Her husband beat her often, so she took her children and ran away from home

When Cara Brookins’ second abusive marriage ended, she was emotionally wrecked. She recovered by constructing her own home, which she learned to accomplish using YouTube videos.

When the mother of four had to sell the Bryant, Arkansas, home she shared with her soon-to-be-ex in 2007, she went on the hunt for a new home.

Everything the computer programmer analyst could afford at the time, however, was too small. Brookins also felt compelled to do something to reunite her family. “However,” she admits, “I had no notion what that should be.”

As a result, Brookins devised the plan to construct her own home from the ground up.

“It felt like, ‘If anyone were in our situation, they would do this,’” Brookins, 45, says.

“No one else saw it like this, and in retrospect, I realize it sounds insane.”

Brookins paid $20,000 for a one-acre land and a construction loan of roughly $150,000.

And she began watching YouTube videos to learn how to lay a foundation, build a wall, run a gas line, and install plumbing, among other building techniques.

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