Look It Up: Construction Books to Add to your Office

Look It Up: Construction Books to Add to your Office

Seasoned construction professionals like to think there’s little they haven’t seen over the course of a long career. However, the truth is that one of the things that make a career in construction so much fun is that you have the opportunity to learn something new almost every day. There always seems to be a new soil condition or structural problem to solve and if you’re involved in remodeling or renovation work, overcoming daily challenges is just part of the job description – especially when you don’t know what you’re getting into until the sheetrock or plaster comes off the wall.

The good thing is that regardless of what situation you happen to run into, there’s a pretty good chance that it has been encountered before and there’s a resource that can help you get started in the right direction to solving the problem. Regardless of whether you’re a general contractor, a home builder, a sub-contractor, or even a construction consultant, it can be a good idea to build up a construction reference library over your career and keep in handy in your office or construction trailer.

While there are many books that might be helpful for your particular specialization or trade, the following three should be able to assist just about anyone in the construction industry:

  • Construction Blue Book – this publication is updated on a regular basis and lists construction companies, vendors, and industry professionals in various regions of the country. If you need a civil engineer in Baltimore, a drywall contractor in Dallas, or a landscaper in Seattle, the Construction Blue Book can provide a list in each category.
  • R.S. Means Guidebooks – whether you work on new construction, do remodeling, or a little of both, there’s an R.S. Means cost data book that can help you price residential and commercial projects. The guidebooks cover all phases of construction and are also helpful in letting you know exactly what’s involved in an unfamiliar job.
  • Code Books – there are several building codes in use across the country, but whichever is used by the localities where you do most of your work should be on a shelf in your office. Code questions come up constantly on a construction site and what better reference material than being able to go directly to the horse’s mouth?

The Internet is great, but it never hurts to have your own little construction reference library.

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