The Van Conversion
If you have read 'The Van' page first, you will see that it needed a fair bit of work before getting to this stage. So while the van was being prepared I took the opportunity to plan the layout and research the requirements for the build. After looking at the cost of 'supplied kits', I decided to build entirely from scratch, using raw materials.
Drawing up plans is essential, as without them, you will end up in a mess. Using A4 sheets of paper and coloured pens, I made simple drawings to start with until I was happy with the layout. Once the layout suited our requirements, I then transferred the drawing to 'Microsoft Paint' and used the grid to make more detailed drawings aligned with the measurements I had taken from the van.
It is essential to map out what you intend to do.
By doing this I was able to plan the build from start to finish, actually work out the materials I needed and keep errors and waste to a minimum. But even so, I made a few errors on the way that I have documented ahead.
You will need to be a confident DIYer, have a lot of patience and some courage. Converting a van is not for the faint hearted!
To do a worthwhile job, you will need specific tools. For example, to cut panels in a straight line with a clean edge, a plunge saw with guide rails is essential. To cut out the side panels to fit windows you will need either a good quality jigsaw or a double headed metal nibbler. A jigsaw will do the job but a nibbler will do it better, easier and quicker.
I made a complete set of cutting plans to know exactly how many 1200x2400 sheets to purchase.
After making the plans I had to decide what material to use for the units. Basically there are two ways to go, lightweight furniture board at around £85 a sheet plus delivery costs, or the readily available Conti Board from the local DIY store at considerably less cost. I opted for the locally available beech Conti Board. Yes it is heavier but it has proven to be a solid construction material very much ideal for the project. But first job? The windows!