The Core Build

All builds start with a core.  This is often the first step of a full build, but can also be a stand alone project allowing the customer to pick up their van after the core work is done.  There are many reasons for this type of incremental approach to a van build:

    • A DIY customer may like the idea of having Roost’s professional installers do the bare metal vehicle work, allowing them to focus on other portions of the build more suited to their talents and available tools.
    • A van owner may prefer to do their build in multiple phases, whether for budgetary or scheduling reasons.
    • It can also be helpful to take an incremental approach, allowing a new van owner to use the van a little before making decisions about the final layout or placement of key features.

We work hard to meet the diverse needs of our clients.  Our core build system has been carefully designed to maximize flexibility, versatility, and forethought.  This allows for a cohesive core build solution to accommodate an incremental build process.


Core Build Details


Below is a list of each element of a typical core build.  Click each one for more details and basic pricing information.

1 - Core Electrical System


The first step is to run the core electrical system.  It is critical to do this comprehensively and properly, prior to the installation of paneling or other build components.  Our system provides a plug and play approach to accommodate the vast majority of applications and uses, as well as anticipating potential future needs and upgrades.  The core electrical system consists of a central control panel, typically located at the C pillar on the driver side.  We route and run appropriate gauge wire throughout the wall cavities very carefully addressing proper shielding and bind points.  We run all the wiring between the primary control panel, charge points (CP), and end use points (EUP).  All existing EUPs are connected to the control panel, and all future or anticipated end use points are capped and coiled in their respective positions, ready for easy access for later connection to the integrated system.

Standard Package:

  • Integrated Control Panel:  The control panel is the hub of your electrical system.  It contains a properly fused distribution block for all end use points, switches for user controlled devices, quick connects for charge lines and battery bank, and basic AC/DC outlets.
  • Charge Lines: We install a shore power plug for external connection to shore power, run a charge line from the alternator, and a charge line from the solar panel egress point (egress and exterior wiring not included in this phase of the build).
  • End Use Points:  Appropriate gauge wire is run from the fused distribution circuits to the end use locations.  This includes lighting, awnings, bunk heater, and several strategically placed auxiliary connection points for misc. future use.  There are dedicated ports for pump and fridge which is typically wired directly from an adjacent kitchen cabinet.  However, we also run an auxiliary kitchen power line to the passenger side as an alternate location of the kitchen cabinet.

Optional Additions:

  • Additional AC or DC outlets in locations other than control panel.
  • Point to point speaker wiring (does not include making new connections to sound system).
  • Alternate location of control panel (passenger side, D pillar, etc..).
  • Extra wire runs for other devices (backup cameras, extra auxilliary lines, etc..)

Pricing Information:

Standard Package:  $2750 for 144”, $2950 for 170”
Optional Additions:  Varies, but generally based on additional time and materials required to address customer’s specific needs.

2 - Insulation & Sound Suppression


Quality insulation and sound proofing is very important to the comfort and enjoyment of your home on the roam.  Though often overlooked, good sound suppression not only gives you a more quiet night sleep, but also helps to dramatically reduce the white road noise while you are on the move.

Standard Package:

We apply 80 mil, mass loaded vinyl to most exposed metal surfaces (typically 70-75% coverage).  We fill all cavities in the chassis walls, rear door, and slider door with 1.5 3M Thinsulate or Havelock Wool.



Typically $1800 To $2500.  Primary factors are size of vehicle (144” or 170”) and number of windows.

3 - Interior Mounting System

Mounting system after paneling installed

Mounting system before insulation and paneling installed


The foundation of our modular approach to van building is our Interior Horizontal Mounting System.  This provides a permanently accessible, strong and secure mounting point most van build components and accessories.  Components installed to our mounting system can be installed, temporarily removed, or re-positioned without the need to remove paneling or drill additional holes in the ribbing or pillars of your van.  The smooth slide action of our system allows for precise positioning of components, whether to flush mount two or more cabinets, or a precise gapping between them.  Most components can be removed or replaced in minutes with simple tools.

Standard Package:

Installation of our upper and lower mounting system to the interior of the van.  Includes ceiling support brackets for increased strength and flex mitigation.


Following prices include installation:

  • 144” Sprinter – $1650
  • 170” Sprinter – $2150
  • Note:  Ford Transit now available for shop installation only, same price as Sprinter.
4 - Ventilation


Vent fans are important for proper ventilation

Standard Package:

Cut rooftop egress, install and wire vent fan.  Water tight seal, and re-paint interior trim ring black.  Can be installed in forward, middle, or rear location.  One is typically sufficient, but some customers prefer two for maximum ventilation.


$850/ea. Installed – MaxxAir 00-7500 Vent Roof Fan with remote control.
$795/ea. Installed – MaxxAir 00-6200 Vent Roof Fan (no remote)

5 - Wall & Ceiling Paneling


This phase of the core build gives your van the finished look and is one of the most exciting transformations in the build process.  Our signature paneling work is practical, beautiful, and affordable.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons DIY customers bring us their vans from hundreds and even thousands of miles away for the core build phase of their projects.  Once the core electric, mounting system, and paneling is in place, the van will maintain a finished look throughout the remainder of the build process, and/or future modifications.  Simply put you should be able to finsih the build, as well as make future modifications without ever needing to dig back down to the bare metal walls again.


Upper Wall & Ceiling Paneling

    • Option 1 (most popular):  Carbonized Vertical grain 3 ply 1/4” Bamboo paneling finished in OSMO PolyX.
    • Option 2:  Fabric wrapped Baltic Birch with 1/8 minicell backer.
    • Note:  Upper paneling includes additional LED Puck Lighting (lights and wiring included).

Mid Wall Paneling: 

    • Option 1 (most popular):  Fabric wrapped Baltic Birch with 1/8 minicell backer.
    • Option 2:  Carbonized Vertical grain 3 ply 1/4” Bamboo paneling finished in OSMO PolyX.

Lower Wall Paneling:

    • Option 1 (most popular):  1/4″ baltic birch with vinyl coin wrap.
    • Option 2:  Carbonized Vertical grain 3 ply 1/4” Bamboo paneling finished in OSMO PolyX.
    • Option 3:  1/4″ Baltic Birch, 1/8″ minicell backer, topped with ?? fabric wrap.


    • Inset paneling in window pockets.  Popular for crew/cargo vans with little or no windows.
    • Fabric wrapping for beveled transition of inset paneling.



Paneling prices vary based on a number of factors including cargo/crew vs. passenger (i.e. rooftop AC), number of windows, and how empty window pockets are treated.  Below are a couple examples to give you an idea of paneling prices for a range of circumstances.  The following examples are based on a Sprinter 144″.  Typically a 170″ is approx. +25%:


Most Common (No window panel over)

  • Upper: Bamboo $2800 to $3300
  • Mid: Fabric Wrap $2000 to $2500
  • Lower: Coin Wrap $1200 to $1500


Deluxe (Bamboo floor to ceiling):

  • Upper: Bamboo $2800 to $3300
  • Mid: Bamboo $2500 to $3000
  • Lower: Bamboo $1600 to $2000


Passenger (Retaining factory paneling in mid section)

  • Upper: Bamboo $2800 to $3300
  • Mid: Remove and Replace Factory $100 to $200
  • Lower: Coin Wrap $1200 to $1500
6 - Flooring


Though flooring is a common element of a core build, it is not always necessary.  Many vans have a perfectly suitable factory floor.

Standard Package:

If a new floor is needed, we will typically remove the existing floor, and build the floor from bare metal up.  That consists of 100% coverage of 80 Mil mass loaded vinyl sound deadening material, 1/2″ baltic birch sub floor, 1/8″ minicell insulation, and coin flooring


Many customers who want to keep a factory floor, would prefer to have us add sound deadening and/or minicell insulation.  


  • $2200 to $2900 for full new floor.
  • $900 to $1100 to remove, add minicell and sound deadening, and reinstall factory floor.  


Common Add-Ons

There are a couple build components that we do not consider part of the core build, but are commonly added to the core build for a variety of reasons:

  • Bunk Heater:  Though we pre-run the power cord for the heater in the Core Electrical System, if the customer wants the thermostat integrated to the main panel, they will want to install the bunk heater at the same time (allowing us to run the cabling for the control unit before paneling).
  • Bed System:  Typically this is added to a core build when a customer is doing their build in multiple phases either for budgetary or scheduling reasons.  The bed adds a lot of functionality in the interim.
  • Storage Cabinets:  Similar to the bed, a way to add a little functionality during the interim phase of a multiple build process.


Whatever the reason, individual components from the Main Build line of products can be easily added to a core build.