay off so we are delighted!
“We also had a lot of help from family and friends and did a lot of the work ourselves, which drastically reduced the costs. ”
Inside the bus is a spacious master bedroom with a double bed on the upper deck. Meanwhile, there is a bedroom with four single beds, two of which are trundle. This room offers a full panoramic view of the farm and courtyard.
On the lower deck is a salon with a U-shaped seating area, kitchen and toilet.
A state-of-the-art ventilation system has also been installed to circulate fresh air throughout the space.
“I think we were in a state of shock that it was over, we couldn’t believe how amazing it turned out. It was better than we expected, ”recalls Thomas.
After the renovation was completed, the siblings put the bus up for sale on Airbnb for € 180 per couple. The bus can hold six people at a time.
Since it was put into service, the bus has been full.
Finally, Thomas has some important tips for future renovators.
“Do it, be patient, and look for inspiring pages on Instagram or Pinterest,” he advises.
“Now there are some fantastic information pages that will show you step by step what you can do. “
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