7 Must Read Books for Construction Managers

Staying current at any job is important to remaining confident and alleviating pressure, yet it’s easier said than done. And, for construction managers there’s the question of where to start? Do you brush up on the basics, work on management skills or explore implementing industry trends? No matter where you begin, we have 7 recommendations to get you started. And, because most are offered in digital version (i.e. read on the go), you have no excuse not to stay current.

  1. Construction Management JumpStart: The Best First Step Toward a Career in Construction Management, by Barbara J. Jackson

Construction is a growing industry and this bestseller is a good starting point for you to familiarize yourself with each stage of the construction management process. Think of this as your A-Z guide for all stages of project management from estimating, scheduling, to new technology and safety.

  1. Construction Project Manager’s Pocket Book by Duncan Cartlidge

You’ll want to keep this one, well, in your pocket. Following a realistic order of projects, this guide starts with pre-construction activities and continues to how to execute procedures and projects. The full gamut of information you need is here, including technical expertise, leadership, being environmentally friendly, negotiation and communication.

  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

Not only is today’s business world is built on stress, life in general has gotten more stressful. And construction management is no different. While project managers may be organized, they may not have the mechanisms to deal with the combination of work/life stress. This read presents breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that will clear your mind and increase productivity.

  1. Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, by Edward Allen and Joseph Lano

It’s always good to check back in on basics and this reference takes a deep dive into building materials including code compliance and how they affect the environment. From wood types, to roofing, to concrete and more, this book provides comprehensive information materials and methods.

  1. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This is another book that’s not specifically for construction, but one whose lessons on making choices are valuable across industries. It provides a four-step process to help improve the quality of decisions, which is important in construction where they are often complicated and carry significant impact.

  1. Green Construction: An Introduction to a Changing Industry, by Alison Dykstra

“Green” and “sustainable” are becoming the new normal in the construction industry, yet it’s still daunting to know where to begin. This book backs off the lecture and provides a single reference for definition of terms, benefits, materials, codes, rating systems, etc., to help you be competitive in environmentally friendly construction.

  1. Modern Construction Management, by Frank Harris

This may be a text book, but the overall information on best practices are perfect to get you up to speed with what’s happening in today’s construction industry. Efficiency, sustainability, corporate social responsibility and BIM are all themes in this comprehensive work. Note: make sure to get the seventh edition.