Cara Brookins and her four children built this home from scratch. (Photo courtesy of

Cara Brookins couldn't afford to buy a home large enough for her family. So she made one. From scratch.

The single mom escaped an abusive relationship, but couldn't escape debt. When she and her four children started building a house in 2008, they needed to move on from a troubled past.

The 45-year-old didn't know anything about constructing a home, but from putting up windows to running the gas line, she and her kids did it all with some help from YouTube.

At the time, her children, Hope, Drew and Jada and Roman ranged in age from two to 17 years old.

During times when they had no idea how to continue, Brookins put on a brave face for her children and encouraged them to keep pushing forward.

Supplies for the 3,500-square-foot home cost 130,000 USD. Brookins brought an acre of land in Bryant, Arkansas, a suburb of Little Rock. And so the build began.

She would haul water from the neighbour's pond to make a mix to help lay the foundation. Her oldest child Drew helped move lumber. Her daughter Hope would cook for everyone.

They worked on the house for nine months. Then it was born.

And now her story has a happy ending, because Cara Brookins has since written a book, Rise: How A House Built A Family.