Man who built solar-powered home hopes to inspire youth to grow up debt-free

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MULHALL, Okla. (KFOR) - Take this dirt road a long way down in Mulhall and you'll find yourself at the Brian family home.

It was built to look like two cedar trees sitting on a hill.

"They were actually horse barns. This is a 50-foot horse barn and then the kitchen is a 30-foot horse barn and then we just tied it together,” Rob Brian said.

Rob Brian built this 4,000-square-foot house himself. He sourced most of the materials from his 330 acres of land.

"All these trees, all the cedars are cut from my farm, loaded on a trailer, taken to Norville Gooch three miles up the road,” Brian said.

Wood, straw bales and stucco with thick steel pipes were used to make the house resistant against Oklahoma's wild weather.

"This place was engineered and built to withstand a near-miss by a tornado,” Brian said.

The seasons show in the carved baseboards and little touches of detail throughout the home.

“Those are wine bottle windows. That's how you tell what time it is,” Brian said.

His electricity comes from solar panels he has out back of the house.

Brian worked in the oil industry in Alaska for 25 years. He spent a lot of money over the decades and decided he wanted to live a debt-free lifestyle.

Nine years ago, he started this passion project. Those who knew him didn't know what to think about it.

“They just thought I was nuts, thought I was crazy," Brian said. "It wasn't until the very last year when everything came together, had windows in, had doors in, that they go, 'Oh wow, that's pretty cool."

Now, this 61-year-old is hoping to inspire younger generations to pick up a hammer instead of taking out a loan.

“Teach them that and by the time they're my age, you'll have a house paid for, you'll have land paid for, and you won't need a bunch of money,” Brian said.

Rob Brian is also an author. He wrote two books about the history of Mulhall.

If you would like to reach him, you can email him at


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