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This single mom built her entire house by watching YouTube tutorials

There are many stories of battered women who struggle for years to get out of their broken and abusive relationships. Today we have an inspiring story of one mother who broke free of her unhealthy marriage with her four children. Together they built a house from scratch, an achievement not many can say they’ve accomplished. The result was a roof over their heads, and a chance to mend the damage caused by their past. All with the help of some YouTube tutorials.


A lifesaving YouTube tutorial

Cara Brookins a mother of four, found herself stuck in a marriage that was abusive. From Arkansas, Cara managed to escape the situation, bringing her children along with her. She managed to save their broken family by building a home from scratch. her remarkable story has brought inspiration across the globe.


How did she do it? Well, she sure did not have the funds to buy a house that could accommodate all four of her children and herself. Neither could she pay someone to build it for her. So, Cara sat down and watched YouTube tutorial after YouTube tutorial. They were construction videos because she intended on building the house herself, with the help of her dedicated kids.

In 2007, Cara was driving down the road and she saw the ruins of a house that was destroyed in a tornado. This got her thinking about building her own house. she was curious to know if she was able to do it alone.

Read: This Family Of 4 Built A Tiny Home Village – One Home For Each Family Member


A keen builder

Cara had never done any construction work before she built her dream home. However, she mentions on her website that she has always liked creating things. When her children arrived, and various other life events took place, that hobby took a side saddle. “After I grew up and had four kids of my own, I should have built big things but I was in several situations that made me feel smaller than ever, like domestic violence and being stalked by a man with mental illness, so my goals and my future stayed small too.


Her first move was taking out a small loan. Next, she bought an acre of land in Bryant, Arkansas. Then, she sat down to watch hundreds of YouTube tutorials on constructing a house. “YouTube in 2008 was unorganized,” she said. “They were mostly amateur videos.” This was a time before smartphones made everything easy. they would have to research the night before, then try remember the instructions while building. “There was a lot of ‘Do you remember how to…?’ the next day.”


A dream home

The first phase of building was constructing the house’s foundation. This, Cara, described as the hardest part of the build. “We were so weak then, we were carrying around these blocks and slugging through mud. [additionally] We didn’t have proper work boots so we put plastic bags on our feet with old tennis shoes. We were completely unprepared.”

The family persevered through it all, and in the end they gained more than just a home. “We gained muscle, we gained confidence, we learned how to laugh, and we learned how to communicate.” When they finally got into the hang of things, they understood each other’s needs by a simple grunt. “Someone could hold their hands up and basically grunt and get the tool they wanted,” said Cara fondly. The YouTube tutorials were paying off.

Read: Single mom took the risk, built a tiny home, and now lives on only $75 per month


The results of watching YouTube tutorials

By the end of the construction, there stood a solid 3,500 square-foot home. It had five bedrooms and a carport big enough for three cars. To top it all off, there is a two-story tree house in the garden. The only help they had was from a fireman whom they paid $25,00 an hour.

Since then, Cara has written a book about her family’s inspiring story. “Rise” was published in January 2017. Cara hopes that her memoir will help others who are struggling with their abusive relationships, or any other situation they feel trapped in. Additionally, Cara is now a popular keynote speaker. Her website reads: “Cara is an in-demand keynote speaker for brands and organizations around the globe.”


Keep Reaidng: A Tiny Cabin Is Built in Three Weeks For Only $10.5K



  1. Single Mom Builds an Entire House by Watching YouTube Tutorials.Parents. Mellissa Willets. March 4, 2020
  2. Single mom builds 3,500-square-foot home by watching YouTube tutorials.Today. Julie Pennel. Januay 18, 2017
  3. This single mum left her abusive husband and built a new house using YouTube tutorials.” Metro. 16 January 16, 2017.