For some, the name Jack Labosky may sound familiar.
The handsome 22-year-old is a minor league pitcher, drafted and signed by the Tampa Bay Rays.
As an athlete, Labosky’s worked hard for this moment— but alongside him throughout the journey has been his girlfriend, Madi Hiatt.
On their Instagram page, the couple reveals they met each other in high school. Both were athletes; Labosky played baseball, while Hiatt did cross-country running and track. The two stayed together throughout college, inspiring one another to meet their goals. They were thrilled when Labosky was drafted, however, they knew big changes were to come.
With all the traveling and practice ahead of him, Labosky would have to get creative to spend time with Hiatt. In the end, the couple decided a trailer or an RV would be their best option, but they were dismayed by the expensive price tags. As fans of home renovation shows like “Fixer Uppers”, the young couple came up with a unique idea. In an interview with TODAY Home, Labosky explained:
“We saw online that people had redone school buses. The thought of a custom RV/tiny home was the perfect fit.”
Keeping their eyes peeled on deals, Labosky and Hiatt managed to scoop up a 1999 yellow school bus in Lynchburg, Virginia, for a mere $4,000.
But from that moment on, they had their work cut out for them.
Working together, the couple completely gutted and renovated the 1999 school bus, transforming it into a swanky, mobile abode. They chronicled the entire project on the @thegreatbusadventure Instagram page.
First thing on their agenda was removing the seats— a task Labosky described as the most labor-intensive.
Next, they painted and primed the floors and the walls.
“Day 6,” they wrote alongside the photo below. “Painted the floors with primer today! And found that the emergency exit on the ceiling has a leak from the rain, that’s why we have a bucket on the ground … With the plastic up, it looks like a scene from Dexter. #HappyLateHalloween”
Next, they installed subfloors and designed the bus’s floor plan.
Because the walls are lined with windows, they decided to remove twelve of them, creating their new wall space.
With insulation and a bit of framing, their home slowly began to take form.
“Put hinges in for the bed and step ups up into the bed!” they wrote. “Our water tanks go under the bed so we need the extra space and a place to get them.”
Next, Labosky tackled the electrical, which he says was the hardest part.
When having issues, the two turned to YouTube tutorials, fellow ‘skoolie’ renovators, and their parents for help. With the support of those around them, they managed to figure everything out.
“It’s set up with 120-volt electric— the same as a household— and has running water and hot water,” Labosky told TODAY Home.
Once the basics were complete, Hiatt stepped in with the interior design.
One of the first aesthetic changes was at the entrance of the bus.
Next, flooring, cabinet, and counters would make the place feel more like home.
In the end, the final result was better than the couple ever imagined.
Be sure to click the tiny, side arrows to scroll through the photos in the Instagram post.
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“We have AC, heat, a stove, two sinks, a running toilet, a house trough tub, plus a full bed,” the pitcher boasted.
All in all, the renovations took 90 days, and the total cost of the updates was $9,000.
“We tried to cut costs, but we also spent on appliances and essentials, given that we do not want to be fixing things constantly,” he said. “Some people can do what we did for much cheaper, as well as much more expensive.”
Although the couple admits the bus may not be perfect, they are both thrilled with their new home.
“Living in the school bus gives us a place to have as our own, in a life where there are no guarantees and no plans for the future,” said Labosky. “The baseball life is a unique one in that there are an unlimited amount of possibilities.”
“Being together and having a say in how we want to live makes us happy we chose the bus life.”
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