If you’re trying to save up money to buy your own home one day, you’re not alone. There are millions of people stuck paying rent every month, or even live with their parents because buying a home is a huge investment. Housing and the price of living increases every year, so sometimes buying a house feels so impossible. Well, as it turns out, you don’t need to buy an expensive house to call a place your own.
Nowadays, younger people can barely get a job, let alone a well-paying one due to their lack of experience. Whether you’re paying off student loans or trying to get food on the table, buying a new house seems out of the question. That’s why young adults started ditching conventional housing. You know, four regular walls and a roof. Instead, they are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into building their own personal and unique home. The reason for these DIY houses is because they are much cheaper.
Check out how this couple got their dream home for $4,500!
The Traveling Couple
Iona Stewart and Martin Hill come from the UK, but they don’t like to call it their home. They prefer not to settle down anywhere. Instead, they want to see what the world has to offer and travel. Many people love traveling. But the one thing I love more is having a nice comfortable place to come home to.
Iona and Martin didn’t see it that way. For them, buying a house wasn’t worth it. They are constantly traveling and felt that buying a home would confine them to stay in one place. What they wanted was a mobile home. That way they can travel with all their comforts and necessities. That sounds like a cool plan, but how would they even do that?
A Traveling Home
After thinking about their housing situation for a while, they realized they would only be happy with a home on wheels. Their idea was to use a “big American truck” to take them and their all stuff across the world. Finally, they decided to just go for it. They went on eBay to see what’s available.
They came across a yellow truck for $4,670, and it was exactly what they were looking for. They knew it was going to be perfect! But just like a regular house, furnishing and decorating is a whole other investment. In the end, they spent about $25,000 altogether, which isn’t bad for your dream home!
The Old Yellow Bread Truck
Shortly after purchasing the truck, they realized that they bought an old bread truck. A man named Hovis used to own it and used it to ship products from the factory to suppliers all around the country. Iona and Martin were excited to start working on the truck and transform it into a beautiful place they can call home.
The first thing they did was get rid of the writing on the truck that used to travel across the United Kingdom, delivering bread. Instead, they wanted to fill it with details that they will later find on their adventure. Over the course of their travels, they turned a boring old truck into something extraordinary.
Who’s Doing What?
Iona and Martin knew how much effort they had to put in for this to work. But they were ready to pour their heart and soul into this fun project and dream home. Martin was focused on actual building and renovations, and Iona put herself in charge of the design. Finally, they were ready to get started.
It took an exhausting four months to complete the truck. They couldn’t be happier to set their eyes on the finished product. The couple drove the renovated truck to France and began their exciting adventure in their new home.
The truck’s exterior also got a nice makeover during those for months of renovation. They got rid of that ugly yellow paint. Instead of standing out, they went with something a little more neutral. They wanted to blend in with every other truck. It’s part of the excitement.
That way, when people see their truck from the outside, it doesn’t look like anything special. But then, when they open the door, there is a surprise. It’s anything but an ordinary vehicle. The interior of the truck is really something incredible. There is no doubt that they put in a lot of effort and did an amazing job.
Keeping it Discreet
The outside of the truck looks really discreet. It certainly doesn’t look like a bright yellow bread delivery truck anymore. The couple didn’t slack on the exterior and gave it a nice paint job, changed the color, and slightly modernized it. Nothing too crazy. But there is a good reason for that.
It appears as though the couple wanted their truck to blend into the other trucks in the street. They wanted to be able to park their truck in rest stops or gas stations without drawing too much attention to it. I mean, it is their home. No one wants people peeking through their windows regularly.
A Few Modifications
For the most part, Martin and Iona left the old bread truck how it was. But there were a few modifications that needed to be made (aside from design). The whole reason why the couple decided to do this in the first place was so that they could travel freely, with no real destination to be confined to.
That’s why it was extremely important to make sure the truck can handle thousands of miles, so they upgraded a few aspects. Here, you can see the fiberglass wheel arch panels that they made instead of the old ones. They chose not to embrace the rust, and to make their new home sturdy and waterproof. These little details really made a difference.
Like any other construction project, a lot of work and effort had to go into this truck. The couple had already designed the whole thing before even getting started. They needed to measure the space and create a blueprint. That’s right; this was the real deal. The couple didn’t slack when it came to their dream home.
They used insulation, wood, and a bunch of other materials. They mapped out where the walls, cupboards, and their worktops would go. The entire process was overwhelming, but in the end, their hard work paid off. The results were better than they ever imagined.
Making it Work
Iona said that Martin worked incredibly hard on the construction of the truck. They had to think practically when it came to the space. It’s not like they were able to expand the space or add any kind of extension. They had to work with what they had, so they took each step as it came.
Every time they finished a section, Martin and Iona took a step back and tried to figure out their next move. Once the framework was done and in place, they were finally able to add electricity and furniture. Now, this is where the fun comes in!
Work Hard, Play Hard
It wasn’t all work for the couple. Martin and Iona worked hard and played hard! They wanted this renovation to be a fun personal project for them to do together. Not only were they building a home, but they were making memories. The couple spent every single day working on the truck. Sure, it was serious work, but they kept the smiles on their faces.
After installing their ottoman bed and noticed how much space they had underneath, Iona had to make it into a joke. And that’s exactly what she did. I mean, the coffin-like space is pretty funny. It’s clear she was having a good time working on this project.
The Little Details
Even though Iona was in charge of design and Martin was focused on the construction side, Iona wasn’t going to let her boyfriend do all the heavy lifting. She wanted to help with the hard work as much as she could. She accomplished this by taking advantage of the tiny details.
After Martin created different components for their new home, Iona grabbed a paintbrush and started painting. They wanted the entire thing to look and feel like home. But at the same time, they wanted to stay true to their natural and simple way of living. They managed to keep their lifestyle and personalities in the design.
Martin and Iona have a nicer kitchen than me! It’s the first thing you see when you step into their home, and it’s looking pretty impressive. From the outside, the truck doesn’t look so big, but the interior says otherwise. They fit a full kitchen in there! Sure, it’s small, but it’s beautiful!
The pair built themselves a fully-functioning kitchen. Despite its size, they have enough space to cook full meals. They have everything you can possibly need in there, including a fridge, oven, and quite a few drawers and cupboards. I assume they cook one at a time. Even though the kitchen is extremely impressive, I imagine they might step on each other’s toes in there.
A Proper Kitchen
The fact that they built a kitchen into a truck is impressive enough, but they didn’t just throw an oven in there and call it a day. They really went all out to make it feel like a real kitchen in a regular home. They decked it out completely with everything they need. It came out better than they could ever imagine.
They got plenty of modern appliances and enough storage for all their cooking products and utensils. They added some beautiful wall tiles and gorgeous wooden countertops. They really went all out, and it certainly worked in their favor. They were just glad that they had enough space to cook.
Anyone who has lived in an apartment with roommates or in a tiny home knows how important storage space is. When you don’t have so much room, you need to get creative with storage ideas. This challenge was a big one for Martin and Iona. After all, they needed to fit a whole house inside a truck.
Martin and Iona thought it all out and came up with a few different storage options. They built little shelves on the walls and even added some hooks. They have enough space for all their food and don’t have to rely on fast food or a camping stove like other travelers.
The Living Room
When you think of transforming a truck into a home, one room seems like a reasonable way to go. Although it technically is one giant room, Martin installed a little step to create a barrier between the kitchen and the living area. That way, there’s the illusion of two separate rooms. As soon as they step down, there is a huge wood-burning stove that is great for the winter.
They kept the space rustic and simple while incorporating some fun additions. They actually managed to fit quite a lot in this living area. Just like in the kitchen, they utilized the walls for more storage. They even installed storage space on top of the pullout couch.
Spacious and Cozy
As you can tell, Martin and Iona have a lot of room to hang out in. Their new living area is surprisingly roomy. The corner couch allows them to have more floor space. They can both comfortably sit on the couch watching TV, without feeling claustrophobic. It actually looks like a relaxing area. I wouldn’t mind hanging out there after a long day.
In order to make their truck feel like a real home, they added some personal touches where ever they could. They added the cubby-holes for pictures, memories, and souvenirs from their adventures. They even added some throw pillows and art, which is a beautiful addition.
A Personal Touch
Even though most of the couple’s living area is made using wood, the natural accent worked to their advantage. As you can see, they left the wood exposed in this area so that they could incorporate hints of their personalities. Just take a look at these cute storage cubes.
This area is perfect for storage and display. It holds their books, cameras, calendar, and a little decoration to take this truck home to the next level. They added some lights. Since the bulbs are on the side of the cabinet, they are kept away for the main space, while still looking incredible.
Martin and Iona did everything in their power to ensure that their home is well insulated and made good use out of this log burner. They wanted to be able to heat up the entire truck from one source. This burner gives them the ability to do so.
Of course, they probably don’t use the heat source much when they are traveling in hot places. However, in cold locations, evenings can get pretty bad. Thankfully, having this log burner at their disposal ensures that the couple will stay warm during cold winter nights. I love the simple paper airplanes. It’s a subtle way to show off their love of traveling.
The Second Floor
This is where all the magic happens. Martin and Iona made their traveling home feel bigger by creating different levels. We saw the difference one step in the kitchen made. Well, if you walk up two steps from the living room, you get to the bedroom. How is there enough space? I thought the living room turns into a bedroom.
Even though the truck was created by the two of them for the two of them, they wanted other people to feel comfortable in their home. This way, if their friends and family want to visit, there is room for everyone. The pullout couch holds another two people comfortably. They essentially turned this truck into a four-person home.
The Perfect Bedroom
Looking at this room, it’s easy to forget that it’s in the back of an old truck. That’s because the bedroom is pretty big. It might be bigger than some people’s bedrooms in their houses. The fact that this is all in a truck is extremely impressive. I would totally move in there!
The bedroom includes a double bed, a closet, and some more storage space. The couple really wanted the space to be as special and simple as possible. They did such a good job with the space. There is enough room for everything, but it doesn’t feel cluttered. I, for one, cannot believe that this used to be a bread delivery truck.
If you hadn’t noticed, Martin and Iona love dinosaurs. The creative couple chose a dinosaur theme for their bedroom. They found exciting cool ways to incorporate it into the furniture while still making use of all the space in there.
Instead of large drawers to keep their things in, the couple opted for high shelves instead. That way, it wouldn’t take up much of the floor space, and there would be more room to move around. A lot of people tend to forget to take advantage of the height of their homes. If you’re struggling with space and looking for a way to declutter your home, high shelves are the way to go!
We can’t forget about the bathroom! Believe it or not, Martin and Iona managed to fit a bathroom into their truck home as well. It’s not the biggest bathroom you have ever seen, but they have everything they need to keep themselves fresh and clean.
They have a sink, vanity cabinet, and just behind the door, there is a toilet. And of course, right above the toilet, there is a showerhead. It’s extremely important for avid travelers to have a place to clean themselves off. The couple really managed to fit all their cleaning needs into a single room.
They Are Going Green
The main reason why Martin and Iona transformed the truck into a home is so that they can travel from country to country and see all the wonders of the world. That’s why preserving our beautiful planet was a priority for the couple. They chose to skip modern plumbing and keep it old school.
The pair also doesn’t have to deal with any kind of sewer system. That’s because they installed a composting toilet. The environmentalists do their business, and then sprinkle some sawdust over it. Once it’s filled up, simply empty the bucket below. At least they are staying green!
To make a house a home, it’s really important to add some personal touches that show off your style and personality. Thankfully, Martin and Iona were able to wonderfully do this with their truck. The couple added some art to almost every spare space.
This is just one example of their stunning art. This graffiti style piece sits right next to the front door. That means it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. These little details really prove that you can make anything into a home, even a simple old bread delivery truck. Their place is definitely nicer than my actual house.
The Artist in the Family
If you didn’t think the art on the door was good enough, here is something that won’t disappoint. Martin and Iona also filled up their truck with some of their own art and pictures that show off their personal interests through cool images. What’s even more impressive is that Iona actually drew these herself.
As you can tell, she is quite the artist and wanted to incorporate her personal touch into the home. She just grabbed some paper and sketched these amazing drawings. I am pretty impressed. I would love and original Iona picture on my wall! If only I had any artistic talent.
Let the Adventures Begin
Martin and Iona are extremely proud of what they turned their truck into – as they should be. Now, they can finally travel the globe and take their home with them. Here, they are in France, appreciating the beautiful mountains. But they are determined to show off their home in countless different locations.
In fact, the British pair have no idea when they will go back to their family and friends – or if they will even return at all. They have everything they need with them; they are officially homeowners! Now, Martin and Iona can spend their time doing their favorite thing, which is traveling!
Life in the Mountains
As you can assume, the gorgeous French mountains don’t have the easiest of terrains. In addition to the thin roads and rough ground, the couple also has to deal with the weather. Summertime is usually bright and inviting, but cold winters tend to be more of a struggle.
In this photo, you can see their home melting into a snowy backdrop. Lucky for Martin and Iona, I don’t think they waste too much time worrying about their location. No matter where they are, they have their home with them at all times. Plus, they have that wood burner that will heat up their entire truck, no matter how cold it gets.
Dealing with the Cold
Martin and Iona are metaphorically and literally at home in the mountains. The two actually met in the French Alps, where they both happened to be on vacation at the same time. They bonded over their love for snowboarding, especially in the mountains. It brought them closer together.
Since that one vacation, Martin and Iona have been inseparable. The couple desperately wanted to take their new home to the place where they met for the first time. They explored the mountains on foot and on wheels. Then, they took out the snowboards and had fun sliding down the famous slopes.
Believe it or not, Martin and Iona don’t just hang out in their house alone. Just like most of us, the couple likes to invite friends and family over. Even though their living room isn’t the biggest, they managed to fit a large number of people into the truck home.
We mentioned how four people could live/sleep there comfortably, but at once time, they fit 13 people into those small four walls. Can you believe it?! Martin and Iona aren’t going to let their unconventional living choice prevent them from having fun! They like to socialize and entertain guests just like the rest of us.
It appears as though Martin and Iona aren’t the only people to drive through the French mountains with a truck. The travelers were driving with some friends over the past few months. It’s like they created a cute little community with the people they met along the way.
They travel together, eat together, and just hang out with each other in the snow. None of these other trucks were former bread delivery trucks, but that’s still a lot of campers. However, I doubt their trucks are fully-equipped homes. I can’t imagine their surprise when they see Martin and Iona’s truck. They will need an immediate upgrade.
Google Earth Sees Them
It seems to me that these avid travelers are living their best lives. They get to circle the globe and bring their home with them. They are planning on spending a couple more weeks across France campgrounds and truck stops. Not only do they get to take advantage of their cool home, but they get to see the world, which is all they ever wanted.
This picture is actually from Google Earth. Yes, their truck has its very own place on the internet. Iona was so excited when she figured this out, that she had to share it on Facebook, for all her friends and family to see. If my house had its own place on the internet, I would show it off too.
The thing Martin and Iona wanted more than anything was to take their love of traveling to the next level. They used their personalities and imagination to create something unique. They knew they were leaving behind a life of luxury, but they didn’t really mind. They preferred simplicity, as long as they got to travel.
They really enjoyed working on the truck together, and they didn’t want the fun to end. That’s why they decided to do it again. Iona announced on social media in June that they bought another fan that they are planning on converting. Just like the old bread truck.
The couple has been pretty busy on their travels and hasn’t gotten around to really transform the van quite yet, but they will. I have no doubt that this van will turn out just as impressive as the truck. Even though the fan is smaller than the truck, I’m pretty sure Martin and Iona know what they are doing.
They already ripped out the interior, so they have an empty shell to work with, and they are planning out the process. They are deciding what vibe to go with and if they want the same style as the first project. Will they choose a similar or different aesthetic? Either way, I can’t wait to see what they do!
A New Project
I’ll try to keep you up to date with the progress of the van. However, if you think that this project means the first one is over, you’d be wrong. The reason why the pair decided to buy the van is to compliment the amazing job they did on the truck. The old bread truck will remain their main home.
The new van will be dedicated to smaller adventures. They want to deck it out because they had so much fun working on the truck. Plus, they want to be comfortable during short trips too. The van will also help them get deeper into the mountains so they can explore more. Considering the way their truck looks, I expect no less with the van.
Making Dreams Come True
Iona and Martin took an incredible idea and made it become a reality. It took creativity and hard work to get where they are, and it was completely worth it. I mean, their bedroom is nicer than mine (and mines not on a truck). At the end of the day, they have their dream home to travel the world with.
Not a lot of people can say that they accomplished something so incredible. It takes a lot of patience and determination. Now, this is becoming a hobby for this traveling couple. They are working on transforming a second vehicle, and I’m excited to see how it will turn out. I’ll keep my eye out for any updates.