What I normally do is root so that I get cwm to make band backups and I can use fancy apps that help for further steps.
Unfortunately you'll have to read 1000s of posts about kernels/roms and how to use certain tools.
I'm no expert myself,but the more I read,and like watching you tube videos,the more I learn.
Also,you've got to tread carefully if your phone is still under warranty and you need to send it back....lol
Sent from my GT-I9100