About Us

About Us

Click here to read the Burlington Free Press Article
Laurie’s Certified Construction is a family owned Vermont building and remodeling company. We provide the finest quality custom work in residential and light commercial building and interior remodeling. We are an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and also belong to the Home Builders Association, NFIB and WBON (Women Business Owners Network).

We completed Essential Maintenance Practice Training and we are RRP Certified (Renovation, Remodeling and Paint).

Laurie’s Certified Construction and her team attend seminars and keep up to date with the latest technology and products. Laurie is personally available to her clients to aid in decisions involving changes and details or any question with their project. Her main goal is to make sure that the end result is of the best quality.

We know that once you become a client of ours, you will come back time after time because it's not just good construction, it's Laurie’s Certified Construction.

Burlington Free Press Article
This article appeared in the Burlington Free Press on August 2, 2004,  Business Section, Page 1

“A one-woman band” Construction company owner proves she has what it takes

By Shawn Turner

Laurie Goldsmith has become accustomed to meeting clients at job sites only to have them peek around her to locate her husband who, they reason, must be the owner of Certified Construction Inc.  They’re not going to find him. Goldsmith is the sole owner of the construction company that installs vinyl siding and builds garages. “I’ve had to prove myself a little more than a man would,” she said.

Goldsmith restarted Certified Construction in June. It is a Burlington company that for years had been a subcontractor under Bruce “Red” Elmore’s construction company, Redi Associates Construction Inc., which did business as Redi-Bilt Construction Inc.  It’s not been an easy road to sole-proprietorship. Goldsmith has survived a dangerous bout with scoliosis; the death of Elmore, her mentor and long-time friend; a failed business partnership; and being a woman in a male-dominated industry.  Despite the obstacles, Goldsmith credited Elmore’s guidance in helping get her to where she is today.

“He was just a jolly, happy guy,” she said. “I couldn’t have learned from a better person. He made me want to do what he did.” The beginning Goldsmith, 44, has not always been in construction. She started out as a medical secretary, but when her ex-husband saw a classified ad in the paper for Redi-Bilt, she decided to join him in applying for work.  Goldsmith said she enjoyed the labor despite the fact that she has two rods in her back from the scoliosis she had as a child. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can lead to heart failure in extreme cases.  “It was hard,” she said. “It was really hard.”

She liked being outdoors and that she could bring her children along when she went to work.  “They know how to put vinyl siding up,” she said, laughing.  Family issues can sometimes hinder women in starting their own businesses, said Linda Ingold, executive director of the Vermont Women’s Business Center.  “The difficult thing is women are dealing with so many things,” she said. “Most of the women who come here already have jobs and family”; and that doesn’t take into account the capital needed to get the business off the ground, Ingold said.  Though the rods in her back made the work more difficult, Goldsmith was not deterred. Attempting the difficult is just part of her nature.  “They told me I’d never have kids,” the mother of two said. “I was stubborn.”

Tragedy – Goldsmith and Elmore had an agreement to go into business together, with the idea that Goldsmith would eventually take over the business. That plan never came to fruition as Elmore, well-known for the television commercials he appeared in, died in 2002 at the age of 72.  She said she briefly thought of abandoning the thought of owning a small business. That notion soon disappeared.  “I can’t see myself working for someone else again,” she said.  She ultimately entered into the partnership with someone else.  “I felt like I was betraying him,” she said of Elmore.  Goldsmith prayed Elmore, with whom she had worked for some 20 years, would understand her decision. That venture failed after about a year and a half, and Goldsmith left the partnership citing a personality conflict.

She then opted to go out on her own once again with Certified Construction.  “Challenges like this make you strong,” she said, “and I’m very strong.”  She said she hasn’t run across any other woman-owned construction businesses in the area, and no customers have changed their minds on hiring her company when finding out it is owned by a woman. Still, there are times when people seem to expect to find a man in charge.

“It’s mostly older Vermonters,” she laughed. “They look around and say, ‘Where’s your husband?'”

Ingold said it is important to have a plan in place before launching a small business. She said some of the women who come to the center for support are “passionate” about what they want to do, but sometimes forget about the administrative duties, such as accounting, payroll and taxes.  “You have to do all the business aspects that are very different from what you want to do on a daily basis,” she said.

Elmore’s influence

Elmore’s influence on Goldsmith’s life is evident from the name of her business. To work as a subcontractor, Goldsmith had to form a company. Elmore suggested Certified Construction, a company he had owned in New York.  The company has secured about a half dozen jobs. Certified Construction uses two subcontracting crews to do the remodeling work.  Though she can no longer do the physical labor, she does just about everything else. “I’m pretty much a one-woman band,” she said.  When the winter comes, Certified Construction might begin doing interior remodeling, she said. “Crews have a really tough time working outside when it’s 30-below,” she said.

When discussing her business, the topic of conversation inevitably comes back to Elmore:

That he co-signed on a house for her after her divorce when she had no credit and a year later transferred it to her name.

That she has decided to keep doing exterior remodeling work because Red always said to stick with what you know.

That he was a father-figure for her.

“There isn’t much in my life I can’t say he hasn’t touched,” she said.

Addendum~As a result of the downturn of the economy in 2008, Certified Construction, Inc., was forced to close it’s doors.  In 2009, Laurie scaled down and created a new and leaner LLC called Laurie’s Certified Construction.