Charles (Charlie) Bellefontaine found out the hard way the value of a good home inspection. In 1991, Bellefontaine and his wife signed a contract to buy a three-bedroom, one-bath Georgian-style house in Elmhurst, Illinois. A framing carpenter, he figured he had enough experience to size up the property for potential shortcomings. So to save money, Bellefontaine skipped hiring an inspector and handled the task himself. He declared the house fit, and the couple completed the purchase.
Within a year, Bellefontaine found out how wrong he was: A leaky bathtub on the second floor damaged the kitchen ceiling below, an improperly sized circuit breaker posed a fire hazard, and the roof needed to be replaced. Buying the home had stretched the couple’s finances so perilously that they had to borrow money from family to pay for the repairs.
“We hadn’t been married that long, and you can imagine how that incident went over with the family,” Bellefontaine says. “I may have known something about construction, but I did not know how to thoroughly inspect the property.” In 1993 Charlie decided that the home inspection profession was a rewarding career and learned all that was available to learn (he still learns every day about different types of construction, systems, and components). He understood quickly that the home inspector is the most important part of the real estate transaction. He took on leadership roles in the profession and became well respected amongst his peers. Licensing started in Illinois in 2002 and Charlie received the 31st license issued in the State of Illinois.
His leadership roles include(d):
- Illinois licensed home inspector 2002.
- Member of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) since 1996.
- President Illinois Society of Professional Home Inspectors 1999 to 2001.
- Director of American Society of Home Inspectors 2003 to 2006.
- Vice President of American Society of Home Inspectors 2006 to 2007.
- Home Inspector Adjunct Instructor at a dozen community colleges in Illinois.
- Certified Master Inspector from the Certified Master Inspector Board.
- Training Partner for the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Charlie is currently the principal of Chicagoland Home Inspectors, Inc. which is a multi inspector company that prides themselves on customer service and being the most accurate, thorough, and professional home inspection company in the Chicagoland area. They have a perfect 5 star rating on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. As president of the Illinois Association of Home Inspectors, Charlie is responsible for communicating with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) regarding home inspection law in the State of Illinois.
The most important item that Charlie has learned about being a self-employed person and a professional leader is the value of consistently exceeding customer expectations. This attitude has helped him become successful in both personal and business life. This attitude, brought to the people who need our help, has been rewarded with numerous positive comments and customer satisfaction. In short, he puts tremendous value in being nice and treating all humans with respect.