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Cara Brookins didn’t know where to turn. A divorced mom of four, she had just left an abusive marriage and had no place to live.
Then, she had a crazy idea. What if she built a house … by herself? Literally with her own two hands? With no construction experience, it seemed impossible, but Brookins soon realized she had a font of information at her fingertips: YouTube!
Yes, YouTube. With a plethora of how-to videos just an internet connection away, Brookins threw herself into action.
She bought a small plot of land (one acre in Little Rock, Arkansas), and drew up a blueprint. Once the city approved it, she started the massive project. She may as well have told her neighbors that she was about to build an ark — indeed, there were many who thought her idea was absolutely absurd.
However, with the support of her family, her children and helpful friends, Brookins actually did the unthinkable: She built a house with nothing other than YouTube videos as a guide. She completed the project in under nine months for about $130,000.
The house is 3,500 square feet, and is two stories with a brick facade. Brookins dubbed the home “Inkwell Manor” because she was an aspiring writer, and she wanted her home to be a place where she could write to her heart’s content.
Here she is in a Facebook photo, posing in front of Inkwell Manor with the four kids who helped her build it:
Brookins went on to write a book about her amazing experience building her own dream home.
The book is called “Rise: How a House Built a Family,” and it details how Brookins escaped an abusive marriage and built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children.
The memoir takes readers through Brookins’ inspiring journey, and shows how she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their five-bedroom house.
This Facebook photo shows the family jumping for joy in front of their home:
Brookins has also penned several other books, including “Little Boy Blu,” “Timeshifters” and “Doris Free.” You can listen to her podcast here. She is also a motivational speaker and she teaches courses on goal-setting.
What an inspiring story!