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Skyrim Hearthfire guide: 7 essential tips and secrets

Build your dream home, start a family, everything you need to know...

Want more Skyrim tips and features? See our unbeatable Elder Scrolls V coverage.

As we revealed in our Hearthfire verdict, the latest slice of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC isn't like Dawnguard in scale or ambition. But in its own way it's big and interesting and challenging. Here, we present seven essential tips for making better houses and raising better kids...

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HOW TO... BUY A PLOT OF LAND

The first step in building your new dream home is to acquire a plot of land to construct it on. There are three plots available in the following locations:

  • Dawnstar - Heljarchen Hall
  • Falkreath - Lakeview Manor
  • Morthal - Windstad Manor

To qualify for purchasing land you must visit the jarl for the relevant hold and earn their trust, which may involve completing one or more quests for them.
Once done, you will then be given the option to buy the deed for 5,000 gold from the jarl or their steward. Follow the map marker to your new plot and you'll be ready to start construction.
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HOW TO... BUILD A BASIC HOUSE

When you arrive at your plot of land, you'll find a drafting table and carpenter's workbench, as well as a chest containing all the building materials you need to get started and an anvil for turning iron ingots into construction metalwork.
The drafting table allows you to choose a plan for what to build next, and initially only the Small House layout will be available. Pick that, then switch to the carpenter's workbench to construct the foundations, walls and roof, using the anvil to create any additional materials needed.
Once the door has been added your new house is ready to move into, but first you'll want to head inside and use the workbench to construct items of furniture such as tables, chairs and a bed. New materials required for certain furnishings such as straw and glass can be purchased from traders in the major cities.

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