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Mother Of Four Builds House All By Herself Using Just Youtube Tutorials, But There’s More To It Than That
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Other5 years ago

Mother Of Four Builds House All By Herself Using Just Youtube Tutorials, But There’s More To It Than That

Meet Cara Brookins – an Arkansas-based mother of four who did something so extraordinary, it left thousands of people in awe. After abusive relationships, two marriages filled with violence, and being stalked by a man with a mental illness, “my kids and I needed something,” Cara said. “I felt ashamed and I was worried that they had no self-esteem and no confidence.” So, the woman set out for a fresh start for both her and her family. Unfortunately, Cara couldn’t afford a new house but that didn’t stop her. Instead, she decided to build one – on her own with zero experience and zero knowledge.

It all started in 2007 when Cara spotted a tornado hit house with only the foundation left… “It made me think, ‘what if we bought some 2’x4’s and sheetrock and put that together? What would our dream house be? Would we want to build it?,’” Cara said. Her kids (then 2, 11, 15 and 17) were absolutely up for it, as after all the domestic violence, this was a way for them to improve their lives.

So, using a bank loan of $150,000 for materials, lots of Youtube tutorials, and team work – the family did it! They learned how to frame a house, pour a foundation, and before they knew it they had built a 3500 square foot house with five bedrooms, a three-car garage, a huge shop, and a two-story treehouse – and the family was stronger as ever! Cara and her family have been living in the ‘Inkwell Manor’ for the past eight years and she can bravely say her kids are “now fearless”. “They dive into anything. There’s nothing you could suggest to them that they could not do. it’s an incredible thing.”

You can read more about Cara and her family in her new book called ‘Rise’, which will be available to purchase through Amazon on January 24th.

More info: carabrookins.com | Amazon (h/t)

Meet Cara Brookins and her kids Jada, Roman, Drew and Hope

Image credits: Ashley Murphy

Cara has been in abusive relationships, two marriages filled with violence, and was stalked by a man with a mental illness – it affected the whole family

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“My kids and i needed something,” Cara said

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“I felt ashamed and I was worried that they had no self-esteem and no confidence…They had been powerless”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

So the whole family (kids aged 17, 15, 11, and 2 at the time) set out for a fresh start by building their own house, as they couldn’t afford buying one

Image credits: Cara Brookins

The only problem was they had zero knowledge and zero experience – but that didn’t stop them

Image credits: Cara Brookins

Using a bank loan of $150,000 for materials, lots of Youtube tutorials, and team work – the family did it

Image credits: Cara Brookins

While they learned how to frame a house

Image credits: Cara Brookins

How to pour concrete

Image credits: Cara Brookins

How to lay bricks

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And how to work together

Image credits: Cara Brookins

They also learned how to rebuild a broken family

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And before they knew it…

Image credits: Cara Brookins

They had built a 3500 square foot house with five bedrooms, a three-car garage, a huge shop, and a two-story treehouse

Image credits: Cara Brookins

And the family was stronger as ever

Image credits: Cara Brookins

Cara and her family have been living in the ‘Inkwell Manor’ for the past eight years

Image credits: Cara Brookins

 And she can bravely say her kids are “now fearless”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

“They dive into anything. There’s nothing you could suggest to them that they could not do. it’s an incredible thing”

Image credits: Cara Brookins

You can read more about Cara and her family in her new book called ‘Rise’, which will be available to purchase through Amazon on January 24th

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maryhadalittlelamb
Community Member
5 years ago

wow.. this is amazing.. i was still proud with myself fixing up a ikea shelf =x

Sophie G
Community Member
5 years ago

and so are we ;)

Load More Replies...
Chris Helton (chphotovideo)
Community Member
5 years ago

So am I the only one who thinks this is kinda bs? You have to have licensed contractors to build certain things, licenses electricians, etc. They don't give building permits to anyone to just build anything they want.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

Not BS, although I'd be surprised if they did do EVERYTHING themselves. While laws/building codes do vary from state to state, it's not so much that licensed people are required as it is that everything meets code and works. People in building trade businesses require licenses because of laws that govern building trade businesses, not because of building codes. A lot of D.I.Y. stuff could not be done if licensed tradespeople were required to do them. Lots of people act as contractors and build their own house, but sub-contract out the stuff they have no experience doing. Permits are given based on submitting building plans; meeting codes at that stage; making corrections, if needed; and resubmitting plans to meet permit requirements. During construction, as long as everything meets code and passes inspection, you're fine. Who and how got you there doesn't matter. Know this from personal experience.

Load More Replies...
Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

I wonder how long it took and how they manage to do during this time (having to work and build something from scratch must be pretty difficult)

Cesi Baca
Community Member
5 years ago

I do love beautiful stories like these, but I just wish sometimes they would explain the real life practical challenges like where did they live while building this house and how did she have the time to devote to this when she had kids to look after. I mean what kind of fincancial shape was mom in to just be able to get a $150,000 loan from the bank. It's great, but most women leaving abusives relationships + with five kids would not be in the financial position to pull this off.

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

welcome on the internet ;)

Load More Replies...
KokoTheKoala
Community Member
5 years ago

*glances over at diy birdhouse* nah i still did good

sayuri
Community Member
5 years ago

First photo is photoshopped.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

At first glance it may appear so because of the contrast between their upper bodies and the background, but after looking over the entire photo... no.

Load More Replies...
Anna Walczak
Community Member
5 years ago

Master degree in DIY :)

Petra Madsen
Community Member
5 years ago

What a mentally Strong family :)

Daria B
Community Member
5 years ago

When they talked about the loan from the bank, I hoped they'd mentioned a sentence about the land owning issues and how they were resolved. Also, I hope (and believe), this family is already well protected to go public. Otherwise, God forbid, the abusive guys could get back to them, led by this info. Wish all the best to this family. Building up a house is a tough job. Just think how lazy we can get when we need to just clean our own room.....

The Laugh Fan
Community Member
5 years ago

What a very brave thing to do and an amazing example to set. Abusive relationships take such a toll on the whole family and can give any children involved the wrong set of expectations from a partner. However, the children here have seen how strong their mother is, how she was able to turn things around and become a person who can stand on her own two feet. People often pick the type of relationships they've seen as a child, as do their children and so on. This breaks the cycle and can only be a positive in all their lives. Fabulous outcome.

Carolyn Boin
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow. Absolutely, just, wow.

Rin Rin
Community Member
5 years ago

Kinda like the idea but... really? Youtube diy house sounds like the most dangerous thing ever to live in.

giovanna
Community Member
5 years ago

Totally agree

Load More Replies...
Playing Solitary
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm confused. She couldn't afford a house, but she could get a $150,000 loan? Wouldn't that have bought a house?

Teleri Nyfain
Community Member
5 years ago

She did something lots of people like her cannot do - get a bank to loan her $150,000....

Jessy Wessy
Community Member
5 years ago

I was thinking the same thing.

Load More Replies...
Kopitiam English
Community Member
5 years ago

What can I say but awesome...when the human mind is put to trust - the impossible becomes possible...the greatest gift GOD has given man/woman...

Sick Boy
Community Member
5 years ago

God also gave abusive tendencies to her partners.

Load More Replies...
Aaron Bateman
Community Member
5 years ago

Headline is a little misleading. It would appear she had at least 2 or 3 children that were capable workers on the project. Still amazing, but sucks that the kids weren't given any credit in the headline.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

Blame Boredpanda.

Load More Replies...
Doug Stringham
Community Member
5 years ago

Very inspiring. And also a reminder to us all that we can do much more than we think.

Chelle Snail
Community Member
5 years ago

I love you, family! You inspire many me included. I believe now I can build a studio to attach to my house xo

Donegalsean
Community Member
5 years ago

Cara is so beautiful!

Boogs Rocks
Community Member
5 years ago

If you can get a loan for $150k why not buy a house?

Starry Night Lover
Community Member
5 years ago

This morning I heard my mom talking about this story this morning. It is now the evening and I went on board panda and saw this. I'm really happy for the family though. This is so cool!

Lori Creech Loree
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspiring

Amanda Cariker
Community Member
5 years ago

Amazing family!!! Absolutely awesome!!

Eligijus Starinskas
Community Member
5 years ago

Amazing

NAEEMA ABDULLAH
Community Member
5 years ago

I can't believe it

Ella Shanie
Community Member
5 years ago

Did they purchase the land? Was it given to them? Does anyone know?

Ella Shanie
Community Member
5 years ago

That's amazing, I as wondering didn't she have to buy the land she built on? Did she already have it?

C. Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I call bs. Just common sense. No experience and it came out perfect in 9 months. Yeah right.

C. Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I call bs.

Heather Alisse
Community Member
5 years ago

So inspiring! Thank you <3 maybe I can do this some day...

mig rod
Community Member
5 years ago

too bad she didn't hire an architect. she could have avoided having comical windows, lame roof and meek portico. good job at taking time to personally build a developer cookie-cutter box.

mig rod
Community Member
5 years ago

next time at least hire an architect so you don't end up with comical windows, lame roof and a joke of a portico.

Rob Chyou
Community Member
5 years ago

i love how in the book rise there is no mention of how long it took for the house to be built or any of the rooms there is no details

Anna Salerno
Community Member
5 years ago

Congratulations to this amazing family. what lovely children, I am so happy to hear that this brought them so closer together!

Sofian Nur
Community Member
5 years ago

sorry, but I don't believe this story at all. It's really really hard work to vuild that huge building without knowledge at alll about construction. Yes indeed you can count on youtube for several thing but build a house ? oh come on....

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

There were, and still are, lots of books about construction, electrical, plumbing, etc., that are available to buy, or borrow from a library. I have about a dozen along with as many books on various types of d.i.y. stuff. I used all of mine when building. This was before youtube.

Load More Replies...
Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
5 years ago

This amazing woman SHOWED her children, how to be UNSTOPPABLE!!

Aprille Park
Community Member
5 years ago

Anyone else think the first pic - showing them in front of the house - looks Photoshopped?

Aprille Park
Community Member
5 years ago

The pic of them in front of the house looks photoshopped.

Jonathan Patrick McMullen
Community Member
5 years ago

Great

Cheryl Reyes
Community Member
5 years ago

If you want the rest of the story, she wore a book :)

Cheryl Reyes
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome!

Weenie Dog Lover
Community Member
5 years ago

It goes to show that you can do anything

Maureen Zappellini
Community Member
5 years ago

So inspiring!!

Jahanzaib
Community Member
5 years ago

Honestly blow my mind

Amy Dias
Community Member
5 years ago

This is beautiful. They should make it into a movie.

Jeff Oates
Community Member
5 years ago

Fabulous

Tom Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

Bravo.

Mary Winter
Community Member
5 years ago

i see some pretty dumb things on facebook, but this is so incredibly impressive. take a bow, you are awesome.

Alexandra Calimachi
Community Member
5 years ago

I cannot wait to buy her book. This is amazing!

Iapetos
Community Member
5 years ago

WOW. I am really amazed and stunned. This is awesome. They are awesome!

Denise Stark
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspiration

jacluckycat
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspirational!

Sophie G
Community Member
5 years ago

"then 2" ;-))

MNurahman Abu 'Abdillah
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome, 5-thumb-up for 5 of them

DParks
Community Member
5 years ago

A nice story, but come on. Not only did she somehow qualify for a $150,000 loan, but how about furnishing, hesting, cooling, taxes, and maint on a 3500'sq home with a 3 car garage? Something just doesn't pass the smell test to me.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

The woman is a writer so she wasn't (and isn't) without income. Furnishing a home isn't hard if you already have furnishings in an existing home or apartment. I could go one, but... Maybe your sense of smell is off.

Load More Replies...
Sick Boy
Community Member
5 years ago

The title is baiting clicks. There is a difference between "built a house all by herself" and "built a house with the help of the family".

Colin Bayler
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

What she did was amazing and inspirational, but lets get something straight......this woman CHOSE abusive men and relationships that affected her and her kids negatively. Glad to she she seemed to have turned things around; just don't look at her as a victim since she was a co-conspirator in her own prior miserableness.

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

it's too easy to say she chose to...but it's unfortunately, unconsciously, some choices in life lead to dark people. Still a victim nonetheless!

Load More Replies...
maryhadalittlelamb
Community Member
5 years ago

wow.. this is amazing.. i was still proud with myself fixing up a ikea shelf =x

Sophie G
Community Member
5 years ago

and so are we ;)

Load More Replies...
Chris Helton (chphotovideo)
Community Member
5 years ago

So am I the only one who thinks this is kinda bs? You have to have licensed contractors to build certain things, licenses electricians, etc. They don't give building permits to anyone to just build anything they want.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

Not BS, although I'd be surprised if they did do EVERYTHING themselves. While laws/building codes do vary from state to state, it's not so much that licensed people are required as it is that everything meets code and works. People in building trade businesses require licenses because of laws that govern building trade businesses, not because of building codes. A lot of D.I.Y. stuff could not be done if licensed tradespeople were required to do them. Lots of people act as contractors and build their own house, but sub-contract out the stuff they have no experience doing. Permits are given based on submitting building plans; meeting codes at that stage; making corrections, if needed; and resubmitting plans to meet permit requirements. During construction, as long as everything meets code and passes inspection, you're fine. Who and how got you there doesn't matter. Know this from personal experience.

Load More Replies...
Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

I wonder how long it took and how they manage to do during this time (having to work and build something from scratch must be pretty difficult)

Cesi Baca
Community Member
5 years ago

I do love beautiful stories like these, but I just wish sometimes they would explain the real life practical challenges like where did they live while building this house and how did she have the time to devote to this when she had kids to look after. I mean what kind of fincancial shape was mom in to just be able to get a $150,000 loan from the bank. It's great, but most women leaving abusives relationships + with five kids would not be in the financial position to pull this off.

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

welcome on the internet ;)

Load More Replies...
KokoTheKoala
Community Member
5 years ago

*glances over at diy birdhouse* nah i still did good

sayuri
Community Member
5 years ago

First photo is photoshopped.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

At first glance it may appear so because of the contrast between their upper bodies and the background, but after looking over the entire photo... no.

Load More Replies...
Anna Walczak
Community Member
5 years ago

Master degree in DIY :)

Petra Madsen
Community Member
5 years ago

What a mentally Strong family :)

Daria B
Community Member
5 years ago

When they talked about the loan from the bank, I hoped they'd mentioned a sentence about the land owning issues and how they were resolved. Also, I hope (and believe), this family is already well protected to go public. Otherwise, God forbid, the abusive guys could get back to them, led by this info. Wish all the best to this family. Building up a house is a tough job. Just think how lazy we can get when we need to just clean our own room.....

The Laugh Fan
Community Member
5 years ago

What a very brave thing to do and an amazing example to set. Abusive relationships take such a toll on the whole family and can give any children involved the wrong set of expectations from a partner. However, the children here have seen how strong their mother is, how she was able to turn things around and become a person who can stand on her own two feet. People often pick the type of relationships they've seen as a child, as do their children and so on. This breaks the cycle and can only be a positive in all their lives. Fabulous outcome.

Carolyn Boin
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow. Absolutely, just, wow.

Rin Rin
Community Member
5 years ago

Kinda like the idea but... really? Youtube diy house sounds like the most dangerous thing ever to live in.

giovanna
Community Member
5 years ago

Totally agree

Load More Replies...
Playing Solitary
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm confused. She couldn't afford a house, but she could get a $150,000 loan? Wouldn't that have bought a house?

Teleri Nyfain
Community Member
5 years ago

She did something lots of people like her cannot do - get a bank to loan her $150,000....

Jessy Wessy
Community Member
5 years ago

I was thinking the same thing.

Load More Replies...
Kopitiam English
Community Member
5 years ago

What can I say but awesome...when the human mind is put to trust - the impossible becomes possible...the greatest gift GOD has given man/woman...

Sick Boy
Community Member
5 years ago

God also gave abusive tendencies to her partners.

Load More Replies...
Aaron Bateman
Community Member
5 years ago

Headline is a little misleading. It would appear she had at least 2 or 3 children that were capable workers on the project. Still amazing, but sucks that the kids weren't given any credit in the headline.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

Blame Boredpanda.

Load More Replies...
Doug Stringham
Community Member
5 years ago

Very inspiring. And also a reminder to us all that we can do much more than we think.

Chelle Snail
Community Member
5 years ago

I love you, family! You inspire many me included. I believe now I can build a studio to attach to my house xo

Donegalsean
Community Member
5 years ago

Cara is so beautiful!

Boogs Rocks
Community Member
5 years ago

If you can get a loan for $150k why not buy a house?

Starry Night Lover
Community Member
5 years ago

This morning I heard my mom talking about this story this morning. It is now the evening and I went on board panda and saw this. I'm really happy for the family though. This is so cool!

Lori Creech Loree
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspiring

Amanda Cariker
Community Member
5 years ago

Amazing family!!! Absolutely awesome!!

Eligijus Starinskas
Community Member
5 years ago

Amazing

NAEEMA ABDULLAH
Community Member
5 years ago

I can't believe it

Ella Shanie
Community Member
5 years ago

Did they purchase the land? Was it given to them? Does anyone know?

Ella Shanie
Community Member
5 years ago

That's amazing, I as wondering didn't she have to buy the land she built on? Did she already have it?

C. Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I call bs. Just common sense. No experience and it came out perfect in 9 months. Yeah right.

C. Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

I call bs.

Heather Alisse
Community Member
5 years ago

So inspiring! Thank you <3 maybe I can do this some day...

mig rod
Community Member
5 years ago

too bad she didn't hire an architect. she could have avoided having comical windows, lame roof and meek portico. good job at taking time to personally build a developer cookie-cutter box.

mig rod
Community Member
5 years ago

next time at least hire an architect so you don't end up with comical windows, lame roof and a joke of a portico.

Rob Chyou
Community Member
5 years ago

i love how in the book rise there is no mention of how long it took for the house to be built or any of the rooms there is no details

Anna Salerno
Community Member
5 years ago

Congratulations to this amazing family. what lovely children, I am so happy to hear that this brought them so closer together!

Sofian Nur
Community Member
5 years ago

sorry, but I don't believe this story at all. It's really really hard work to vuild that huge building without knowledge at alll about construction. Yes indeed you can count on youtube for several thing but build a house ? oh come on....

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

There were, and still are, lots of books about construction, electrical, plumbing, etc., that are available to buy, or borrow from a library. I have about a dozen along with as many books on various types of d.i.y. stuff. I used all of mine when building. This was before youtube.

Load More Replies...
Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
5 years ago

This amazing woman SHOWED her children, how to be UNSTOPPABLE!!

Aprille Park
Community Member
5 years ago

Anyone else think the first pic - showing them in front of the house - looks Photoshopped?

Aprille Park
Community Member
5 years ago

The pic of them in front of the house looks photoshopped.

Jonathan Patrick McMullen
Community Member
5 years ago

Great

Cheryl Reyes
Community Member
5 years ago

If you want the rest of the story, she wore a book :)

Cheryl Reyes
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome!

Weenie Dog Lover
Community Member
5 years ago

It goes to show that you can do anything

Maureen Zappellini
Community Member
5 years ago

So inspiring!!

Jahanzaib
Community Member
5 years ago

Honestly blow my mind

Amy Dias
Community Member
5 years ago

This is beautiful. They should make it into a movie.

Jeff Oates
Community Member
5 years ago

Fabulous

Tom Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

Bravo.

Mary Winter
Community Member
5 years ago

i see some pretty dumb things on facebook, but this is so incredibly impressive. take a bow, you are awesome.

Alexandra Calimachi
Community Member
5 years ago

I cannot wait to buy her book. This is amazing!

Iapetos
Community Member
5 years ago

WOW. I am really amazed and stunned. This is awesome. They are awesome!

Denise Stark
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspiration

jacluckycat
Community Member
5 years ago

Inspirational!

Sophie G
Community Member
5 years ago

"then 2" ;-))

MNurahman Abu 'Abdillah
Community Member
5 years ago

Awesome, 5-thumb-up for 5 of them

DParks
Community Member
5 years ago

A nice story, but come on. Not only did she somehow qualify for a $150,000 loan, but how about furnishing, hesting, cooling, taxes, and maint on a 3500'sq home with a 3 car garage? Something just doesn't pass the smell test to me.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

The woman is a writer so she wasn't (and isn't) without income. Furnishing a home isn't hard if you already have furnishings in an existing home or apartment. I could go one, but... Maybe your sense of smell is off.

Load More Replies...
Sick Boy
Community Member
5 years ago

The title is baiting clicks. There is a difference between "built a house all by herself" and "built a house with the help of the family".

Colin Bayler
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

What she did was amazing and inspirational, but lets get something straight......this woman CHOSE abusive men and relationships that affected her and her kids negatively. Glad to she she seemed to have turned things around; just don't look at her as a victim since she was a co-conspirator in her own prior miserableness.

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

it's too easy to say she chose to...but it's unfortunately, unconsciously, some choices in life lead to dark people. Still a victim nonetheless!

Load More Replies...
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