Allison and Neill Ainslie, the brother-sister contracting team of Ainslie-Davis Construction. He's never met a stranger. She waits to be introduced. He's creative. She's good with numbers.

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He’s never met a stranger. She waits to be introduced.

He’s creative. She’s good with numbers.

He’s a back-slapper. She’s a hand-shaker.

He wears a T-shirt and jeans. She wears a suit and heels.

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He’s a risk-taker. She’s a worrier.

He’s single. She’s got a husband, two kids.

This explains the houses: His is a streamlined mustard-colored contemporary box. Hers, right next door in Madison Valley, is a solid, sandy-brown Craftsman.

Perhaps the houses explain them: Allison and Neill Ainslie, the brother-sister contracting team of Ainslie-Davis Construction.

Allison, 43, and Neill, 45, build houses for a living. Like their dad. And their uncle. And their granddad. If you’re an Ainslie, it’s what you do. If you live in the area, you might live in an Ainslie-built house. And when you go over to an Ainslie house it’s what you talk about.

Family. Whaddyagonnado?

“I was in the jewelry industry for a while,” Allison says. “Then I was in the teaching program at the UW. But I just had to switch to construction management because every family gathering all we ever talked about was real estate and houses. And we’re very family-oriented.”

“I don’t go over to Allison’s to borrow a cup of sugar,” Neill says. “I go over and get the entree!” (He speaks in exclamation points and fists to the table. A lot of what he says makes his sister laugh.)

When they were kids, Allison and her big brother moved from house to house as their dad finished them. In Montlake, Madison Park, Leschi. They’re local kids. And Neill’s got the itch again. He’s bought another new lot, still close to Allison. This one’s bigger. He sees an even cooler contemporary there. Can’t wait to get his hands on another gravity-defying cantilever, install doors that swing 1/16th of an inch off the floor.

So, did brother and sister always get along like this? Well enough to own a company together, build million-dollar homes together, live next door to each other?

“We grew up on job sites together,” she says.

“We picked up nails for a penny a nail,” he says, bragging. “And you know how all the kids watched the big tractors move earth? I got to sit up there with the driver!”

They thought it was cool then.

They think it’s cool now.