Skyrim: Hearthfire – How to Build a House

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Skyrim might be all about adventuring, but eventually an swashbuckling RPG hero has to settle down for the quiet life. That’s where Hearthfire comes in, Bethesda’s second expansion to Skyrim. Instead of hunting vampires or ancient dragons, you’ll be searching for mining materials to construct the home of your dreams.

Not only will you be able to furnish you home with every amenity, you’ll also be able to raise a family by adopting a child. Learn about all the features to Hearthfire, right here.

Find more home-owning details for vanilla Skyrim right here!

There’s a lot more to Game Front’s Skyrim coverage; Find PC item codes, marriage options, easter eggs, an unlockable skeleton horse, and much, much more. Get lists of all the Elder Scrolls extras on Game Front with our Skyrim cheats, Dawnguard cheats, and Hearthfire cheats.

How to Build a House

Buying a Plot of Land

  • Before you can begin construction, you’ll need to own a plot.
  • To purchase a plot of land, you’ll be contacted by courier to speak with one of three Jarls or their stewards. If you’re a Thane, you won’t be contacted by courier, but you can still make a purchase.
  • Find the Jarl in Morthal, Falkreath, or Dawnstar. Find even more details on where to buy plots with our full land-purchasing guide.
  • Constructing Your House

  • Once the plot is purchased, travel to the site. There, you’ll find a Drafting Table and Carpenter’s Bench. These can be used to craft materials into the new items of Hearthfire used for construction; nails, locks, hinges, and fittings.
  • You’ll also need to collect new house-building items.
  • Each plot begins with a treasure chest with: 30 Clay, 30 Quarried Stone, 6 Iron Ingots, and 1 Corundum Ingot
  • To begin construction on your home, interact with the Drafting Table to bring up the Small House Layout. Then, choose where to place the rectangle where the foundations for your house will be placed.
  • Below, you’ll find our list of materials needed to construct houses, followed by our step-by-step guide to construction, what order you’ll need to build, and what can be built.
  • House-Crafting Items

  • Raw Materials:
    • Sawn Logs: Purchased material, only available from a Saw Mill.
    • Clay: A mined material. Use a pickaxe on a brown mound on your purchased plot. The mound contains an unlimited supply.
    • Quarried Stone: A mined material. Use a pickaxe on a large rock near your construction site. The rock contains an unlimited supply.
    • Straw: Purchased by a servant or at general stores.
    • Goat Horns: Purchased by a servant or at general stores.
    • Glass: Purchased by a servant or at general stores.
  • Crafted Materials:
    • Hinge: 1 Iron Ingot crafts 2 Hinges
    • Lock: 1 Iron Ingot and 1 Corundum Ingot crafts 1 Lock
    • Nails: 1 Iron Ingot crafts 10 Nails
    • Iron Fittings: 1 Iron Ingot crafts 1 Iron Fitting

    Building A Small House

  • To begin your small house, you must first always build the foundation and the wall framing first. Next, you’ll need to build the walls, then floor and roof, and lastly the doors.
  • This is the basic process for construction at every level of your house, and whenever you make additions such as new additional wings.
  • House Crafting Build Order:

    1. Foundation: (10) Quarried Stone, (1) Sawn Log
    2. Wall Framing: (10) Nails, (6) Sawn Logs
    3. Walls: (8) Nails, (4) Clay, (2) Sawn Logs
    4. Floor: (4) Quarried Stone
    5. Roof Framing: (6) Sawn Logs
    6. Roof: (10) Nails, (1) Sawn Log
    7. Doors: (2) Hinges, (2) Nails, (1) Lock, (1) Iron Fitting, (1) Sawn Log
  • Once you’ve completed every step — welcome to your new home! Now you can work on expanding it with all sorts of new features.
  • The Main Hall: Building Your Mansion

  • Once you complete the Main Hall, you’ll be able to remodel into an Entry Hall. This allows you to construct three new foundations that attach to this central hall, these “wings” are just new additions to expand your home.
  • After completing your original Small Home, you can also begin construction on several exterior features, such as: stables for horses, a smelter, a garden for growing plants, a grindstone, an apiary, an animal pen, and an armorer workbench.
  • Indoors, you can expand with; a library for storing books, a kitchen for cooking, an armory with weapon/armor displays, a greenhouse for alchemy ingredients, a trophy room where defeated monsters can be displayed and a special tower for enchanting.
  • Servants and Family

  • The last step to making your home complete is with servants. Some Followers can become your Steward, able to collect crafting materials for you, or they can be hired from the Jarl or Jarl’s Steward.
  • Once your small home is complete, you’ll be able to invite your spouse to live there.
  • Adoption

  • Once you’ve built the house of your dreams, you can make a family with help from our Hearthfire Adoption Guide.
  • To adopt a child, you’ll need to upgrade your home into a Large House and set it as your default home. To go the Jarl or Jarl’s Steward for the Hold your home is located inside and speak to them about building a Child’s Room.
  • If you already owned a home before buying a new plot, you may need to go to the Jarl’s Steward of whatever previous Hold your home was located in.
  • If you construct the Child’s Room, you’ll be able to adopt a child from the Orphanage in Riften. Speak to the woman running the Orphanage. If you choose to adopt, speak with your child or spouse to take part in new family activities.
  • If you’re looking for more downloadable expansion content, we’ve also got a full Dawnguard walkthrough. If you’re looking for all our vanilla Skyrim coverage, take a trip down to our text and video walkthrough.

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    20 Comments on Skyrim: Hearthfire – How to Build a House


    On September 4, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    So Ive heard that all 3 houses are carbon copies of each other construction wise, can anyone confirm?


    On September 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Ok I have been to a number of different saw mills and not one has a brown pile where I can get bricks of clay.

    Kevin Thielenhaus

    On September 5, 2012 at 3:28 am


    I’ve heard the clay might be on your plot, near purchased Sawn Logs. Try looking there?


    On September 5, 2012 at 11:04 am

    if the courier doesnt come….. become a thane in falkearth dawnstar or morthal. then ask steward to buy a house. then youll get the option to buy a plot of land!



    On September 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Hey Lee.
    If you have not fig it out you can get clay near your new home, and also you can get stone’s.
    good luck


    On September 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    The rock isnt unlimited …


    On September 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    If I want my children to live in my newly built mansion, how can I get them to move from one of my houses in a hold to the new one?


    On October 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    does any1 know the exact amount of materials to complete all expansions on ur house i would work it out myself but as im new to heartfire it will take me a while


    On February 10, 2013 at 8:04 am



    On February 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    how do I take down a part of a house

    Kevin Thielenhaus

    On February 25, 2013 at 9:48 am


    It doesn’t seem like players can remove or take down a part of the house. If you have Hearthfire on PC, there are mods that might be able to help you. Otherwise, any construction is permanent. You can remodel certain parts of the home.


    On April 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I love the HearthFire DLC. I have almost don the whole house AND I’ve already got 2 kids.


    On August 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

    How come i cant get my son in the house

    johny bravo

    On August 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

    An incredible thanks for the demonstration. I have been playing this game off and on for several years. Just when I think I’ve mastered things the wonderful people at Bethesda add something new. Thanks to helpful people like you this old man may continue to play without thinking he’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. Please don’t stop doing what you do. Thank you much.


    On May 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    On September 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm