Meet the People Behind Build Livable


Build Livable is a project of Lee and Sachi LeFever, who have worked together on home construction projects since 2008 (more below).

Lee is your host and content creator. Sachi, who prefers to stay behind the scenes, is the editor. We are a team in everything we do.

We've run Common Craft, a producer of educational videos and media, since 2007.

Lee has published two books:

And he publishes a free newsletter called Ready for Rain, which is about living on an island off the coast of Washington State.

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, who taught her what makes houses desirable.

We met in 2000 and in the same year, I bought my first home in the Central District of Seattle. A year later, Sachi bought a home nearby and we became landlords. Over time, we managed up to four homes and consistently maintained them, and made small renovations.

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.