Master Alcove & Mini Bunks


I have been trying to put in a lot more time out in the bus, and it has been paying off. This past week I was sick….real sick, but I did manage to get quite a bit accomplished the week before. As you’ll recall, we began the Master Alcove. I continued on with installing the upper cabinets that are above our bed….

This is the end above our feet, and where we will sit when watching movies.
I ended up taking the back cabinet out to 15″, instead of the 12″. Lucky for me, Mr. C likes to snuggle and will be getting out of the bed first with emergencies in the middle of the night.

Yeah, Ethan is a rockstar….he helped me out a lot with this part of building because, at the beginning of the week, Mr. C was still nursing his horrible cut on his finger.

It was kind of tricky, because I wanted to keep the cabinets open and connected at this end….but still wanted them to be extremely sturdy. So we put a brace in the front, where the two ends connect.

Yes, I realize there is a slight gap between the front of the cabinet and the wall…someday, it will be covered. πŸ˜‰

For the back cabinet, which is curved, I put the cabinet front up (which I created a template for and was happy to find that it turned out absolutely beautiful) and traced across the front of it. Then, I took a piece of scratch 5/8 wood and used it to make a line 5/8″ back from that line, where I needed to put the upper support along.

Because of the curve, I had to use 6″ pieces of 2×2’s all along the top. I began by pre-drilling these pieces.

Then pre-drilling up into the steel. And finally attaching them all along the back of the line that I made, with some 2″ deck screws.

I attached the face and was happy to have all of the new mismatched doors I had…these 3 worked perfectly! πŸ™‚ On the left, there will be a cabinet that runs from the bed base up to the ceiling, where we will house our TV and have our headboard.

I debated for a long time about how to build a frame to go on top of my downward supports…it finally came down to me just putting the 2×4’s on top and then creating a few crossbeams in the middle. I knew that we needed to make sure that the middle is reinforced, as it is where the two parts of the bed base would meet and where there was the least amount of support, due to the openings on either side of the bed.

I used these lovely 5″ and 6″ screws, which worked quite well. And we attached two pieces of 5/8″ plywood, which I had to purchase brand new (2 sheets). Dang, that stuff is expensive! Glad to have gotten the pretty pieces I have for the walls for so little. We cut down the pieces to approximately 45″x 60″ and attached them to the top of the frame. (and we didn’t get any pictures of that part….but here it is after we attached them)

This is a free headboard that I found online almost a year ago…thanks to Brandon in Herriman, UT. I loved this headboard and really wanted to figure out a way to incorporate it into the bus, despite the fact that it was about 4″ too long for the area I was looking at, the Master Alcove….

So, Mr. C and I removed the ends, shelves, and the frilly pieces along the top. Then I cut it down a bit and was happy to find that it would work. Yay!

I’ll add sides and some sort of front to each end, once the rest of this wall is complete. The TV cabinet will be created right above this…..but that is still a ways off.

I was going to wait a while to get the deadbolt put on the back door, but decided that I don’t need to. The mattress will conform to the handle until I have the $300 or so it will cost to have both the front and back door locks installed.

I found this mattress (online) that someone had taken out of their RV. It was $30. It was perfect for what we want. It smelled great and felt WONDERFUL….even better than the hand-me-down mattress we were given over 10 years ago. I can’t wait to get in there and try it out! We covered it with painter’s plastic and duct taped the crap out of it.

Then we carefully maneuvered it into our Master Alcove. It was kind of funny that I was contemplating, a little earlier in the day, putting up the wall first and then putting the mattress in there. This mattress isn’t budging (in one piece). We are definitely going to be covering it with a nice plastic sheet before putting our foam and mattress covers, etc. on it.

We put up the wall and began on the Mini Bunks (which will someday be used as extra storage for our room….once the babies no longer fit in there).

I sat both Ryan and Simon down and measured how much room they would need to sit up in their beds. They were both between 20″ and 22″. The crib mattresses we’ll be using, are around 4″ thick. So, I am planning on 25″ for each bunk. Once I measured, I realized that I would need to cover the bottom of their windows. Ryan’s bunk will rest just below the bottom of the windows. So, I painted the windows with 2 coats…


…and covered with steel. Then I began measuring for the next wall. I realized that I only needed 50″ for the mattresses, but I had 54″ until the edge of the windows. Then I started (re)measuring the area for the Bunk Room and realized that I could use that extra 4″. Well, I have been trying to keep the outside of the windows in uniform color and appearance (white), so I found a piece of thin board that is white and made sure to cut a piece to go behind the upper part of the wall studs.

Mr. C and I worked on getting the next wall up. We were going to use our 2×4’s, but decided that 2×2’s would be easier when the electrician gets in here. We had to figure out where the rough opening for the door into our room would need to be, before we began installing the wall. The door casings we have are around 2″ wide, so we knew that the 2×2’s would work well with them. So, I called my sweet cousin, Ron, who does finish work for a living and asked him for information. He and I figured it out to be around 23″, with a 20″ door there. Yeah, it will be more narrow than a standard bedroom door, but isn’t that nice when you are trying to keep kids from running from one end to another end of the bus? πŸ˜‰

What a bunch of studs. I sure do love that man. πŸ˜‰

Aaron and I got all of the studs up and had a birthday party to prepare for Jamin, so we didn’t have any further progress that day….then I was sick the following Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Yuck! I am finally feeling better, but I have been busy trying to prepare the home for future interested buyers, today. We are going to be working our tails off tomorrow, as well. We have someone who is supposed to be coming on Saturday morning to see if we have what they are looking for (and it isn’t a realtor). Fingers (and arms) crossed! πŸ™‚

~ Danni

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