It's well-known that the right improvements can increase the value of your home. Converting a loft to add a bedroom and bathroom can add 21%, according to repossession and auction website Repolist, with an extension bumping a house's value by 13%.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for all so-called home improvements. Indeed, it's perfectly possible to spend thousands doing up your home - only to discover it's worth less as a result. We look at some of the riskier bets.
Hot tubs/swimming pools
You may love yours, but many people see hot tubs as an eyesore rather than a luxury. Some people are squeamish about taking over a hot tub that's been used by strangers, and those with young children may worry about safety. And they cost quite a lot to remove. Meanwhile, swimming pools take up a lot of room, can be seen as a hazard, and cost a lot to maintain.
Losing a bedroom
With office conversions, it's possible to spend thousands on fitted furniture and still drastically devalue your home. While you might think buyers can see past the contents and imagine it as a bedroom, this is often not the case. In small rooms particularly, they may doubt whether it's possible to squeeze in a bed.
Add a traditional orangery to your Georgian rectory, and you're laughing - but the same doesn't always apply. Cheap PVC conservatories can be cold in winter, baking in summer, and can be totally out of keeping with character properties.
Prices range from around £5,000 up to many tens of thousands of pounds; as a rough guide, a good quality build is likely to add value to your house, but a cheap, badly insulated one can actually devalue it. According to financial analysts Market Oracle, indeed, most homeowners only recoup 50% of the value of a conservatory when selling.
There can't be many people around these days (we hope) slapping up textured wallcoverings and ceilings - but there are some. It's a real turnoff for buyers, who will face replastering as well as redecoration. And painting walls with dark colours or putting murals in children's bedrooms can leave buyers' hearts sinking at the work.
Some housebuyers will be dead keen on solar panels - but they are the ones who will quite likely be happy to install them themselves. For many others, they are a worry. With the future of feed-in tariffs currently up in the air, there's no guarantee how much money they'll save the new owner, and buyers may be concerned about maintenance and repairs. Some people think they're ugly, too.