Single Mom of 4 Built a House Using Only YouTube Tutorials

When escaping from an abusive relationship, Cara Brookins and her 4 kids did not have a roof over their heads, so they decided to build one themselves.


When push comes to shove, there are people who dig in their heels and refuse to budge. This is what Cara Brookins did when she decided to leave a troubled relationship, with 4 kids in tow. Nowhere to live, and a troubled past not so left behind, they bought a patch of land and started to build a house watching YouTube Tutorials. 

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This is a story of their grit and success.

Cara Brookins with her kids.

It wasn't easy.

They didn't have any money to begin with so Brookins took a loan, bought the land and the materials and started building. 

But back in 2008 when they started, YouTube was very basic and did not have a lot of tutorials detailing how to build a house DIY-style. They also didn't have a smartphone. So what did the family do? They would watch tutorials all night at home and then go at the site in the morning and started building based on what they could remember.

They guys at the Home Depot also helped with the tips and slowly and steadily the project continued.


They did everything themselves. From mixing....

...to building blocks...

and paneling.

Kids helped equally.

Laying tiles.

The structure was finally complete.

And it all paid off!

Incredibly, without having any prior experience or professional knowledge, they had created a building that managed to pass every city building code inspection. And after nine months of gruelling hard work, the house was fully constructed.

With a beautiful kitchen.

A stocked library...

...two garages, five bedrooms and also a two-storey tree house in the backyard!

A half a million dollar house!

Upon last estimation, the property was valued at half a million dollars. Not bad, right?

Inkwell Manor

With the homeowners.

And this is not all.

Cara Brookins didn't stop at that. She is now a motivational speaker and has talked at Ted Talks. She is also a writer and has written fiction. She has also written about her home-building experience in her brutally honest book, "Rise: How a House Built a Family". In the book she talks openly about each family member's struggle to leave their trauma behind, heal and find themselves again.

In her words, "Find your big thing... and whatever healing trip you take, take your family with you.'


Cara Brookins and her 4 kids now, inside their home they built.


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