- "If you're like most people, you've always dreamed of owning your own steading and building your own home. But where to start? Never fear, you hold in your hands the guide to everything you need to know. Before long, you'll be gazing complacently across your well-tended lands from the porch of your own manor house."
- ―The Beginner's Guide to Homesteading[src]
A Homestead is a house that can be constructed with various materials as part of The Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire.
Stage 1: Purchase
The first step to building a homestead is to purchase one of three plots of land available and obtain a title deed from the local Jarl or their steward. The ruling Jarl is dependent on the choices made during the civil war questline.
|Location||Hold||Purchase||Prerequisite Tasks||Unique Exterior Option|
|Heljarchen Hall||Located in the snowy tundras of The Pale.||Jarl Skald the Elder or Brina Merilis||Complete "Waking Nightmare" and the quest "Kill the Giant."||Grain Mill|
|Lakeview Manor||Located in the dense forests of Falkreath Hold.||Nenya or Tekla||Complete the bounty quest "Kill the Bandit Leader."||Apiary|
|Windstad Manor||Located near the salt marshes of Hjaalmarch.||Aslfur or Sorli the Builder||Complete "Laid to Rest."||Fish Hatchery|
Stage 2: Planning and preparation
After a plot has been purchased, the building site can be visited to begin planning. A building is typically comprised of several housebuilding materials that, when combined, make up the structure of the house.
Upon arriving at the site, a drafting table and carpenter's workbench can be found nearby. The drafting table is used first to plan any structures to be added, and the carpenter's workbench is then used for the actual building of the house.
In addition, a starter chest containing thirty clay, one corundum ingot, six iron ingots, and thirty quarried stone can be found by the workbench – enough to build a Small House. The starter log pile contains 20 logs.
A useful planning technique for those that want to build a house all at once is to start a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will have rows for the various materials and columns for Required, Have and Needed, where Needed is Required less Have. As an example:
Then, go through the page below and the subpages for each section chosen, increasing Required based on options chosen. This will let one know ahead of time how many of each resource is needed. Then, as resources are obtained, increase the amount in the Have cell. Eventually, all of the Needed cells will be zero or negative, and everything will be ready for the build. Note that many materials, such as nails and hinges, can be smithed from ingots, so it is often easier to express the requirements as end products and not store ingots.
Note that all costs below are for the bare building costs and do not include the cost of furnishing or decorating a house.
Sawn logs are a core material in both constructing and furnishing a homestead. Lumber can be purchased from the owner of most lumber mills throughout Skyrim. The fixed rate is twenty sawn logs for 200 . It is possible to use the saw mill to cut lumber for free, but only if the miller gives permission first.
To gain permission to cut wood for the Homestead, one must normally need to do a task for the owner of the lumber mill. This task is generally giving them firewood. After this, if asked, the owner of the lumber mill will normally grant permission for the Dragonborn to use the sawmill. Every time a log is placed and then cut, ten free sawn logs will be received. This can be done for an unlimited amount of times.
Unlike other building materials, sawn logs are not added to the inventory, rather they are delivered to the building site. Here they exist as a physical object called a "Log Pile." It is possible to see how many are available by pointing the crosshair at the logs. Once the lumber has been obtained, construction can begin.
Stone and clay
Additional quarried stone and clay for future projects can be mined from nearby sources, called "Stone Quarry" and "Clay Deposit" respectively. These sources can yield 4,000 units each before depleting.
Iron is readily available from blacksmiths and general goods merchants, or it can be mined. Typically, large amounts are needed in the construction of a homestead, meaning several trips to a merchant is required.
Ore and ingots can often be collected as loot, so if the Dragonborn already owns a place to store resources, such as Breezehome, saving up for a house is an alternative to blacksmithing or selling these resources.
Stewards can be asked to have sawn logs, stone and clay delivered, but they can only be hired once the Small House has been constructed.
Stage 3: Small House
- Main article: Small House
Activating the drafting table will allow the first basic layout to begin construction. Choosing a "Small House Layout" will mark a rectangular plot on the land where the house will be built.
Next, move over to the carpenter's workbench where the foundations and supports must be laid. The required materials include quarried stone, clay and sawn logs. Once all the required items are in one's inventory, the sections of the small house can be built.
The small house consists of seven components that are spilt into five stages of construction:
|Stage||Section||Sawn Log||Quarried Stone||Nails||Clay||Iron Fittings||Lock||Hinge|
|Stage 1||House, Foundation||1||10||-||-||-||-||-|
|House, Wall Framing||6||-||10||-||-||-||-|
|Stage 2||House, Walls||2||-||8||4||-||-||-|
|Stage 3||House, Floor||-||4||-||-||-||-||-|
|House, Roof Framing||6||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Stage 4||House, Roof||1||-||10||-||-||-||-|
|Stage 5||House, Door||1||-||2||-||1||1||2|
Stage 4: Main Hall
- Main article: Main Hall
Once the Small House layout is complete, the option to add a large main hall is available. Like the small house, the structure and furnishings of the Main Hall is identical no matter what location the homestead is built upon.
The main hall consists a large dining hall on the ground floor flanked by two wooden staircases. At the north side of the hall is a smaller back room where an optional cellar can be accessed. Upstairs is an open plan balcony area that leads to a master bedroom on the east side of the house and an identical second bedroom on the west side. The master bedroom can be fitted with a double bed, while the second bedroom can be furnished with two single beds that will be used by the assigned Housecarl or Steward.
After the Main Hall has been built, the initial Small House can be remodeled into an Entry Hall. This gives the option to add a different set of furnishings that are more suited to an entryway.
Stage 5: Wings
Once the Main Hall is complete, additional wings can be constructed that connect to the Main Hall. A maximum of three wings can be added, and each wing gives three possible choices. This allows for twenty-seven possible combinations when all wings are built, however the choice for each wing once constructed is permanent.
All nine wings can be grouped into one of three distinct sub-types.
- A tower with a balcony and canopy on the roof.
- A downstairs room with a second floor outdoor patio connected to the house.
- A downstairs room only with no second floor additions.
Each wing sub-type is identical to its counterparts, both inside and out, and they require the same amount of building materials to complete. For example, the Library and the Enchanter's Tower are essentially the same construct, the difference being their location.
The table below illustrates what wing options are available when planning. Each wing offers three options, but only one can be chosen from each row. This means a homestead can potentially support an Enchanter's Tower, Storage Room and Armory. It could not however support a Library, Armory and Kitchen, as these three additions are all part of the East Wing options.
|Location||Tower||Room with Outdoor Patio||Downstairs Room|
|West Wing||Enchanter's Tower||Bedrooms||Greenhouse|
|North Wing||Alchemy Laboratory||Storage Room||Trophy Room|
Despite the appearance of the sub-types being identical, their furnishing vary greatly and it is what gives them their unique function.
The west wing may consist of either:
The Enchanter's Tower is a towered structure that serves as a dedicated place where Enchanting can be practiced. It offers a wide variety of enchanting themed storage and furnishings, such as braziers and an ornate Arcane Enchanter. In addition, an armor mannequin and several weapon plaques are available. This is an optional wing, one Enchanting Table is present in the Main Hall.
The Bedrooms is a rectangular room that offers more spacious sleeping quarters. This addition can be added to adopt up to two children; each child also needs a bed and a chest or dresser. However, if beds and a dresser are added to the second floor west side bedroom in the Main Hall, it will suffice for two children.
The greenhouse is a rectangular room that serves as a dedicated place where plants and vegetables can be grown. It can be useful for growing rare and expensive ingredients, or simply a convenient location to harvest ingredients for alchemical purposes.
The available options for the north wing are:
The Trophy Room is a rectangular room that serves as a dedicated place where various creatures can be stuffed and put out on display. Furnishings include two types of bases to display creatures; a small base that offers eleven options to choose from and a large base which offers eighteen. Creatures typically take the pose of those seen in loading screens.
The Storage room is a rectangular room that serves as a dedicated place where various items can be displayed and stored. Fully furnished, it features numerous chests, cupboards and display cases. In addition, decorative mounted animal heads are available.
The Alchemy Laboratory is a towered structure that serves as a dedicated place where alchemy can be practiced. It offers a wide variety of alchemy related storage and furnishings, such as hanging racks and a washbasin. In addition, decorative mounted animal heads are available. Once it is fully furnished, a wide range of ingredients can be found throughout the tower. This is an optional wing, one Alchemy Table is present in the Main Hall.
The east wing choices are:
The Library is a towered structure that serves as a dedicated place to store the many books that can be found throughout Skyrim. Its furnishings focus on the several bookshelves that can be fitted. In total, 308 books can be stored in the library. This unfortunately is not enough space to display all available books, as there are 413 individual books, not including journals and notes. However, the main hall master bedroom contains another bookshelf increasing the total shelf space to 362, and books can manually be added to regular shelves, or stacked on tables and the floor using the grab function. Alternatively, shelves can be organized by preferred topics, rarer tomes versus commonplace, or based upon highest value.
The Armory is a rectangular room that serves as a dedicated place where various weapons and armor can be displayed and stored. Fully furnished, it features five mannequins, four display cases, and several storage containers. In addition, a workbench and grindstone can be added.
The Kitchen is a rectangular room that serves as a dedicated location where cooking and baking can take place. Furnishings unique to the kitchen include an oven and a butter churn. The oven can be used to bake a wide selection of foods and the churn can be used periodically to obtain Butter.
The components that make up each of the nine wings can be grouped into one of three aforementioned sub-types. This means there is actually only three constructions recipes for all nine wings.
The construction recipe for the Enchanter's Tower, Alchemy Laboratory or Library is:
|Stage||Section||Sawn Log||Quarried Stone||Nails||Clay||Iron Fittings||Lock||Hinge|
|Stage 4||1st Floor Walls||1||-||-||3||-||-||-|
|2nd Floor Supports||4||-||12||-||-||-||-|
|Stage 5||2nd Level Walls||2||-||-||6||-||-||-|
|Stage 7||Roof Canopy||1||-||6||-||-||-||-|
Room with Outdoor Patio
The construction recipe for the Bedrooms, Storage Room or Armory is:
|Stage||Section||Sawn Logs||Quarried Stone||Nails||Clay||Iron Fittings||Lock||Hinge|
The construction recipe for the Greenhouse, Trophy Room or Kitchen is:
|Stage||Section||Sawn Log||Quarried Stone||Nails||Clay||Iron Fittings||Lock||Hinge|
|Stage 4||Roof Framing||4||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Stage 6: Exterior
The area surrounding the house may also be developed to include a vegetable patch, a complete set of smithing equipment, and a stable for horses and an animal pen for cows and Chickens. Each Homestead also has specific outside expansions, Lakeview Manor has the option of an apiary, Windstad Manor has the option of a fish Hatchery and Heljarchen Hall has the option of a Grain Mill.
An animal pen is a small enclosure which can be added to any of the three homesteads. A Tanning Rack is also included when it is built.
It can be used to keep a cow and up to three chickens. Chickens will lay eggs from time to time, however the cow cannot be used to produce milk.
An Apiary is a beehive-like enclosure that can be used to breed bees and produce honeycomb. These can be collected to use as ingredients to brew potions at an Alchemy Lab. It can only be crafted at the homestead of Lakeview Manor.
After the Apiary is crafted, bees will soon start to begin to fly around the vicinity. Honeycomb and bees can be collected by activating the Apiary, much like a container. However, removing these may prevent new bees from spawning. Replacing these items will restart the bee spawning.
- Main article: Fish Hatchery
A Fish Hatchery is a fish breeding enclosure that can be used to breed most of the fish species found in Skyrim. These can be collected to use as ingredients to brew potions at an Alchemy Lab. It can only be crafted at the homestead of Windstad Manor.
A garden is a small planting enclosure which can be added to any of the three homesteads. It can be used for growing almost all plants and fungi found in Skyrim. It is essentially a smaller version of the Greenhouse.
After the garden is crafted, gardening can begin by activating a patch of fertile soil. Certain ingredients or food items can be planted and only one sample is required for each fertile soil patch. See here for a full list of plants that can be grown.
The selected plant will soon grow in the garden, and will reproduce again after it has been harvested. Harvesting typically yields 4 or 5 samples of the plant, rather than only one sample that is obtained from plants in the wild.
The patch may be cleared in order to replant new types of plants by activating the fertile soil again.
- Main article: Grain Mill
A Grain Mill is a workstation that can be used to produce sacks of flour from a sample of wheat. Activating the mill will begin an animation of pushing the mill and a crafting menu will appear in order to make the sacks of flour. The Grain Mill can only be crafted at the homestead of Heljarchen Hall.
A small stable that can be added to any of the three homesteads. It must be built before a horse can be purchased from a Steward.
This cost is in addition to the materials listed in the Standard Exterior Totals below.
- Main article: Smithing (Skyrim) § Smithing stations
Several smithing stations may be added to the homestead. Their locations vary slightly, depending on what homestead they are built at.
- Smelter – Used to smelt ores or scraps into ingots. An anvil is included if built at Windstad Manor.
- Armorer Workbench – Used to improve armor and shields with ingots or leather.
- Grindstone – Used to improve weapons with ingots or leather strips.
Standard exterior totals
|Section||Sawn Logs||Quarried Stone||Nails||Clay||Iron Fittings||Iron Ingot|
|Section||Sawn Logs||Quarried Stone||Nails||Straw||Iron Fittings|
Stage 7: Cellar
Build and furnish a Cellar.
Stage 8: Furnishing
Use the links in the table in stage 5 to determine the cost requirements for the up to three wing choices made. Also see Main Hall for the miscellaneous items required to decorate the main building.
Personnel and Animals
One's homestead can be enhanced by the acquiring of personnel and animals. The first member needed is a Steward, since only through a steward can one purchase animals and other personnel. Many followers offer to become a steward as soon as the Small House has been fully built. Once hired, they can purchase a Bard for a price of 1,500 , and a Carriage, including a Carriage driver, for 500 . As a thane of the Hold one's homestead is in, a Housecarl will be assigned, who will also be part of the homestead's household. Every Housecarl can double as Steward. The animals that can be purchased for the homestead are a cow, for 200 , three chickens for 25 each, and a horse for 1,000 . To buy them all will cost 3,275 per homestead. Note that animals that are killed can be bought again, but the bard, if killed, cannot be replaced, and there is no option on the steward's menu to buy another.
- If the starter home is not converted into an entryway, and the double bed in the upstairs main hall is built, then the unused bed will be used by a character. The room will also feature a hanging rack, and firepit.
- The bedroom addition converts two child beds to single beds, which can be used by characters along with the unused double bed. This allows the housecarl, steward, and bard to have normal sleep cycles. Useful for adding dreams to the Skull of Corruption, using the Night Thief perk, feeding as a Vampire, or keeping all characters safe from random encounters upon arriving at night. Furthermore, if the bed is kept in the starter home a follower can be commanded to use it, adding another dream charge, or blood bank to the home.
- Unless the family is living in a particular home, all beds can be used by the characters present there. This allows dream gathering, pickpocketing, and vampiric feedings to occur at the unused homes as well.
- Leaving canopies off of the tower additions provides a full, unobstructed view and attack angles of the surrounding area and sky. The addition also functions normally (adding the exterior chest to the library creates a floating wall sconce), and characters will still utilize the towers in their daily activities.
- Display cases in houses accept weapons placed in them, however they lay flat as if placed on a shelf, unlike standard weapons racks.
- Weapons placed on weapon racks may not show up on the rack and be unobtainable. This can be fixed by loading a previous save.
- Daedric Sword (Legendary) will become a normal Daedric Sword, but the effect will stay on it.
Placing a weapon with quality (Flawless, Legendary, etc.) on a plague that hold single weapon may remove the quality from its name, for example a
- Re-improving the weapon at grindstone will show the quality again.
- Sometimes when entering the home with all three wings, the stairs and second floor will not appear. This can be easily fixed by leaving the house and re-entering.
- On a rare occasion, when an expansion is made to the house and complete it, when the home is entered the door will be there but it will exit to Skyrim.
- Mannequins may sometimes load off of their pedestals.
- Sometimes when using the Carpenter's Workbench in the home it may revert to a menu of items that have already been built in the room, essentially wasting the supplies. To correct this exit the menu and re-enter it, it should correct the problem.
- Pre-placed items can respawn when removed.
|Small House • Main Hall • Cellar • Alchemy Laboratory • Armory • Bedrooms • Enchanter's Tower|
Greenhouse • Kitchen • Library • Storage Room • Trophy Room • Homestead Construction Totals
|Clay • Glass • Goat Horns • Hinge • Iron Fittings • Lock • Nails • Quarried Stone • Sawn Log • Straw|
|Heljarchen Hall • Lakeview Manor • Windstad Manor|