Recommended Construction Industry Books. Reading For Construction Professionals

What are the best construction industry books to read?

Every month on this page you will find a book that we feel is recommended reading for either Site Engineers, Site Surveyors or any professional within the construction industry.  It may well be pertinent to what is happening within the construction industry at the time of writing. Or it may relate to knowledge that is required. Or light hearted read for those more stressful times.

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Recommended Books

Clicking on the images below will take you to the Amazon website. Please scroll down for more information on these books.

July 2020

Everyone makes mistakes. And it is so easy to do when under pressure to get a job done. This months recommended book is about how to avoid silly mistakes in mathematics. Every engineer will use maths day in day out. This months book is Avoid Silly Mistakes in Mathematics by Rajesh Sarswat.

June 2020

This month’s recommended construction book is one I had when I was at studying Civil Engineering at University. It is still relevant for Civil Engineering students now. The book is Engineering Mathematics by K. A. Stroud.

Engineering Mathematics has recently been updated and is now in its 8th edition. The one I had was the 3rd edition, back in the early 1990’s. It was back then the only book that was needed to cover the mathematical part of the Civil Engineering Degree course. And it is still the case now. If you are starting a Civil Engineering course, or currently doing one, then Engineering Mathematics by K. A. Stroud is the book you need.

May 2020

There is no getting away from the fact that the current pandemic and the lockdowns being imposed by most countries is going to take its toll on the economy. When many of the staff that have been furloughed return to work it will be a very different working landscaping that they will return too. Those that are lucky enough to return.

But, these are the best times to start a new business. Starting afresh, without the burdens that companies that have been trying to survive have, is a great position to be in.

This months book of the month is Start Your Own Construction and Contracting Business. This is a step by step guide to building a new construction or contracting business.

One of the most important things to learn is how to price your services. You have to know your value.

April 2020.

This months book is more light hearted read for the days spent in self-isolation. The book is Humble Pi by Matt Parker. It is a look at some of the major maths mistakes throughout the years.

What do other people say about Humble Pi?

A fascinating and deeply surprising journey into the hilarious and sometimes tragic realms of mathematical error. Brilliant


‘If you have waltzed through life without ever considering the daily consequences of fixed-length binary numbers, dividing by zero or rounding errors, strap in and prepare to be both horrified and fascinated


Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

“Shows off maths at its most playful and multifarious


Some sort of unholy fusion of prankster, wizard and brilliant nerd – maths is rarely this clever, funny or ever so slightly naughty


March 2020.

GPS for Land Surveyors.

Most Surveyors and Engineers on sites these days will know about GPS surveying equipment. GPS survey equipment is becoming more and more common on sites these days. And with this, all surveyors and engineers should have a good base knowledge about GPS survey equipment, its used and also its limitations.

This months book, GPS for Land Surveyors by Jan Van Sickle, covers this topic in a clear and straightforward way that is very useful way. With minimal use of mathematical explanations and maximizing the use of illustrations and examples, GPS for Land Surveyors guides you through the latest equipment, best practices and techniques for getting the best from GPS Survey Equipment.

February 2020.

With the impending IR35 Rules being implemented in April 2020, the book of the month is once again on IR35. This will be a big change for the construction industry and the freelancers within it. This months book is IR35 Defence Strategies: From Contractor to Commissioners by David Smith.

If you are a freelancer within the construction industry worried about IR35 then this, and the previous books recommended, is well worth a read. There still seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the implementation of the IR35 Rules and I hear a lot of end clients are taking a default position of scoping all freelancers within IR35.

You as a freelance engineer are going to be affected by the upcoming implementation of the IR35 rules then you need to have good information to hand to defend your case. Start preparing now.

January 2020.

With the impending IR35 Rules being implemented to the private sector in April 2020, this months recommended read has to be on this subject. We have already recommended the book Beat IR35 previously, so this month we are looking at the book Freedom to Freelance by Philip Ross.

In this book, Philip Ross tells the story of the IR35 legislation from the very beginning back in 1999.

December 2019.

This months recommended book is the Quantity Surveyors Pocket Book. This popular book is now in its 3rd edition and has been updated in line with NRM1, NRM2 and NRM3.

The book focuses on data, techniques and skills required in successfully carrying out the quantity surveyor role.

November 2019.

With the impending expansion of the IR35 rules to the private sector this months recommended read is the book Beat IR35: The Ultimate guide to IR35 for Contractors, Agencies and Clients by Dave Chaplin.

This book will help make sure that you have the knowledge at your fingertips to navigate the minefield that will be unleashed in April 2020 with the expansion of the IR35 Rules to the private sector.

If you want to find out how I believe you should be positioning yourself for the IR35 Rules in April 2020 then have a look at this article on the IR35 Rules and the Freelance Engineer.

August 2019.

This months recommended read is a book that has just been released. It is Building Your Future by Greg Wilkes.

This book is aimed at business owners in the construction and service industries who want to grow their business and increase their profitability.

Greg Wilkes shares his knowledge gained during over 20 years running successful construction companies and sharing the many lessons he has learned the hard way.

If you have a prime reading membership then you can read this book for free.

July 2019.

This months recommended read is from the Institute of Civil Engineers and is part of their Design and Practice Guides within the field of Civil Engineering.

This book, produced in conjunction with the Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors, highlights the importance of setting out and surveying throughout the construction phase of a civil engineering project. It highlights the fact that the role of the site engineer is crucial in the successful delivery of often complex tasks where the risks of getting it wrong are massively more costly to the perceived cost of the role of the site engineer.

Also covered is the use of GPS surveying equipment and its increasing use on construction sites and the many pitfalls that site engineers find when using GPS Equipment for setting out.

Check out the availability and price on Amazon using this link.

June 2019.

Site Engineers Manual by David K. Doran

The Site Engineers Manual is a valuable book based on practical site engineering experience that leads to good working practices. It is very useful as an aide-memoire for Site Engineers.

This book is also very handy for students that are about to graduate a civil engineering course and are about to embark on their first role on a construction site.

Check out the current prices for this book on amazon.

May 2019.

The Oxford Dictionary of Construction, Surveying and Civil Engineering.

This book is useful for all people within the construction and surveying industries.  If you ever get bamboozled with terms, then this book will help you.  In construction, ABS does not stand for Anti-Lock Braking System, ABS means Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which is commonly used in lavatory seats!!!

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Aimed primarily at the UK market, this book does also reference US terms as well.  It also contains commonly used conventions with formula and symbols to help any site engineer or surveyor.