Top 50 Resources for Contractors & Builders

No matter where you live in the US or Canada, it’s always building season.

Which means that building pros don’t have the time to search the web for construction news, building trends, building code updates, and inspiration. Which is why we did the work for you.

We’ve compiled 50 of the best online resources for contractors and buildings, covering everything from green building news to sustainable design to metal building. We also list the best podcasts for general contractors, so you can soak in the news while you’re on the move.

Without further ado, here are 50 of the best influencers, podcasts, online links and resources for contractors, builders, stucco professionals and more.

Start Here: Top Online Resources for High-Performance Building Pros

This are the go-to resources for everything construction related. The following sites have videos and informative articles that cover a wide range of topics relevant to contractors.

  1. Matt Risinger. This Austin-based builder explores the principles of building science, discusses best practices in building and remodeling and features product reviews all on his amazing YouTube Channel, Build with Matt Risinger.
  2. Construction Instruction. We discovered this gem at the IBS Trade Show in Orlando… and all we can say is, how did we ever live without it? P.S. It’s not just a YouTube Channel, it’s also an app.
  3. Corbett Lunsford. For home performance professional and homeowners alike. We especially love the awesome and weird things Corbett and his wife, Grace, share from their field work as building forensics experts. And, as if that weren’t enough, tune into the Building Performance Podcast for more hands-on insight from Corbett.
  4. The High-Performance Building Exchange. Information and insights from building industry experts. Simply amazing content.
  5. Journal of Light Construction. An awesome compilation of videos from the industries top pros. Plus, we can’t live without their weekly newsletter, delivered on Sundays.

Stucco Specific Resources

Do you make your living from stucco and plaster? The following stucco specific resources will keep you up-to-date.

  1. Giordano Plastering. If plastering and stucco is your game, don’t miss Kirk and Jason Giordano’s 700+ video treasure chest covering everything you could ever want to know about plastering.
  2. The Stucco Guy (a.k.a. Ryan) made it his mission to educate people about every aspect of stucco, including materials, the different systems, stucco application techniques, and everything in between. It is the single most comprehensive website on the subject of stucco that we’ve found.
  3. The American Society of Home Inspectors is is a great resource for virtually all builders and contractors, but we bookmarked this particular stucco post, written by ASHI Past President David Tamny, for its unique perspective.
  4. Stucco Manufacturers Association. If stucco is your trade, this is a must-belong membership site. Much of the information is membership-protected, but this FAQ is a great resource for builders needing info on the fly.
  5. Sometimes the best place to get answers is from other contractors. ContractorTalk is a free online forum for contractors from all fields, including stucco. Can’t find an answer to your question? Post a question and you’re sure to get an answer from a pro.

Construction Trends

Keeping up with construction trends is a full-time job in itself. But this site cover construction trends so thoroughly that you will never have to go searching the web again.

  1. Construction Dive. The site is a treasure chest of valuable info, but the CD Daily Newsletter is one of our favorite morning reads. It delivers a bird’s eye view of the construction industry in 60 seconds or less.
  2. The Construction Specifier is the official magazine of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI),  the only peer-reviewed U.S. publication targeted to those construction profs who select, recommend and influence buying decisions.
  3. Buildings of the Future: It’s Time to Rethink the Bottom Line” addresses the evolution of the construction industry, and how ROI is, or will be, calculated. FYI:  We’re including this link for the downloadable white paper on the subject at the end of the blog. You are going to have to give up your email address to read it, but it’s worth it.
  4. How do we in the construction industry balance the challenges of achieving building performance while balancing other variables including budget, project milestones, and an extensive project team?  The Living Building Challenge at Georgia Tech is working to answer that. A must read.
  5. It takes great teams to build great projects. That’s the impetus behind Building Design + Construction Network and it’s the only resource we’ve found that unified the architect, engineer, contractor audience with the owner/developer. Great content.

Building Codes & Practices

Don’t get caught violating building codes or failing to know best practices because you’re out of the loop. Check out these building code resources so you don’t get left following out-of-date practices.

  1. Building Science Podcast.  70 episodes and counting, and we can’t get it enough. Presented by Positive Energy, an engineering firm in Austin, the hosts are at the forefront of building technology, but also have a love of conservation and keeping things simple.
  2. Avoiding Wet Walls.  JLC’s Sunday Update is one of our favorite email newsletters. But it’s this article that ever contractor shoud bookmark.  It talks about how important CI has become in the fight against condensation and water penetration, so much so that it’s now part of the energy codes in specific climate zones.
  3.  The American Society of Home Inspectors’s (ASHI) Standards of Practice—covering all of a home’s major systems—are now part of many pieces of state legislation and are recognized by consumers as the authoritative standard for professional home inspection.
  4. Legal Ease. Ever wonder what a lawyer would think about your building project? Quality Built knows. The lessons learned from analyzing more than 2,000 litigation cases and investigations have formed the basis of the site’s ever-growing knowledge database – which is used to evaluate builder quality and minimize construction defects.
  5. Bookmark this: You can find the current status of energy code adoption for each state here, with detailed information on each state’s status.
  6. And this: Code  Conceived and produced by expert staff with decades of code knowledge and experience, here’s a “clearinghouse” for all things code-related.
  7. And this:  BCDNetwork. Another great resource on current energy codes, along with trends, proposed changes and case studies.
  8. The Institute for Market Transformation did a two-part series on “What To Expect from the 2015 IECC” here and here. This organization’s mission is “promoting energy efficiency in buildings” and consistently publishes from this standpoint.
  9. The National Association of Home Builders has also compiled a list of what they consider to be “Critical 2015 Code Change Proposals” and the outcome of each proposal.
  10. With a comprehensive circulation of 110,000 new-home builders and their subcontractors, provides balanced, analytical coverage of the economy, housing policy, building codes, design, construction, new products, sales and marketing, technology, and business management.

Best Online Resources for Building Professionals | via ECHOtape

Resilient & Sustainable Design

  1. Curious about resilient design? Start here: The Resilient Design Institute. It’s ground zero for practical solutions that can be employed by communities, businesses, and individuals to adapt and thrive amid the accelerating social, ecological, and climatological change being experienced today.
  2. We talk a lot about building resilience on the blog, a subject that’s obviously moved to the forefront of daily conversation. This article from Building Design and Construction talks about relocation efforts after major disasters, where this has already happened and the hurdles that Homeowners have to deal with.
  3. US Climate Resilience Toolkit. This is probably one of the best “one-stop shop” resources for resilient design and supporting documentation for issues related to climate change. A great resource for architects and builders to use and share with clients and developers.
  4. National Institute of Building Sciences has a whole section of their website dedicated to Building Resilience Resources.
  5. Although specifically targeted at addressing typhoons and earthquakes, the information within The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific’s Resilient Construction and Design Guide can easily be applied for buildings on the east coast, which are prone to some seismic and hurricane hazards.
  6. The World Bank’s Sustainable Cities blog presents a fascinating look at resiliency on a global scale. Start here.
  7. Whole Building Design. This free resource is a gateway to up-to-date information on integrated ‘whole building’high-performance design techniques and technologies.

Green Building

white concrete building near a swimming pool

  1. Does Green Building Pay?  Yes. At least according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) found that new homes built to meet green building standards like LEED), are worth an average of $25,000 more in resale value than conventional homes.
  2. Thermal Insulation Growth. Last year, the Building Thermal Insulation Market was valued over $25 billion, and it’s slated to surpass $34.9 billion by 2024. The article and report provide great insight on what to expect on thermal building insulation in the next several years when it comes to the different types of insulations. To get a full report, simply request a sample here.
  3. It’s no secret that zero energy ready homes are the future of building. But this article by Green Building Advisor dives deep into a San Joaquin County Habitat for Humanity project that cost less to build — not to mention less to own — than any of their previous standard energy-efficient Habitat homes.
  4. Go For Solar. Last year, South Miami passed a building code that required a solar panel on new residential construction. This is the first solar requirement of it’s kind outside of California and one that we are paying close attention to.
  5. Green Building Continues to Rise. To date, almost 130,000 homes have earned NGBS Green certification and almost 97,000 homes have been registered to earn NGBS Green certification. Home Innovation Research Labs is paying close attention.
  6. Green Building Advisor.  A single resource where design and construction professionals and knowledgeable homeowners can get the full complement of the information — proven construction details, in-depth how-to advice, a green-products database, green business strategies, design tools, and alternate paths to code compliance together in one place.
  7. EcoBuildingPulse, powered by EcoHome and Eco-Structure, provides the news, products, and best practices for green-building professionals focused on best practices and innovative new developments from the industry’s thought leaders.

Metal Building

  1. Metal Construction News is your one-stop shop for all things metal building news, products and strategies driving this sector.
  2. Metal Building Insulation.  This is a great technical overview of continuous Insulation for the Metal Building industry. Emphasis on technical.
  3. Metal Building Insulation Trends. Not one, but two great articles by Ceco Building Systems on metal building insulation and energy codes. Part 1 dives into energy codes. Part 2 examines code-compliant, cost-effective metal building design.
  4. Metal Walls. Metal Roofing. Metal Buildings. Sustainability. won’t win any web design awards, but it’s crammed full of up-to-date information on all things metal building.
  5. Every year, Metal Construction News asks industry experts to present their ideas on where the industry will go in the next few years. Here’s the 2018 State of the Industry Report.

Listen Up! Best Podcasts for Contractors

    1. Building Performance Podcast.  Hosted by Corbett Lunsford of the Building Performance Workshop, this podcast is for contractors, from contractors. The Building Performance Podcast is an interview series that draws on the experience and ideas of high-performance building pros around the world. Think engineers, policymakers, contractors, diagnosticians, architects, and building managers, among others.
    2. ConTechCrew. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to this show yet, check it out! Rob McKinney (@conappguru), James Benham (@JamesMBenham), Josh Bone, and Jeff Sample discuss the latest construction news and are typically joined by a heavy hitter in the construction tech world.
    3. Constructrr.  Construction manager and consultant Brittanie Campbell-Turner (@Brittanie_ct) launched this podcast last year to examine the evolving nature of construction. She often highlights individuals who are finding new ways to make the industry more efficient and collaborative.
    4. Protractor Podcast. Do you ever wish you could talk to other successful contractors who are in the trenches just like you? Or even just listen to them as they share the stories, failures, and secrets they have learned over the years? Well… that’s the Protractor Podcast in a nutshell, delivering the latest Inspiration, Motivation, and Education to grow your business with purpose.
    5. Contracting Coachcast. The Contracting Coachcast is a daily 15-minute podcast hosted by Tony Booth (@anthonybooth). With over 170 episodes under its belt, this podcast has covered a large array of topics, including budgets, recruiting, leadership, and more. This is an especially helpful resource for construction startups and regional construction business owners.