The era of real estate-focused reality television is encouraging too many homeowners to put aesthetics before function in their remodeling projects, industry experts note in a recent article. For example, the trend toward no-door kitchen cabinetry, which has been made popular by home improvement shows, isn’t a smart choice for a homeowner who isn’t a neat freak or who doesn’t have matching dishes.

“Everyone wants a kitchen or bathroom that looks like it belongs in a showroom, but when you’re remodeling, there is such a thing as getting too into aesthetics,” the article reads. “If you make your remodel look magnificent but forget to take function into account, odds are good that you’ll be itching to remodel again sooner rather than later.”

Experts suggest choosing timeless updates that can stand the test over many design cycles. Remodeling experts also say it’s critical to put function first before embarking on a home improvement project. That may mean having to let go of a few aesthetic details in the process if they don’t work in your home style, are beyond your budget, or just don’t make sense for your lifestyle.

Before taking on a remodel, experts recommend that homeowners ask themselves: How does this space function, and what do I wish was different? Will a renovation change how I use the space then?

Another common problem remodelers see often: skipping out on a permit. Obtaining a proper permit for the renovation could ensure fewer “function” issues after the work is complete, contractors say. Inspections of the renovation by local authorities are also crucial when an owner decides to sell later. Any issues with the work could derail a sale if they haven’t been addressed. A permit also protects the homeowner: A buyer who gets hurt as a result of unapproved work in the home could successfully sue the seller.

For homeowners who embark on home remodeling projects themselves, the responsibility of filing and getting a permit for the work falls on them. A professional contractor can help navigate the process and ensure everything is up to code.