Rebuilding her family's life, literally


In 2008, Cara Brookins left her husband, a man she said was 'violent and abusive.'  

She was set on looking for a fresh start and rebuilding her life for her and her four children, then 17, 15, 11 and 2.

During a family vacation to a rented cabin in the woods, she found that fresh start by way of a destroyed house.

Cara told Digital Trends:

Driving there, we passed this house that had been ravaged by a tornado.  It was this beautiful dream house and it was sort of wide open.  You don't often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these 2x4s and these nails, it just looked so simple.  I thought, 'I could put this wall back up if I really tried.  Maybe I should just start from scratch.'

So... She got a loan that covered all the materials, which meant, they had to do the majority of the work themselves.

So, she turned to YouTube.  

Yes, YouTube! 

She and her son would watch YouTube videos about building homes and using those videos, over the next nine months, she and her family built a new home from the ground up.

Everyone in the family had a job, according to CBS News:

Her daughter Hope did the marking. Her son Drew ran the nail gun.  And someone was always assigned to watching the youngest, Roman, as the 2-year-old toddler gleefully stomped around in the mud on the job site.

They hired a professional for the electrical and HVAC work and a local firefighter helped them with some of the build for $25 an hour.

The finished home, which they've dubbed "Inkwell Manor" is 3,500 sq feet, five bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms and a three car garage.  and estimates place the value of the home at around $400,000.

Cara says the process wasn't easy, but it was certainly therapeutic, She told Digital Trends:

It was the first time my kids had felt any sort of power, any sort of control over their lives.  And they knew how much they needed it.

Cara has chronicled her and her family's story in a newly released book, called Rise, How A House Built A Family.



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