Cara Brookins, a mother of four, utilized YouTube in a manner that changed her life for the better, as through various tutorials uploaded on the website, she was able to build a home for her family.
The House That YouTube Built
The story of Brookins started in 2008, when she found herself in the middle of a family struggle after leaving a "violent and abusive" husband. She took her four kids and decided to rebuild their lives, though it seems that she took that idea quite literally.
Brookins did not have the money then to outright purchase a house, nor to hire builders. However, what she did have was access to YouTube, where tutorials on practically every project can be found.
While driving to a cabin that she had rented for a Thanksgiving vacation, she said that they passed by a house that was destroyed by a tornado. Brookins described the ravaged house as a "beautiful dream house," but she was able to see how its insides looked like due to the damage.
Upon looking at the materials that were exposed, she thought that it looked simple enough for her to give it a try. She started researching the needed materials for the home that they want, and came up with the necessary expenses of $130,000. She sold a small piece of property that she owned to buy the materials, then purchased an acre of land in Bryant, Arkansas.
She then started working, aided by the YouTube tutorials that she watches.
The Rise Of Inkwell Manor
"Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out," Brookins said. She did not have any money to pay anybody else to help with the construction, so she took it upon herself to construct the dream home of her family.
Brookins was not alone in her endeavor though. Hope, Drew, Jada, and Roman, her children who were aged 17 years old to 2 years old back in 2008, helped their mother in various ways. Brookins and the four children worked nonstop on the house for nine months, with each of them filling in various roles.
"The entire process brought our family closer together and we learned that nothing is impossible. We found new hope," Brookins said. The feat is made even more amazing considering that almost a decade ago, YouTube did not have dedicated channels to content, which meant that Brookins and her family had to watch different videos and decide which one they would use for tasks.
However, not everything can be learned from YouTube tutorials, which is why she had to hire a firefighter who had experience with building homes to help them out. Whenever she could afford to do so, she would pay the firefighter $25 per hour to help them with some of the things that needed to be done.
On March 31, 2009, Brookins and her four children moved into 3,500-square-foot-house. She named it Inkwell Manor, as it was a house where she could practice her passion as a writer and because the name reflected her love for writing and books.
Brookins has now released an autobiographical book, "Rise: How A House Built A Family," chronicling how her family came together for one massive act that changed who they are for the better.