KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Seven University of Tennessee student startups were awarded funding in the Fall 2021 Graves Business Plan Competition. One of the award recipients is Caleb Brackney, a graduate student working on master’s degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture.

He formed Roamer Outpost after transforming a school bus into his home.

“Every day is an adventure and that’s what makes it more exciting and keep going forward,” said Brackney.

He purchased the bus on Facebook Marketplace and put $7,000 into the transformation. In six months, using secondhand materials, the conversion was complete. Now it’s a cozy home on wheels equipped with a kitchen, skylight, and rooftop terrace.

“It’s really just an opportunity for DIYers to come and experience this space, kind of like a showroom and have different unique tiny homes,” said Brackney.

Brackney said he received an overwhelming amount of interest and support and wants to continue building more eco-friendly and economic housing. His next project is a tiny houseboat.

“I hope it’s easier because I’m not confined to the curve of the roof and it’s just a frame, I can build up with so I’m hoping it’s not as difficult and I can use a lot of the skills I learned for the bus into the boat,” said Brackney.

Brackney is using his winnings from the competition to transform an old pontoon boat into a floating house. He’s already started gutting the 26ft boat, removing the awning and walls. His goal is to take tiny living to the Tennessee River.

“Don’t be afraid to chase ambitious dreams, especially if you don’t know how to complete them fully, just start, because you are going to figure out a way to finish them,” said Brackney.

The tiny houseboat is his Master of Architecture project, so he plans to finish it this semester.