By William Lailey
A savvy couple have converted an old school bus into their new home thanks to their epic DIY skills.
Ailsa and Paul Gardner, from Cheshire, decided to convert an old school bus whilst they were on a road trip around Europe.
After finding an American school bus for sale in England, the couple got to work and set about transforming the bus into ‘Otto The Skoolie’.
Alisa, who works as a PR manager, was still going to work whilst they were completing their DIY project which took just under three months.
The couple were living in their camper-van whilst the bus was receiving its dramatic make-over and eventually managed to move into the bus that they moved onto a farm.
Alisa, 32, and Paul, 36, now live on the bus with their two golden retrievers Berg and Mari, surrounded by the idyllic countryside.
They are now able to save large sums of money that would have otherwise been spent on rent and bills and are hoping to convert a double decker bus next.
Alisa said: “We were in the middle of our European road trip and I woke up one morning to a very excited Paul who had been up on his phone researching bus conversions all night.
“His first words to me as soon as I opened my eyes were ‘I really want to convert a bus,’ it didn’t take much convincing to get me on board with the idea.
“We lived in our campervan on what was essentially a bit of a junk yard, whilst we were converting our skoolie. It was hard work and not an ideal scenario, but totally worth it.”
Alisa says when the bus was finally complete – three months later – that it felt surreal.
She added: “When it eventually came time to move the bus onto the farm and start putting in cushions and making the bed it was a bit surreal – it felt like only yesterday it was packed with bus seats.
“Life is great parked up in this location. We have a normal life just like anyone else, but we just have a lot more outdoor space and living in a bus means that we are far more connected to our outdoor space. We have really made the most of that with a hot tub, fire pit and BBQ that we enjoy most evenings – even in the winter!
“Before we lived this way, we were spending silly sums of money living in rented apartments in city centres, paying off our landlords’ mortgage.
“We were working hard and earning decent wages in good jobs, but huge portions of our wages were going straight on rent, bills and commuting to offices we were spending far too many hours in.
“We are happier living this life than we ever were before and we know that our bright yellow skoolie is the first step in us building a bright future.”