Operation Remodel 2020: Part One

We are remodeling our bathroom and carpeting our upstairs.

We have two full bathrooms at our house: one upstairs, one downstairs. The upstairs was actually once an apartment with two bedrooms and a bathroom. There’s a wide spot in our hallway which I assume was once a kitchen. There was a fire at one point a long time ago when it was used as two separate apartments.

the NASTY orange carpet

The carpet in our bedroom is a nasty nasty orange. Carver’s room has a different color, the hallway has a different color, the closets have a different carpet, it just is very mismatched. We have always intended on replacing the carpet but now we are getting serious about it ESPECIALLY since the home depot has FREE carpet installation.

This is the wide spot in the hallway – these are pictures from when we were touring the house but it still looks exactly the same – very BLAH and now covered with totes of clothes

Our upstairs bathroom could use some touching up but guests never use our upstairs bathroom so I’m not worried about that. Our downstairs bathroom, however, is in desperate need of an upgrade. First of all, the cupboards aren’t set up well for organization. Second of all, I’m not set up well for organization. This is real life what our bathroom vanity looks like.

I painted the bathroom blue for some dumb reason when we moved in. Then I tested out a few colors on the wall two full years ago that I never fully painted over. The linoleum is intact but leaves much to be desired. The trim is falling apart and I never even took the painters tape off on one wall. (whoops)

Overall, it needs some attention. So, while we were feeling inspired by the fresh Spring air and the contagious Spring cleaning attitude, we loaded up the kids and took a trip to Home Depot.

Now imagine rural northeast Iowa, it is at least 35 minutes to a WalMart and at least 1 hour/50 miles to a mall, a Target, a Home Depot, a Jimmy Johns, a Lowes, or anywhere that sells a 2×4 on a Sunday afternoon.

Craig and I are no stranger to DIY. We muscled our way through installing entirely new life proof flooring in our living room and dining room in Summer of 2017. We loved the life proof brand so much, we immediately knew we wanted life proof carpet as well. We ordered some samples. Jim walked us through everything we needed to know about carpet. We ordered a sample. He suggested multi color carpet because it hides a lot of dust/dirt. We selected a cushion as well. I would like something a little darker/grey but we will see how the sample turns out. Someone is coming to measure on Thursday – they do the stairs, furniture moving, closets, and everything for free with purchase of carpet. We are super excited.

While strolling through the carpet section, I started dreaming about this pretty decorative tile. I showed Craig with the intention of him shooting down my hopes and dreams but he said I LOVE IT!

We’ve never tiled anything in our lives but just like Marie Forleo says, everything is figure-out-able. We watched a ton of DIY tiling videos in the meantime and signed up for a tiling class at the end of the month.

We picked up paint for the walls – I only buy Sherwin Williams paint after our toy room makeover – read more on that here:


I also picked up paint for the bathroom vanity which isn’t actually paint but more like a cabinet transformation kit. Our goal is to have the cupboards painted and the walls painted before the tiling class on the 28th.

The boys were… a handful to say the least during our THREE HOUR Home Depot run. In retrospect, they weren’t half bad all things considered.

Now here’s where I’m conflicted. Home Depot offers 24 months interest free financing on a Home Depot card. We will be credit card debt free at the end of the month – a goal we’ve been working on for the past year. $10,000 + later, here we are. We will meet our goal.

While we could save up about a month or two and cover the remodel expenses out of pocket, it is SO TEMPTING to reach for the Home Depot card. Craig and I talked about it and I think that’s the route we will go but it feels kinda wrong. I feel like a hypocrite after touting how much we love Dave Ramsey and his plans. I figured if I’m honest about it that helps.

I feel like this is different – we are using it specifically for the store where as I would throw anything on our Discover card – insurance bills, groceries, amazon, etc. This is specifically for a project. It is specifically a store card. Craig and I will talk about what goes on this card. It is debt, but it is different.

That’s all I have for today folks! Stay tuned for more updates!



  1. Carolyn Ruby
    March 11, 2020 / 11:30 am

    Nothing says you can’t pay off the 24 months interest free next month. Use their money but put your plan in motion that next month (had you saved up) you could pay it off.

  2. Kim LeMere
    March 11, 2020 / 12:10 pm

    How exciting for your family. Its amazing what some new paint can do for ones home and if you can get flooring to go with it, Yippee. I recall in our younger married days with 2 toddlers our master bedroom had green shag carpet, oh how I hated that carpet but it was in the house and it was in good shape. I lived with it for 15 years!!! I did a real happy dance the day it left my sight. Congratulations and being debt free, it takes a big commitment to make it.

    • Angie Peele
      March 11, 2020 / 1:51 pm

      Yeah! Remodeling can be fun and make you feel so much better especially with all that you’ve had going on. I would use there credit card only if I could pay it off in full when 5he bill comes in. That is what I do. I get the discount from the store then pay it off . That way you don’t get charged interest.

  3. Colleen
    March 11, 2020 / 12:55 pm

    Love a good remodel! BTW. Consider adding a hidden flip down to the middle of your vanity Under the false drawer front. You can buy the inside part at Home Depot. . My Dad has done that on their Kitchen sink and my upstairs vanity. He also added a drawer with an L shape to fit around my vanity sink underneath to the Left side false drawer front.

  4. Robin
    March 11, 2020 / 12:56 pm

    If I were you I would get the card and charge only the remodel projects then pay it off as soon as possible. You are doing such a wonderful job paying off your debts, Kalissa. It’s obvious you will do great with the Ramsey program because you are second guessing credit card debt and spending foolishly. Your carpet brings back memories of our first home. It was built in 1977 so red white and blue were very popular colors. One of the bedrooms had red white and blue striped carpeting. We were so poor I just tried to decorate around it. In driving by the house I’m assuming the house still has the same carpet as no improvements have ever been made to it!

  5. Cindy F
    March 11, 2020 / 1:28 pm

    You’ll be able to do the tiling, especially after taking the class. When we bought our first house back in the early 90s, we needed to replace the vinyl in the kitchen, dining, garage entry and didn’t want to pay for installing it as it would have broken the budget. We were “This Old House” fans and ordered a VHS tape and watched that and went ahead and put the tile in. Our boys were 5 and 2 and we pulled an all nighter to get it done and it looked great! In fact so good that when we had a mason come in and look at our fireplace he asked who did our job and offered us work…lol I have to say though, when you are good DIY’ers it becomes a problem when you can afford to have someone else do the work…most won’t be as careful as you are!!

  6. Joy
    March 11, 2020 / 8:41 pm

    Just because you have 24 months interest-free, that doesn’t mean you can’t pay it off in 12 months or less. We currently do not have credit cards and are forced to use our debit card only for purchases that our bank account will cover. Our business is seasonal so we’ve gotten used to putting money aside and stocking up on toiletries when the money is there. The extra money comes in handy for unexpected expenses and since we’ve stocked up, thats an expense I don’t have during the lean months..

  7. Ellen
    March 12, 2020 / 4:52 am

    Although I really believe in Dave Ramsey’s philosophy, there are times when you have to think for yourself and make a different decision. I will never save enough money to buy a car with cash because I refuse to buy a clunker. I live in a large metro area and there is no way I will drive around in an old unreliable vehicle. Also, we have no convenient mass transit here and going anywhere outside my house involves driving. I make extra payments on car loans and always pay off within 3 years. I take extra care with maintenance and can keep the car running well for 8-10 years. I think that makes more sense for me than driving a clunker. If you can pay off the HD card within the no-interest period, then that’s what I would do.

    • Susan the Farm Quilter
      March 13, 2020 / 1:08 am

      Ellen, if you continue to make car payments to yourself after you have paid off your car, you will have the cash to buy a new car when the time comes. Been there, done that and it works! Plus the money earns a bit of interest to me during those years of saving!! It does require discipline to not dip into that fund, but you can do it!!

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter
    March 13, 2020 / 1:06 am

    Congrats on the remodel!! I know that if I were able to remodel a bathroom (or a kitchen) I would opt for as many drawers as possible and few/no cupboards (lowers all drawers if possible in the kitchen, obviously the uppers need to be just cabinets). Drawers are easier to find things in the back of and there are so many ways to set them up to use 100% of the space in a way that makes sense! If you choose to use the HD card, use it only this once, cut it up and pay off the debt in 2 months. Being debt free is important and you have worked so hard to get that way.

  9. Signe in Virginia
    March 13, 2020 / 1:26 am

    My husband and I took the tiling class at Home Depot and then tiled our master bath floor, 2 entry ways and around the master bath tub. It wasn’t that difficult. We did buy a tile cutting machine but I think you can rent them also. Use your Home Depot card and pay the balance off before the 24 months is up. That way you have incurred no interest. Nothing wrong with using their money for a few months! Enjoy your projects and new carpet. Love the tile you picked out.

  10. Sue
    April 15, 2020 / 9:25 pm

    Do the double sink- you’ll love it. We put one in when we remodeled our bathroom and it’s the best thing we did!

  11. Elle
    April 18, 2020 / 3:30 pm

    Our financial planner says “always take advantage of low interest”. It gives you the opportunity to do wiser more advantageous things with YOUR cash!

    I totally understand the hypocritcal feeling. We are debt free and our financial planner is begging us to finance a new vehicle purchase rather than paying cash. It is SOOOO hard!!!

    Congrats again to you and Craig on all your successes AND your willingness to work hard for what you want.


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