It's been a while since we posted an update of progress on the double decker... that might well have something to do with the fact that we didn't work on it for several months over the summer..

The kitchen is all plumbed in and wired up, and although it's in need of some decorating and a cooker, it's now perfectly capable of providing cups of tea. We've worked out that this kitchen is bigger than the one we had in our flat in London - more worktop space and more storage space, too.

The stairwell has been stripped and is ready for painting, and all the carpet that lined the walls in the kitchen (as it does just about everywhere else, where it will stay for insulation) has been removed, as carpeted walls don't make for the cleanest environments in the food preparing area.

The cooker (yet to be acquired) will sit alongside the worktop to the left of the photo above, and the fridge next to that. There is lots of cupboard and drawer space but you can't really tell in these photos as the cupboard handles aren't on yet.

The seating and entertainment area is coming along too (ignore the fridge - it won't be staying there - that's where the dining table will go). It also needs decorating, and the upholstery (which is my job). Lots more storage under the seats too, though it isn't all cupboards as we've built it over the wheel arches.

Here's the same view, a couple of days later, looking somewhat messier with the foam for the seating and the new woodburner! The cheapest way to get the foam for the seating is to buy foam mattresses from Ikea and cut them to size - buying foam straight by the yard isn't cheap and somehow this way works out the better deal. We ordered the upholstery fabric in the UK, so I'm already to go with that. We still need to get curtain fabric, and again Ikea will probably be the cheapest option. (I'll be making the curtains too)

That's the built in coffee table come media centre to the left, where we'll be storing our DVD's and watching films and stuff. We don't have a TV - we watch what we need to through a digital media recorder/player and/or Tom's PC and a monitor.

And there's our new woodburner! It needs fixing in and metal plate added for fire protection, but that's roughly where it will stay. Buying a new one is a bit of a luxury, it must be said. But we went for it, as hunting down a suitably sized 2nd hand one can take a while, and as this beasty was the cheapest to be found, a 2nd hand one may not have saved us much. It's not pretty or fancy but it's plain and simple and does exactly as it says on the box.

It's a 5kw stove, so no small kiddy, and it stated in the shop that it can heat an area up to 142 cubic metres; other 5kw stoves claim to heat around 90-100 cubic metres. The total volume of our bus, both floors included, is just shy of 100 cubic metres, so it should heat both floors. Heat rises, especially up the stairwell, and given that our home is basically made of metal, the heat should transfer ok, meaning the bedroom area will have underfloor heating. We'll see how it goes but we may need some extra heating upstairs. It'll no doubt feel cosier and hold the heat better once the upholstery is all done and the curtains are up.

Tom hasn't started building upstairs yet, we're aiming to get downstairs finished first, as that's the bulk of the work. It's getting there!

AuthorWoolly Wormhead