5 Tips for Keeping Your Cat Happy and Healthy

While the weather may change from summer to fall, your relationship with your feline never goes out of season. Events on the calendar can seem to pile up as the year goes on, but don’t forget to go the extra mile for your pet and show him how much he means to you.

Whether the sun is shining, the leaves are changing colors or there is snow on the ground, these five tips can help you bond with your cat all year long and make sure he is feeling his best.

For more information on keeping your cat happy and healthy, visit cravepetfoods.com and greenies.com.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Create Space to Play

Just like humans and dogs, cats have energy they need to expel throughout the day. Help your cat feel like a member of the family by giving him a dedicated space in the house where you can play together. It can also double as a place to keep his toys.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

  1. Fuel Playtime with a High-Quality Diet

Even the cutest and cuddliest kitties share a connection with their ancestors, so to respect the animal inside, nourish your pet with his natural desires in mind. One purr-worthy option is CRAVE™ cat food, which is made with high-quality animal protein and no grains. The recipes provide the nutrients needed for a strong, lean body and the energy to chase – even if it’s just a toy around the house.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Toys are a Cat’s Best Friends

Cats are curious by nature and almost always looking for something to get their paws on. Have a variety of toys on-hand, such as laser pointers, feather wands and stuffed mice, which can give your cat the chance to practice his pouncing skills. Not only is this a great form of exercise, but it also allows him to exert his instincts to chase.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Keep Him Smiling

When considering your cat’s health, don’t forget about oral care. Dental treats such as GREENIES™ Dental Treats help freshen breath and clean your cat’s teeth, helping to keep bad breath from getting in the way of cuddles with your favorite feline.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Spend Quality Time Together

Don’t let a busy life get in the way of spending quality time and building companionship with your cat. If your schedule is full, try checking off your to-do list with your cat by your side. Fold your laundry or do work in the same room so he knows you’re there. You can also squeeze in snuggle time as you wind down and watch television or read a book before bed. (Family Features)



School Bus Safety 101

For millions of school-age children in the United States, each day begins – and ends – with a bus ride. While the school bus is the safest way to travel to and from school, according to the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT), it’s important for parents to teach their children how to stay safe in and around the school bus as obstructed views, distracted drivers and more can put kids at risk.

These tips from the experts at NAPT and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) provide parents with some additional measures to take and lessons to teach to increase safety going to and from the bus, and even during the ride.

Before the Bus Arrives

  • Ensure backpacks are packed securely so papers and other items don’t scatter as the bus approaches.
  • Create a morning routine that puts kids at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pickup time. This helps avoid a last-minute rush, when safety lessons are easily forgotten, and ensures kids are safely in place for boarding.
  • Encourage children to wear bright, contrasting colors so they can be seen easier by drivers.
  • Walk young children to the bus stop or encourage kids to walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see.
  • If kids must cross a street, driveway or alley, remind them to stop and look both ways before crossing.
  • Verify the bus stop location offers good visibility for the bus driver; if changes are needed, talk with nearby homeowners or school district officials to implement changes. Never let kids wait in a house or car, where the driver may miss seeing them approach the bus.
  • Remind children that the bus stop is not a playground. Balls or other toys could roll into the street and horseplay can result in someone falling into the path of oncoming traffic.
  • Instruct children to stay at least three steps away from the road and allow the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching it.

On the Bus Ride

  • When boarding the bus, items can get bumped and dropped. Caution children that before picking anything up, they should talk to the driver and follow instructions to safely retrieve their possessions.
  • Teach safe riding habits: stay seated with head, hands and feet inside at all times; keep bags and books out of the aisle and remain seated until the bus stops moving.
  • Instruct children to never throw things on the bus or out the windows and to never play with or block emergency exits.
  • Remind kids that just like when riding in a car, loud noises are off limits so they don’t distract the driver. That includes cellphones and other electronic devices; instruct children to put them on mute or use headphones.

Leaving the Bus

  • Remind children to look before stepping off the bus. If they must cross the street, teach them to do so in front of the bus by taking five big steps (approximately 10 feet) away from the front of the bus, looking up and waiting for the driver to signal that it is safe.
  • For parents who meet their kids at the bus, remember that in their excitement kids may dart across the street. Eliminate the risk by waiting on the side of the street where kids exit the bus.
  • Make the bus ride part of your daily “how was school?” discussion. Encourage kids to talk about the things they see and hear on the bus so you can discuss appropriate behaviors and, if necessary, report any concerns to school administrators. As bullying is prevalent and buses are no exception, ask your child to tell you about any bullying they observe, whether against another child or themselves, and talk about how to shut down bully behaviors.

For more information and additional school bus safety tips, visit BetterOurBuses.com.

An Alternate Form of Transportation

Many school districts are moving away from diesel buses in favor of buses powered by an alternate fuel, like propane, which offers numerous benefits for school districts and their students.

In fact, school buses powered by propane transport approximately 928,000 students to and from school every day at more than 840 public and private school districts in 48 states, according to a vehicle registration report compiled by PERC using IHS Polk new vehicle registration data.

“There’s a lot to like about propane school buses for community stakeholders and school officials, and school districts across the nation continue to take notice,” said Michael Taylor, PERC director of autogas business development. “Compared to other fuels, propane school buses are quieter and offer reduced emissions. Plus, they cost less for the district to operate, so schools can put more money back into the classroom where it helps students most.”


Among the numerous safety advantages propane school buses provide, engines powered by propane are noticeably quieter than diesel engines, which can help ensure a safe ride. Plus, just like all buses, propane buses are crash tested to ensure they meet U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for side and rear impact. In addition, an automatic shut-off valve prevents the flow of fuel to the engine when it’s not running, even if the ignition is turned on.


The World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency have identified diesel engine exhaust as a carcinogen, which can cause short- and long-term health effects. With the emergence of alternative fuels like propane, which provides a clean emissions profile compared with diesel and gasoline buses, there is decreased risk of exposing young passengers to harmful particulate matter that can be found in the exhaust in older diesel buses, which can escalate breathing-related issues and aggravate asthma.


Financially, propane buses provide school districts with the lowest total cost-of-ownership compared to other fuel types, according to PERC. Even as gas prices continue to fluctuate across the country, propane consistently costs less per gallon than diesel and gasoline, by as much as 50 percent, which saves districts significant money on fuel costs. They also require less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle, saving additional money on upkeep. Savings on transportation can help keep more money in the classroom helping students learn.

Start a discussion with your children’s school district about exploring a switch from diesel buses to cleaner alternatives by first downloading resources including fact sheets, videos, a toolkit and more at BetterOurBuses.com. (Family Features)

Propane Education & Research Council

Live a Life of LOVE

Written By Mechelle Baker

In the words of Lao Tzu, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Everything we do in life is in the hopes that we will feel better.  And love is the most powerful feeling.  When we really think about it. Nothing beats the feeling of unconditional love. This force of unconditional love is expansive and infinite. It’s way stronger than any force in the universe. It’s simple, love is stronger than evil. Therefore, love does conquer all.

How much more awesome and amazing would your life be if you could infuse more love.  Not just a little, I’m talking a full immersion and drenching in love.  What would that be like?  And do you even believe it’s possible?  Or has life become something you tolerate while bending and flexing to adapt to your surroundings and its occupants?

What would it take for you to say yes to mas amore (more love)?  Just sounds better in Spanish…:-)) But, seriously, life goes by quick and in the blink of an eye, you could be sitting somewhere wondering, what happened? I lost a decade… okay, two decades trying to be somebody that someone would love.  It wasn’t until I began to love myself…unconditionally while loving on myself that l attracted more love in my life.

And how did I come to experience this turnabout you ask?  It’s quite simple, I began giving with no expectation of return. By focusing on giving with heartfelt intention to others that which I desired for myself, love began flowing in and through me. You see, you cannot give what you do not have. So, the express route to receive unconditional love… is to give it first! ❤

Here are 26 words that demonstrate love.  And 26 ways that will inspire you to lead with love empowering your increase experience of love and win-win scenarios:

1. Acceptance
Deciding in thoughts, words, and actions to receive someone favorably with a warm welcome.

2. Belief
Your trust, faith, and confidence in the positive possibility of relations with someone.

3. Champion
Support and/or defend someone unwavering in your belief in them and their cause/project.

4. Dream
Imagine the impossible as possible with a high probability of favorable outcomes or results.

5. Encourage
Be someone’s cheerleader giving support, to inspire their courage and confidence.

6. Forgive
Stop feeling angry or resentful of the past and embrace creating a better future.

7. Greet
Acknowledge others with the warmest of welcomes and recognition.

8. Highlight
Select a quality in someone and emphasize their unique gifts and beauty.

9. Involve
Find someone new to engage in conversation creating a new connection.

10. Joke
Say something to provoke laughter or cause amusement. Tell a joke.

11. Kindness
Being aware of others and intentionally making them happy as often as possible.

12. Liking
Feelings of fondness or pleasure towards someone.

13. Magical
Someone with an extraordinary or fascinating power or influence over others.

14. Noteworthy
Deciding someone deserves your attention because they are important or interesting to you.

15. Opportunity
People and time with themis viewed as the fortunate gift that brings value to your life.

16. Pleasure
Feelings of happiness and satisfaction enjoyed in the company of others.

17. Questions
Does not make assumptions ormake up stories.  Always ask to clarify and maintain trust.

18. Respect 
Admire someone deeply, because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

19. Service
A valuable gesture, deed, or effort performed to satisfy another’s need.

20. Tenderness
Having a compassionate, kindly or sensitive disposition towards others.

21. Unyielding
A firm and resolute belief and trust in someone that cannot be broken by persuasion.

22. Vision
You have belief and faith in your ongoing relations and treat people accordingly.

23. Wonder
A sincere curiosity about the people you spend time with and are in relationships.

24. Xtra-ordinary (had to use a workaround)
Your heartfelt desire and willingness to do, give and be that extra for others.

25. Yes
One true test of love is noticing how many times you say Yes to you.

26. Zeal
A devotion and dedication to something bigger than yourself in relationships with others.

When you embrace these attributes and lead with love from A to Z, you begin to walk the path of greatness.  You will lead of life of leaving others feeling so special… your life becomes Amazing!❤

VISION Mastery Strategist - Meshell Baker, is a captivating and highly engaging International Speaker and Purpose Coach, currently fulfilling her mission to empower as many as possible to find joy and enthusiasm in their lives. After 18 years of award-winning sales experience spanning from Yellow Pages Advertising, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Biotech, Baker now lives, works and travels from city to city onboard her 22-foot RV (recreational vehicle) since May 2017.

5 Ways Dogs Can Improve Lives

Whether playmates or protectors, the human-animal bond is often a powerful connection that goes beyond pure companionship. Dogs typically have many talents and personas – they can be man’s best friend, a canine companion during a difficult time or even a service dog helping veterans and others through daily routines. No matter the relationship between dog and human, these animals can improve lives in numerous ways.

Consider these five ways dogs can make a positive impact on your life and those around you, and find more information at bettercitiesforpets.com.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

  1. Pets make communities healthy

It’s no surprise that dog owners are more likely to get out and take a walk around the neighborhood. In fact, taking a quick walk with your dog a few times each week can increase general health and may help reduce rates of obesity.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia

  1. Dogs can be great icebreakers

If you’re new in town or looking for new friends, use your walks as an opportunity to meet your neighbors and engage with other dogs. Dogs can help make easy introductions to other pet owners and non-pet owners alike, and even potentially help you find your next pet-sitter.

  1. Animals can provide a sense of comfort

Some animals are trained to provide therapeutic aid and wellbeing. Therapy and facility dogs help normalize environments, such as hospitals and universities, by alleviating fear and giving comfort during difficult experiences. For example, Mars Petcare’s Better Cities For Pets initiative is working to bring the healing power of pets to more children and families nationwide, including a partnership with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to support a dedicated facility dog and staff position.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

  1. Many pets protect those who served

Service dogs can help veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress – yet people may be unprepared to accommodate the unique needs of service dogs. To help educate people on how to interact with an individual who has a service dog, American Humane, which has helped the U.S. military and military animals for 100 years, created a wealth of resources, including these informational videos.

Photo courtesy of iStock

  1. Dogs can de-stress the office

Making the office a pet-friendly zone has its perks. In fact, a Mars Petcare survey shows that having furry friends around the office boosts morale and lessens anxiety, giving you even more of a reason to spend all day, every day, with your pet. (Family Features)

Mars Petcare

5 Back-to-School Shopping Tips to Buy More Time

It’s that time of year again. Parents are preparing for the rush of back-to-school with a seemingly never-ending to-do list. As you run around to purchase school supplies, uniforms and sneakers it can be a busy and expensive time of year.

Tackle back-to-school season with these tips to save money and maybe even help you buy back a little time before the school bell rings.

Get the kids involved before you leave home. Jumping in the car and hoping for the best as you travel from store to store isn’t likely to net much more than a headache – especially with the kids in tow. Instead, get them involved before hitting the shops and have them browse online retailers and catalogs. With a list in hand, you can plan your trip before you leave the house or take advantage of free shipping or in-store pick-up offered by many retailers.

Shop early and often. The back-to-school season seems to get earlier every year and many retailers offer deals each week on everyday school supplies and electronics. For those looking to save, shop early and often during the 3-4 weeks leading up to your child’s start date and subscribe to retailer newsletters online for deals delivered directly to your inbox.

Check sizes before you start. You may know there are three good pairs of jeans in your child’s drawer, but the first cold morning of fall is no time to discover that they’re now an inch too short. Before you shop, try on what you already have to determine whether it’s time to size up and get a better idea of what needs replaced.

Anticipate the need for (more) new shoes. One inevitable truth about kids: they grow, seemingly overnight. All the hours you spend shopping can feel futile when your child needs a new pair of shoes just weeks after school starts. To save time and money, be ready when your kids hit their next growth spurt with subscription services like EasyKicks. Delivered on-demand, it offers the latest Nike and Converse sneakers for preschoolers through teens. When kids are ready for a new pair, simply swap them for a new size or style and return the old pair in a prepaid envelope to be donated or recycled. Sign up and learn more at easykicks.com.

Double-up on everyday supplies. If possible, buy back-up school supplies while you’re making the rounds – especially if you spot a buy-one, get-one-free deal. If your school supply list asks for one box of crayons, buy an extra set and put it aside in a designated drawer at home. Without fail, kids will run out of notepads or pencils at some point during the year, and you can send in fresh supplies without another trip to the store.

Armed with these tips, your time spent back-to-school shopping should be shorter and your stress levels – and credit card bill – lower.   (Family Features)


Welcome to The Fall Preview Edition of InFluential Magazine

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

Apparently, I don’t have to pitch The Fall Preview  edition too hard, as it’s always one of our most anticipated and most read.  You seek it out, yearning for the latest details on the fashion industry’s best new styles.  In this edition we share with you the most stunning wedding dress styles and the talented designers behind them.

Let me pique your interest in some other great features in the edition. We’re shining a light on health & wellness with an article on tips for keeping kids fit during off season.  Coach Sarah Walls serves up some effective ways to help kids fight obesity all year long and improve their game. We hope her insight is as uplifting to you as it is to us. Be inspired to challenge yourself, break out of a rut, and try something new.

Just when it seems like you have gotten into your summer groove, it’s time to get back into your school routine, which can be cause both relief and stress at the same time for parents and students alike. Even if your kids are adaptable, big changes like heading back to school after a summer of limited scheduling can be stressful. We provide useful tips on setting our children up for success for the start of the 2018 / 2019 school year.

So, sink your teeth into summer and this edition!

By the way, I really enjoy this picture of me enjoying the hospitality of the stunning Hotel Granduca in West Austin.


William Jackson

Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

How Two Rice Bowls and Four Chopsticks Turned Into a Billion-Dollar Business  

When the United States left Vietnam in 1975, it left behind a nation wracked with inflation, corruption and an identity crisis.  The country staggered through the 1980s as a socialist-capitalist country – it tried socialism first, then modified it with capitalism.

For the families that lived through the early post-American years in Vietnam, it was one crisis after another.  Yet one family not only survived and thrived, it built one of the largest businesses in Southeast Asia from scratch.

Phuong Tran

Phuong Tran

“My father started out with nothing more than two rice bowls and four chopsticks,” says Phuong Uyen Tran in her new book Competing with Giants, published by Forbes.

The company grew so large that Coca Cola wanted to buy it for more than $2 billion.

“He persevered because he had tenacity and placed his trust in his core values and people – his business associates, employees and customers.”

Her father, Tran Qui Thanh, is chairman and CEO of the beverage company Tan Hiep Phat (THP).  He turned down the offer from Coca Cola.  Thanh’s company now supplies beverages, including herbal and green teas, sports and energy drinks, soya milk and purified water across Vietnam plus 16 other countries, including China and Australia.  It is Vietnam’s largest family-owned manufacturer in the “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” category, employing more than 5,000 staff members nationwide.

“It is never easy to compete with giants,” says Phuong, “let alone face them down.” But her family legacy is a story that proves David can indeed compete with (and even outperform) Goliath. Watching her father turn down a sum of money most could never dream to see was an event that shaped Tran’s entire philosophy from that day forward.

What has Phuong learned from the family values her father always applies in business?

5 Family Values to Business Success:

  • Create an authentic local product.  Authentic local products are hard to beat.  That is because locals can beat the big guys in four critical areas – product, price, promotion and place.
  • Govern growth. Many companies on an upward trajectory just assume that their success will always continue.  The best companies prepare for the inevitable ups and downs of business by growing slowly and methodically.
  • Motivate employees and foster community spirit. As companies get bigger, they must focus on how their employees work with each other, as well as senior management and customers.
  • Adhere to standards. The best companies embrace standards rather than try to find ways to cut corners.  Her company adopted international standards for her products even though they were not forced to do so.
  • Take responsibility. The ultimate responsibility lies with each person at the business, regardless of if it is the owner, manager or employee.

Whether you start with rice bowls or owning the entire rice factory, scaling a business requires strategy, discipline and good old fashion family values.

About Phuong Uyen Tran

Phuong Uyen Tran, author of Competing with Giants (https://www.thp.com.vn/en/), is deputy CEO of the THP Beverage Group, a leading beverage company in Vietnam that was founded by her father. She is responsible for the company’s marketing, public relations, and CSR programs nationally and across Vietnam’s 63 provinces. She also leads THP’s international marketing programs across 16 countries where THP’s products are distributed including Canada and China.

Air Partner Offers Tailored Luxury Wedding Experiences

Couples – and Their Friends, Family – Can Go Down the Aisle in Style, Utilizing Leader in Private Group Charter 

More and more couples looking to marry or celebrate special occasions in luxury are taking planning to the extreme, flying their entire wedding party, family and friends to the destination by group charter, according to aviation experts. Air Partner, the global leader in private aviation and group charter, says the trend has really taken off. Over the last two years alone, the company’s high-profile and high-end destination wedding bookings have soared by approximately 20 percent. The increase is fueled, in part, by affluent couples looking to splurge on the ‘ultimate wedding’ and celebrating abroad – accompanied by family and close friends.

This trend encourages celebrations to kick-off before arriving to the destination, thanks to private charter access to smaller and more convenient local airports. By using private terminals with reserved parking and convenient check-in, wedding parties can speed through security and walk directly onto a chartered aircraft. By flying together in a larger group, private flyers also enjoy a much higher level of service and personalization.

“More couples than ever are choosing to get married and celebrate major landmarks by flying with friends and extended families,” said Julia Timms, chief marketing officer of Air Partner. “We have seen group bookings soar by approximately 20 percent over the past two years, as couples have chosen to charter flights, so that they can experience the ultimate destination wedding and celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion in true luxury with family and friends.”

The private aviation company ensures that every moment leading up to a couple’s wedding and special celebration is a memorable one without any stress or hassle, even before the flight. Air Partner can help couples start a special day by preparing check-in at home. From there, couples can enjoy exclusive lounge access at a private jet terminal with friends and relatives before the flight.

“Our expert planners have access to a host of group charters around the globe and decades of extensive experience in planning travel for major festivities and luxury weddings,” said David McCown, president of Air Partner U.S. “No group is too big, and no detail is too small. Air Partner brings the magic of flying with friends and family to every occasion and provides an unbeatable one-stop service for flights and transfers.”

With Air Partner, getting to the destination is part of the fun, as the company goes above and beyond to create a party in the sky for wedding groups. This includes personalizing entire aircraft cabins to match a couple’s wedding colors, dressing cabin crew in special designer uniforms, providing expert chefs to serve five-star à la carte dining options, pouring a couple’s favorite wine and champagne, producing special personalized menus, customizing in-flight entertainment systems with favorite films and TV shows, and even monogramming seat head rests. Earlier this year, guests on a chartered flight from London to Nice enjoyed flying in a sunflower-themed cabin and received gifts of local honey and sunflower seeds from the region of the wedding destination, to remind those onboard of the special French wedding.

Another recent flight took a couple’s entire extended family in a single aircraft to enjoy a magical weekend wedding in Marrakech. Air Partner arranged scheduled flights for family groups to rendezvous at one location and then all fly together to Morocco for the big day. Guests were served the couple’s favorite Moroccan-themed dishes as part of the customized in-flight menu, along with the couple’s favorite champagne.

And what could be better than a surprise destination? Air Partner recently transported 50 friends and family members to a couple’s ten-year wedding anniversary party…without those onboard even knowing where they were headed.

Air Partner’s dedicated account management team has the expertise to offer a tailored, stress-free luxury wedding or special celebration experience, with maximum luggage space, personalized cabin service, door-to-door transport and the best hotels as part of the same seamless service.

For further information, please visit www.airpartner.com or the Air Partner Group Charter page. Follow Air Partner Instagram / Twitter @airpartnerusa and Facebook @airpartnerplc. 

About Air Partner

Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services group that provides worldwide solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals. The Group has two divisions‎: Broking division, comprising air charter broking and remarketing; and the Consulting & Training division, comprising the aviation safety consultancies, Baines Simmons, Clockwork Research and SafeSkys, as well as Air Partner’s Emergency Planning Division. For reporting purposes, the Group is structured into four divisions: Commercial Jets, Private Jets, Freight (Broking) and Consulting & Training (Baines Simmons, Clockwork Research, SafeSkys and Air Partner’s Emergency Planning Division). The Commercial Jet division charters large airliners to move groups of any size. Air Partner Remarketing, which is within the Commercial Jet division, provides comprehensive remarketing programs for all types of commercial and corporate aircraft to a wide range of international clients. Private Jets offers the Company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter. Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly almost any cargo anywhere, at any time. Baines Simmons is a world leader in aviation safety consulting specializing in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management. Clockwork Research is a leading fatigue risk management consultancy. SafeSkys is a leading Environmental and Air Traffic Control services provider to UK and International airports. Air Partner is headquartered alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. Air Partner operates 24/7 year-round and has 20 offices globally. Air Partner is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIR) and is ISO 9001:2008 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide. www.airpartner.com.

Home Improvements with High ROI

If the ultimate goal of your home improvement project is aesthetic, the greatest benefit may come from your personal enjoyment of the new space. However, if you’re looking to add true value to your home, it’s important to consider which projects are likely to bring the greatest return on your investment.


Much like hands reveal a person’s true age, flooring speaks volumes about a home. Replacing and updating worn floors can instantly add value. A timeless selection like wood flooring, particularly in heavy traffic areas, is durable enough to withstand wear and complements a wide range of interior designs. If you already have wood floors that are in reasonably good condition, whether in use or under carpet, go ahead and refinish them for a budget-friendly alternative to installing new flooring. Another option that holds or even increases the value of your investment is tile, particularly in spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas.


Re-roofing a home gives it an instant value boost, but it’s a job that needs to be repeated periodically. One longer-term and on-trend alternative to traditional roofing is metal. Performance is the big selling point for metal roofs, but not only does the roof itself increase the home’s value, the safety benefits and peace of mind that come with knowing strong, fire-resistant metal roofs can last forever only add to the benefits.

With a variety of styles available, you can find a metal roof to match nearly any home style. For example, CertainTeed Metal Roofing offers profiles crafted to simulate Spanish barrel tile, slate and wood shake. Made from high-performance, deep-drawn steel, these roofing systems offer a lifetime-limited warranty and are engineered with a special multi-layered paint process that resists the elements while offering realistic color details and gradations. Find inspiration and explore a design gallery at CertainTeed.com.


Curb appeal often counts for a lot, whether it’s for your own enjoyment or a potential future buyer. Enhancing your home’s exterior can pay off handsomely when you add vegetation and hardscaping that improve the overall aesthetic. Keep in mind that more unconventional styles are better reserved for private spaces like the backyard; for the street view, stick to a motif with broad appeal to garner the strongest return on your investment.


An outdated entry point isn’t just an eyesore; it can pose a security risk and even be the source of significant energy loss for your home. Replacing front doors and even garage doors can both bring a return on your investment and potentially start saving you money right away on heating and cooling costs. A new, properly installed entry door is likely to fit more snugly and allow for fewer air leaks. In addition, a heavier door and frame is more likely to stand up against forced entry.


It may not be glamorous, or even anything that you’ll see on a regular basis, but many experts agree that upgrading your insulation is a sound investment. In addition to adding value in terms of comfort and reduced energy costs, it’s an attractive selling point should you choose to list your home.

If you’re still uncertain about the right investments for your home, it may be wise to consult a local real estate expert who can provide insight on the features that bring the most value in your market. (Family Features)