With the inflated prices of houses and mortgage rates, many families are remodeling the old homestead rather than moving to a bigger house. A word of caution though: Not all home improvements will increase the resale value of your home.

You may be gung ho for a swimming pool, but that may pay back only part of the cost. Often a swimming pool, enjoyed by one family, can stand in the way of selling a home. A potential buyer might consider the pool dangerous for small children or too expensive to maintain. Building a patio or a sauna also is risky if you are doing it to enhance the value of the house.

Experts agree that increasing livable space will always pay for itself. Adding a bathroom, a bedroom or a family room will do much for the resale value. Modernizing the kitchen and bathrooms also will pay off. But remember, no matter how many improvements you make, if cheap materials are used or the workmanship is amateurish, it will detract rather than add to the amount you can expect to receive when you sell the house.

If you use a contractor for your improvements, try to find one through word-of-mouth recommendations of satisfied friends. Get several bids, check references and call your local business association or consumer group to find out if there have been any complaints registered against the companies.