Best Roofing Reference Books • Top Roofing Books (2024)

By Roof Online Staff • Last updated February 10, 2023

If you spend enough time doing something, and you learn how to do it well, you can recognize when someone else is good at it, too. These books were written by people who really know what they’re talking about. We keep them in our roofing reference library. We rely on them, refer to them, and recommend them.

List of the Best Roofing Reference Books:

1. Architectural Graphic Standards (Ramsey/Sleeper Architectural Graphic Standards Series) 12th Edition – American Institute of Architects (Author), Dennis J. Hall (Editor)

2. Architectural Sheet Metal Manual 7th Edition – SMACNA

3. A Roof Cutter’s Secrets (to Framing the Custom Home) 3rd Edition by William Holladay.

One of the best books out there on roof framing. Requires a high level of comfort with math. Not particularly geared toward beginners, but the book is incredibly useful and thorough.

4. Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2021 International Building Code Francis D. K. Ching and Steven R. Winkel

5. Building Construction Illustrated 6th Edition by Francis D. K. Ching

6. Construction Waterproofing Handbook 2nd Edition by Michael T. Kubal

7. Dictionary of Architecture and Construction 4th Edition by Cyril M. Harris

8. Green Roof Systems: A Guide to the Planning, Design, and Construction of Landscapes over Structure by Susan Weiler and Katrin Scholz-Barth

9. Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants (McGraw-Hill Handbooks) 3rd Edition by Edward M. Petrie

10. HVAC Duct Construction Standards – Metal and Flexible 4th Edition – SMACNA

11. Manual for Inspection and Maintenance of Built-Up and Polymer-modified Bitumen Roof Systems: A Guide for Building Owners – National Roofing Contractors Association

12. Manual for Inspection and Maintenance of Spray Polyurethane Foam-based Roof Systems: A Guide For Building Owners – National Roofing Contractors Association

13. Manual of Below-Grade Waterproofing 2nd Edition by Justin Henshell

14. Manual of Low-Slope Roof Systems 4th Edition by C.W. Griffin and Richard Fricklas

Every property manager, building owner, roofing contractor, and roof inspector involved with “flat” roofs should have a copy of this book. It is a superb introduction to the various types of low-slope roofing that are in use today, as well as being a constantly useful reference, with tables, charts, and information about things from roof insulation to wind issues to roof inspections.

15. For Pros / By Pros: Measuring, Marking & Layout: A Builder’s Guide by John Carroll

16. Metal Building Systems, Third Edition: Design and Specifications by Alexander Newman

17. NRCA Guidelines for Asphalt Shingle Roof Systems – National Roofing Contractors Association

18. NRCA’s Pocket Guide to Safety – National Roofing Contractors Association

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19. NRCA Roofing Manual—2019 Boxed Set – National Roofing Contractors Association

20. NRCA Safety Manual Third Edition – National Roofing Contractors Association

21. Principles of Home Inspection: Roofing by Carson Dunlop and Associates

22. Principles of Home Inspection: Systems and Standards 3rd Edition by Carson Dunlop and Associates

23. Problems in Roofing Design by B. Harrison McCampbell

24. Roofing Design and Practice by Stephen L. Patterson and Dr. Madan Mehta

25. Roofing Failures by Carl G. Cash

26. Roofing with Asphalt Shingles (For Pros By Pros) by Mike Guertin

27. Science and Technology of Traditional and Modern Roofing Systems by Heshmat O. Laaly

OK, this one came out in the early 90’s, but for a long time it was the be-all and end-all of roofing reference books. These books are huge, and even though some of the information is outdated now, they are still full of valuable information. Some things don’t really change.

28. Siding, Roofing, and Trim: Completely Revised and Updated (Taunton’s For Pros By Pros) by the Editors of Fine Homebuilding

29. The Slate Roof Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the World’s Finest Roof 3rd Edition by Joseph Jenkins

30. SPRI/NRCA Manual of Roof Inspection, Maintenance and Emergency Repair for Existing Single-ply Roofing Systems – National Roofing Contractors Association

31. Technical Notes on Brick Construction – Brick Institute of America

Note: No real reason to buy this one. All the technical notes are available on the Brick Institute’s website. See here: Technical Notes on Brick Construction.

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32. Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling 3rd Edition by Charlie Wing