We admit that the best way to learn construction of any kind is to get out in the field, but a little reference material never hurt.
Here are our top 10 commercial construction books.
1. Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide by Michael C. Stone – Described as a great book with clear and practical advice, this one is a must read.
2. Code Check Complete: An Illustrated Guide to the Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical Codes by Redwood Kardon, Douglas Hansen, & Paddy Morrissey – A solid reference book.
3. Contractor’s Survival Guide by Jason Reid – Focused on solid principles for any business, but with a construction bent.
4. Construction Business Management: What Every Construction Contractor, Builder & Subcontractor Needs to Know by Nick Ganaway – With over 25 years as successful commercial contractor under his belt, Ganaway offers real-world advice from marketing to hiring, and even how to get paid. Our own Training and Development Manager, Ken Y., highly recommends this one.
5. Construction Leadership Success: The Construction Foreman’s Definitive Guide for Running Safe, Efficient, and Profitable Projects by Jason C. McCarty – McCarty shares great advice for managing teams and projects with an eye for the construction industry.
6. Construction Contracting: A Practical Guide to Company Management by S. Keoki Sears & Richard H. Clough – Called a classic and a great reference book.
7. A Builder’s Guide to Accounting by Michael Thomsett – This one helps to build a solid understanding of accounting – good even if you’re using accounting software.
8. The Fundamentals of Building Construction by Edward Allen and Joseph Iano – Called “a modern classic” and “a must for anyone in the industry,” this is another great reference. Our own Ken Y. agrees, calling it a “great book.”
I’m cheating a little here because these books are focused more on the business side of things.
9. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – Focused on the science behind influence and ideas, and infused with great antidotes that make this one an easy read, this one will quite literally “stick” with you. You’ll learn how to make your conversations with customers and even your team more impactful. Call it the glue that holds the rest of this together.
10. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath – Rath’s big idea is that we like to “improve” our weaknesses instead of playing to our strengths in the work world. But what happens when we play to our unique talents? Magic. Our entire marketing team went through this one together discovering our individual gifts and not only did it create great conversations, but it also helped us work better together. Highly recommended, and I promise that the test isn’t painful.
What do you think? Do you have favorite that we missed?