StressThe first step in a remodel is doing your research and figuring out what you want. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times – know the general direction you want to go before you head there.  Are you looking in the right place for information?  Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of stains, finishes, wood species and hardware in every showroom?

Take it back to square one, breath and do some researching before you get started. Leave the showroom and find simplified, pertinent information that you can review in the comfort of your home.  The showroom will still be there when you’re ready.

We previously wrote an article regarding where to find ideas for your kitchen remodel, but there are many more options available now, so in case you’re still struggling, here is a refresher as well as some new ideas:

Get Online

It’s the 21st century, so if you haven’t gone online to research your options, get on it! The easiest way to figure out what you want and what’s available out there is to get online and start looking at pictures and ideas from home improvement websites, cabinet dealer blogs and social media sites such as Pinterest.

Take the time to go online and see what your options are. Many kitchen and bath designers and remodelers have joined the 21st century and created inspirational kitchen remodel boards on Pinterest.  Recently, more have decided to start up informational blogs as well, so that you can have a place to find answers to your remodeling questions.

If you’re on twitter or facebook, do a brief search for kitchen remodelers…many of them will be willing to answer any questions you have directly through twitter and facebook; or they may direct you in the right direction.  Really, there are so many ways to connect with kitchen dealers today that there’s almost no excuse to go into a remodel completely blind.

Flip Through Pages

Take the time to look through trade magazines. While a Google search is a great way to look through mass amounts of information, trade magazines provide the insight into the industry.  Read articles on how the process works or how to get the best bang for your buck. That’s what these magazines are made for, to help inform you.

By doing this, you can find out about industry standards and you’ll have a more informed idea of the questions to ask designers during your first meeting with them.

Talk to People

Last, but certainly not least, ask people. Real, live people – not just the person who comments on a blog online.  Ask neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, anyone.   If anyone invites you to their place for the first time, go there.  They may have a kitchen with elements you love.  Get the personal feedback about how their experience was and see what they have learned from the process.

Your peers will be honest.  They may not like what they chose, or they may know a kitchen dealer who they trust. The best advice you will find is going to come from someone who has experienced it.

It’s important to be a well-informed consumer.  Just remember to steer clear of brands in the initial stages.  Just get an idea of the styles you like, and leave the details to discuss with your kitchen remodel professional at a later stage.