For most people, retiring in an old bus wouldn’t be the dream they had for their golden years; however, for Greg Flint, his bus meant the world to him. Nicknamed “Buster,” the old bus may not look like much, but has a rich and long history with Greg. So much so, that he decided to convert the old clunker into the home of his dreams. Despite the challenges and uphill battles, he faced, Gregg worked hard to convert the old bus into a home he would be proud of and he certainly succeeded. Proving that you can’t just a book by its cover, Greg’s converted home has to be seen to believed.
It truly is amazing what people can accomplish when they put their minds to it and refuse to give up regardless of the odds.
20. Looks Can Be Deceiving
Upon first glance at Greg Flint’s home, one might question its state. The paint on the bus is chipped, and its overall appearance shows years of neglect; however, the inside is an absolutely stunning example craftsmanship.
19. A Journey 15 Years in the Making
The relationship flint has had with the 1965 Chevy goes back more than fifteen years. He obtained the bus through a series of events. These events were triggered after Flint’s four daughters left home, and he was finally faced with freedom for the first time in a long time.
18. Selling the Family Plot
Realizing he wanted more than spending the rest of his days in his large dream home on 10-acres of land, Flint chose to sell the place so he could live in a much different setting. During this time one of his friends asked him for a favor.
17. Good Reputation
Flint was known around Sandpoint, Idaho as “Papa Smurf” because of his ability to fix just about anything. A former stonemason and builder, Flint knew his way around tools.
16. A Trip to Mexico
So what was the favor? Well, Flint’s friends had an old bus that needed to be fixed before they went off to Mexico. Of course, Flint agreed to help, but then something happened that threatened to derail his plan’s for the bus’s renovations–the friends’ relationship went south.
15. A Home of His Own
Flint explained, “Those friends broke up. In the meantime, 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.” The retiree added, “I’ve lived in Buster for almost 15 years now, and I love it.”
14. Already Started
Thankfully, completing his vision wouldn’t be from scratch since someone had already begun the conversion and added a new top section to the bus. Windows had also been installed in the new upper area, leaving Flint the bottom half to begin working on.
13. Changing the Space
“The upper windows made it possible to cover many lower windows, allowing for more buildable wall space,” Flint revealed to the website, SmallerLiving. “The front section has a VW ‘pop top’ giving access to the rear deck on top – which provides wonderfully cooling airflow in the summer.”
12. Renovations Needed
While the bus was the perfect home for the warmer months, Flint knew it needed some significant changes if he was going to live in it during the winter. Since Idaho winters were quite brutal, there was no way he could live in the bus year-round in its current state.
11. Insulation for Warmth
Before Flint could really begin designing the interior, he knew he needed to insulate the bus so it could withstand the cold. “I used 2-inch rigid foam insulation on the vertical walls and two layers of Reflectix in the curved parts and the ceiling,” Flint revealed.
With the insulation done, he could then begin to design his dream home.
10. A Complete Transformation
Using cedar trees, Flint transformed the bus’s interior into a rustic oasis. He also made countertops from an old cedar chest his daughter gave him, along with a kitchen table. For Flint, the all-natural aesthetic was just what he needed.
9. Reclaimed Materials
Flint designed almost the entire interior from reclaimed wood and other materials. The interior offering a natural and stark contrast to the metallic, dilapidated exterior. Isn’t it beautiful?
8. Finding a Heating Solution
With the freezing winters of Idaho on the horizon, Flint knew he needed a heating source that could keep the cold out. At first, he settled on an iron wood stove, but it made the interior of the bus was way too hot.
Thankfully, he was able to craft himself a soapstone stove that was customized to the interior itself.
7. The Joys of Winterization
Flint explained, “To winterize the bus, all window glass plus the entrance area gets thickly covered with bubble wrap. I use huge burrito bags full of fall leaves tucked under the bus to insulate the underside. And if that doesn’t cover it, I can switch on a small super-efficient radiant space heater if I need to.”
6. Limited Expenses
Despite being an active senior, Flint’s income after retirement was quite limited so he had to look for areas to park that offered sustainable resources. In exchange for having a place to park his home, a friend now lets him watch over an apple orchard.
5. Saving Where He Can
Even though Flint has an apple orchard at his disposal for food, he’s found other ways to save as well. “The bus has large built-in water and propane tanks and a generator, but I don’t use them. I bring in dishwater in buckets which fit in the sink. Dishes dry on the rack over the sink, and I empty the used dishwater where it is needed on the property to water plants and trees.”
4. Built-In Bookshelf
Due to the curving sides of the bus, a traditional bookshelf was impossible to install. However, thanks to Flint’s ingenuity he was able to use a piece of wood to keep his extensive library in place.
3. A Place to Rest
At the back of the bus, Flint made himself an alcove with a bed so he would be comfortable when it came to sleeping. Don’t you just love the way he utilized the trees and wood? It looks so cozy!
2. Always Room for Improvement
Despite the phenomenal renovation Flint achieved, he still has other renovations in store for the good ‘ole bus. This is due to his problem with clutter. His cat also doesn’t make things easy either. “My cat climbs all over inside, and if I get to pacing up and down – like when I’m writing – she’ll often reach down and snag the hat off my head.”
1. Out of a Fairytale
Overall, it’s amazing how much he accomplished with what was once a broken down bus. Now, Flint can live out his days living in a page ripped straight from a fairy tale. We have to admit we’re a little jealous.