Poor Texas man Michael Talley lost a lot of important things, including his girlfriend, his job, and even his grandpa all in one year. You can imagine what a tough time it was for him! Fortunately, this down on his luck guy finally found his place in the world – on a school bus. What happened? Read on…

1. Decision Of A Lifetime

For most people, a rusty, old school bus is useless, but for Michael Talley, it’s a vehicle full of potential. With a little bit of money and a lot of grit and determination, Talley transformed the bus into something completely different – a tiny luxury home. This enterprising man had a clear plan of how to convert the used bus, but things did not start out easy.
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2. Designer, Not A Builder

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Michael Talley was exceptional at design but was a bit green in the hands-on side of construction. What’s worse, he didn’t have enough money to support this huge project. So he moved out of his cheap apartment, and “moved into a tent in order to save money while at the same time working on the bus, commuting 40 minutes to work every day, all just to afford more steel and more wood.”
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3. Going Back To School

With next-to-no experience in construction, Talley considered using a preexisting structure as the foundation. Ultimately, he decided upon a school bus because “there’s already four walls and a roof.” At just $2,200, Talley bought the old school bus. There was a heartwarming story behind Talley’s choosing this specific vehicle for his home transformation.
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4. Bargain Armadillo Bus

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The story lies in his childhood. “My bus was the ‘Armadillo’ bus. I have two friends who actually rode this bus when they were kids,” he said. Sadly, Talley had to scrape this off in order to apply the finishing touches to his mobile home. With a lot of hard work, creativity, and a little help from his friends, this genius transformed the rusty bus into something completely different.
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5. An Empty Vessel

Talley firstly removed the seats, turning the bus into a completely empty vessel. His stepdad helped remove every single bolt, crawling under the bus. A nice family helped cart away all these seats to the scrap metal yard. Interestingly, while sweeping away the remaining dirt and debris, Talley stumbled across a funny note, reading “kick me.” It’s a classic school prank.
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6. Cut In Half

Once Talley had emptied the bus, there was now lots of space with endless possibilities. As Talley stepped onto the bus for the first time though, he met the second problem – being 6’6″, he was 5 inches too tall for the bus! How could he be comfortable in this small thing? To solve the problem Talley then did one of the most radical things in the whole project – cut the bus in half.
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7. Raise The Roof

“I cut a section out of one of the steel ribs and took it to a metal fabricator,” Talley said. “I had him craft 25 identical steel ‘sleeves’ that could slip over either end of the rib once the roof was raised.” After seeking advice from his helpers, Talley finally lifted the ceiling 20 inches higher. “It’s remarkable how much more spacious the bus feels than I thought it would,” he said.
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8. Awesome Design

Looking a bit weird after the roof was raised, the windows were stripped down and replaced. Now the frame of his tiny “home” was almost finished. As a professional designer, Talley got inspiration from the adventure vehicle in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and made this final design. “I put all the public areas towards the front and all the private areas in the back,” he said.
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9. Hard Project

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