Meet the People Behind Build Livable

Build Livable is a project of Lee and Sachi LeFever. We are professional educators who are passionate about home design and construction.
We created Build Livable because we believe that homeowners desperately need (and deserve) better ways to prepare for construction.
Lee is your host and content creator. He's the author of The Art of Explanation and is known around the world for his explainer videos and expertise in clear communication. More about Lee.
Sachi prefers to stay behind the scenes. She is our business manager and editor. We are a team in everything we do.
You can find Lee and Sachi on Instagram:



Decades of Building Experience

Sachi grew up visiting open houses with her mother, a realtor in Hawaii. Starting then, she became passionate about home design and developed her knowledge of home construction.

We met in 2000 and in the same year, I bought my first home in the Central District of Seattle. Soon after, Sachi bought a home nearby and we became developers. Over the next 20 years, we managed up to four homes and worked with multiple construction teams on major renovations.

In 2021 we moved into a custom home on Orcas Island, WA. This home was the inspiration for Build Livable. We learned over multiple projects that homeowners need and deserve better educational resources. So we created what we wish we had from the beginning.

Hillside House Renovation

In 2008, we took on our first complete renovation, "down to the studs", and worked with an architect and builder to complete it. This learning experience laid a solid foundation for future projects.

Hilltop House Renovation

In 2010, we renovated our primary home. The project completely rebuilt our main story as well as adding a second story to our 1927 craftsman.

We honed our skills and sense of livability and how to work productively with our builder and architect. It was complicated and stressful, and we loved the process and especially the outcome.

photos of houses before and after

Building Flattop

The two major renovations prepared us to take on the biggest project of our lives: a custom home, built from scratch.

We moved from Seattle to Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington State, in 2019. Soon after, construction began on our forever home, a house we call Flattop. The house build was completed in 20 months.

This project started on a solid footing of experience. We took our time designing it to reflect our lifestyle and worked with the crew to build it for how we expected to live in it. It is a wonderfully livable house for us.

If you want to know more, I've collected two years of blog posts about the construction of Flattop.

Our story would not be complete without our dogs, Maybe and Piper. They are Bernedoodles who are loving being island dogs.