Family move to renovated school bus to save £10k a year on rent & bills - how they did it
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A family has moved to a renovated school bus in a bid to save nearly £10,000 a year on rent and bills. Dana Kovalkova, 28, and husband, Richard Fox, 32, bought the bus for £2,000 after growing sick of "wasting" £1,100 a month rent for their three-bedroom home.
They’ve begun converting it into a family home, which they believe will be ready in four months’ time. The family have a "limited" budget of around £5,000 to £7,000 to complete the renovation, and plan to use lots of reclaimed and recycled materials.
After that, they’ll only have to shell out £300 to rent a parking spot for the home which will have two bedrooms, a bathroom and an open-plan living area. The couple plan to live there with their two children - Pavels, seven, from Dana’s previous relationship and their one-year-old Zelda.
Richard’s two children from a previous marriage, Joe, seven, and Jacob, five, will also occasionally be staying too. They say they’ll have no bills as they will be running off solar energy.
Their current landlord has allowed them to remain on the property and use his land to renovate and live on the bus. Dana, a filmmaker and student, from Sittingbourne, Kent, said: "We want to be more sustainable and self-sufficient.
"We have our own chickens and beehives that we collect eggs and honey from. More and more people realise they are tired, especially in the last few years, it is getting more and more difficult to live. We are tired of wasting money on nothing. We want to live a more sustainable free life without being caught in the rat race."
She added: "We decided to go for something simple, between us we have four kids - it is not an easy task. We decided to go for a bus as there is more space than a van. We currently live on land, renting out an annex.
“Our landlord is very supportive and is allowing us to stay on the land in our bus for much smaller rent. We are a blended family - two of our children are with us every other weekend and then there will be four of us on the bus full time."
Dana and Richard, who bought the bus last week, have ripped out all the seating and carpet in the bus. They are hoping the transformation will take around four months and plan to spend £300 on rent for their plot, hoping to save £800 a month.
Dana said: “We have ripped everything out of the bus, taken all the seats out, taken the carpet out, and my husband is enjoying destroying it. We are going to put in new flooring, insulation, toilet and shower - basically get all the necessities in first.
"We are going to put in a solar system too, the bus will be purely powered by solar. We are trying to be as self-efficient as possible - it is a big learning curve for us." She also said her parents are supportive of their plans despite being apprehensive about it at first.