If you’ve ever remodeled a house, you probably know how much of an investment it can be. If you’re planning a remodel, you have probably already started crunching numbers and calculating costs, maybe even tried to determine where you can save on costs. While most remodel projects can certainly be done on a budget, there are a few instances when cutting corners in the interest of spending less could end up costing you more. Instead of learning the hard way, avoid cutting these four corners when remodeling a house:

1. Contractors
If a remodel is in your future, you’ve likely contemplated how you could get by without hiring a professional contractor. If there is one thing you take away from reading this, it should be: always hire a professional and licensed contractor for large-scale remodels. Licensed contractors know which permits are needed and what is possible with your specific project. If someone claims that they are a contractor and says that you don’t need a permit, know it as a red flag. Cutting corners with contractors can (and often will) end up costing you more in the long run.

2. Professional Design
Unless you are an interior designer, you will likely need to consult the expertise of a professional. The design of your remodel is about more than just the aesthetics, and professional designers usually know how different elements can come together to help a home flow better and function more efficiently.

3. Permanent Fixtures
Some aspects of a remodel — like light fixtures, faucets, and hardware — can be easily upgraded in the future. Other more permanent fixtures are more difficult to replace. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, invest in a tub and shower that won’t need replacing for years. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, choose countertops and backsplashes you won’t quickly tire of. You can skimp on the decorative elements, since you can always add or change those later.

4. Flooring
With many great options for budget-friendly flooring, it can be difficult to spend big bucks on the floors. But if you have your heart set on hardwood floors, you might never truly be satisfied with a tile or laminate that imitates hardwood. The flooring of your home can make a big statement, so be sure that you choose is something you’ll love living with for many years to come.