Area: Impington, Cambridge
Occupation: Bespoke furniture maker
Describe your amazing space…
A tuk-tuk motorhome: A three-wheeled vehicle with cab and back passenger area, including seats, bed, TV, storage, cooking and sink area.
What inspired you to build it?
I’ve always had a passion for historic vehicles, in particular motorbikes, and have restored a couple of Lambrettas and our own VW campervan. I always like taking on challenging projects, and when I found this old Lambretta tuk-tuk I really wanted to do something different with it.
It literally was just a cab with a flat bed, so it was a case of deciding whether it should be just seating or have something more interesting added to the back. We have two young boys who love this kind of thing and thought it would be a lot of fun to make something that is not only unique but also really useable.
As a furniture maker I knew that despite it being such a small space, it had the potential to become a real head-turner.
How long did the whole project take?
Five and a half months.
What was your budget – did you go over it?
We didn’t really set out with a budget because I knew I wanted this to be finished to a really high standard. We also didn’t know how much work there was going to be, and therefore the costs, until we started to add on the back box and then take the whole thing apart to be painted.
We are very lucky that a lot of our suppliers and friends helped us out with some of the materials we needed, because they also loved the project and wanted to support us.
Adding the hidden cooking/sink area in to the back. It looks great and you really wouldn’t know it’s there. Also watching the whole ‘acid-dipping’ process prior to painting.
The relentless welding, filling and rubbing down of the back box before it could be painted. It was a lot of work! Also not being able to get the engine started half-way through the project.
Would you have changed anything you did?
We're happy with how we’ve done everything. We would have certainly given ourselves more time, as it really has just been more or less myself working on it while also keeping our business running.
Things you wished you had known before you started?
How much welding and repair-work needed to be done to turn what was basically a rusting metal box with holes into a useable living space. And, how busy our own business was going to be at the same time.
Top tips for other people embarking on a similar journey?
- Give yourself enough time. These projects always take much longer than ever expected.
- If you do it right the first time, you won’t need to do it again later.