(ARA) - Without question, remodeling your kitchen is a daunting task. With the unlimited options in materials and styles, even those who are just starting to think about a remodel can begin to feel overwhelmed. The first step to putting such a project into perspective is doing your research.
The Internet is full of resources that can prepare any homeowner, even before they visit a showroom or speak with a contractor. These resources guide consumers on the search for their perfect kitchen by helping them find their style and showing them what is available.
Browse design and home improvement Web sites and "collect" photos and ideas that inspire you. Many have online portfolios where you can save your favorite photos and make notes. Don't limit yourself to photos or slideshows of full kitchens. Break your dream kitchen into specific elements whereby you might discover one small piece that can inspire the entire design. Check out lighting, paint, hardware and appliance Web sites as well.
Lay it Out
Many Web sites feature layout tools to help you design your dream kitchen down to the last inch. Look around to find the tool that works best for you as the tools have varying degrees of difficulty and detail.
Go with the Pros
Don't overlook professional and trade-only Web sites. They often feature the cutting edge in kitchen design. While you may not be able to purchase products directly, if you fall in love with a specific decor element or an entire look, a professional kitchen and bath designer can help make the dream a reality.
Ask a Friend
There are plenty of kitchen and remodeling forums online so feel free to make some new friends. Your fellow forum users can post inspiring photos, offer ideas and, more importantly, give advice on what not to do or which products to avoid.
Do Your Homework
Once you find a product, appliance or brand you like, check out consumer safety and satisfaction Web sites. You may love the look of a certain refrigerator, but if the brand has numerous recalls or other consumers have been dissatisfied with the appliance, you can save yourself time and money by avoiding it. Courtesy of ARAcontent