If you are looking to make home improvements this spring to boost your property's value, proceed with great caution.
In today's housing market, not only are you unlikely to recoup the cost of the work itself but - especially if the renovation is a DIY job - the value of your home can actually fall by up to 5% as a result.
We look at the top devaluing 'home improvements'.
According to a survey from Santander last year, 75% of Britons are prepared to undertake all the painting and decorating themselves - but don't expect to cash in on your hard work.
A survey found that seven out of 10 estate agents (69%) claim it will make no difference at all to the asking price of a property. So even though it will only cost a few hundred quit, you're still losing out.
In property-obsessed Britain, the number of bedrooms, rather than square footage, is key when it comes to the asking price.
That means knocking down an interior wall to make two bedrooms into one just doesn't make financial sense.
According to data from property website Rightmove, a typical three-bed detached home in the postcode area of SS12 in Essex cost in the region of £250,000 in 2010. An otherwise identical four-bed home could have fetched £329,000.
Unless the potential buyer for your home is EastEnders' Pat Butcher, it is very unlikely that a mini-bar fitted in your front room is going to appeal to anyone at all.
A fully-fitted oak drinks bar will cost over £2,000 from internet retailer Aristocrat Leisure. It will also cost your buyers an estimated £2,000 to strip out and make good the walls again, money that they won't be paying you for the house.
In 2005, the government introduced electrical safety rules across England and Wales that prevent any fixed electrical installation from being carried out by anyone other than a government-certified electrician.
If you choose to go ahead anyway, in addition to a potential fine, you can expect your buyers to negotiate you down up to £5,000, which is the cost of rewiring and making safe an average three-bed home, according to electricians' trade body the NICEIC.
It might be subjective, but things applied to the outside of your home - even if they have a practical purpose - can actually decrease its value.
The biggest outside improvements to avoid include weather proofing, stone cladding and timber panelling, according to Money Magpie and MSN Money blogger Jasmine Birtles.
"These changes could wipe 5% off the value of your home as they will have to be rectified," she said.
Some 14% of homeowners believe a brand new refitted kitchen is the improvement that will add the most value onto their homes, according to the survey. But they're wrong.
Nearly a quarter of estate agents claim that a brand new kitchen - or bathroom - will have no impact on the price of a home at all.
At an average cost of around £12,000, this is also the sum that could fall down the black hole when it comes to selling.
With the number of self-employed workers in the UK hitting five million in 2010, according to YouGov research, it follows that the need for home office space is greater than ever.
Households at full capacity may find a log cabin for the garden a tempting solution - but if you are selling your home any time soon, the advice is not to bother.
"Everyone is a lot less flash with their cash these days when it comes to property," said London property consultant Ian Jones.
"People will stay put if they can and, if they have to move, will only consider practical factors such as location and number of bedrooms. Superfluous extras like log cabins are no longer important and won't add value at all."
Swimming pools - at an estimated starting price of £30,000 to install an 'in-ground' version - are one of the biggest home improvement no-nos, according to Tracy Kellett at BDI Home Finders.
"Pools are expensive to maintain and the British weather means that they're only used a few times a year anyway. This is why, nine times out of 10, a buyer will fill them in, which brings associated costs - costs they will try to negotiate off the asking price," she said.
"The worst-case scenario will be losing up to 20% off the value of your home."
So be aware of what can decrease the value of your home that is if you are thinking of moving any time in the near future, you might be better to wait till you have your new home before carrying out some of these improvements say Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.