Skyrim’s latest DLC expansion is now available for the Xbox 360. Compared to the previous expansion, Dawnguard, this is rather small. In fact, it is kinda an odd one allowing you to buy land, build your own house, adopt children, and hire staff. Now that it is out, I will walk you through Hearthfire to help you off with your first house on what to expect from this expansion.
Once the expansion is loaded, the first thing you will receive once inside your game is a few new letters from a courier. You will receive a message on adopting children and a invitation from a jarl on buying your own plot of land. There are three different places where you can buy land, from Dawnstar, Falkreath, and Morthal.
My own character received a letter of invitation from Falkreath. My companion, the lovely Serena, and I quickly traveled to the southern lands of Falkreath to act on this great opportunity to build my very first house. I was told that in order to buy land, it would cost me 5,000 gold pieces. Having 35,000 gold pieces on me at the time, I decided to go ahead and buy land.
Building Simple House
Now that my land has been purchased, it is now time to travel and build my very first house. Located a few minutes’ walk outside, my new residency is located at the Lakeside Manor. When I arrived, my new land is pretty much barren except for the Drafting Table, a Chest, Carpenter’s Workbench, and an Anvil for creating new material. To build your new house, you will need materials to do so. The chest will provide you with a good amount to get started with as well as some extra piles of logs and a area to mine for Stone Quarry.
The Drafting Table will be used for drawing up plans for your house as well as remodeling and adding new sections to it. The actual construction is done with the workbench outside as well as the inside versions for decorating. After you run out of initial resources, you will need to gather some more. Logs can be purchased for 200 gold pieces at any wood mills. Locks, Nails, etc can be created using the Anvil, which will greatly increase your smithing level as well. Finally material such as Ingots can be bought as well as mined for all throughout Skyrim. Quick tip: You will need lots of Iron Ingots throughout the course of building your house.
With our initial supplies ready, we should get started building our new home. When building the main house or any of the expansions, all of the actual building is done in pieces, from the foundation to the roof. With our supplies at hand, you should have enough to build up to the roof. I recommend going into town or mining for Iron Ingots at this point. I very much recommend building a Smelter at this point, will come in later on when mining for materials.
Now that our small house is built, let’s head inside and decorate a little. Once inside, you will notice how barren your new home is. Let’s fix that. Just like outside, each of the sections of your house will have a Workbench to build things. You can also remove these at any time when you are fully done with your house. From here, you can build stuff related to the section of the house you’re in. Since we’re just in the main room of the small house, why don’t we add a bed and some dressers? If you have a wife/husband, you should have them move into your new home.
Now that your home is finished, we should consider some remodeling. The next addition to your house comes in the form of a Main Hall. Go back to the Drafting Table to select the Main Hall to get started – Now head on over to the Workbench to start building the main hall. Just like the small house, everything begins with the foundation and the additional back door to the Main Hall. After we are done, it might not be the best idea to have our bed in the front room of our house. Let’s head back to the Drafting Table and choose to remodel the Front Hall. This will mostly clear anything you had in that room. With the front hall remodeled, we should add a new bed again. Head back inside and into the Main Hall and up the stairs. You will notice another workbench upstairs and in the back corner of the house. Select it to add a new bed and any other furniture.
Adding a Wing
Our new home is coming together at last! Why don’t we add a wing to it? In order to adopt children, you will need additional bedrooms. So let’s start with West Wing and select “Bedrooms.” You will also notice for each wing of the house, you can select 1 of 3 options of what it might be. Now that the one story wing has been built and completed, we should decorate it. Let’s add some child beds, some tables and perhaps some outside benches on the balcony before we move on.
So now that we have some child bedrooms, it is time to adopt some children. The way to adopt children is done through Constance Michel in Riften. Any homeless or orphaned children in the game will also end up here. There is a quest for this if you need help finding the place. Talk to Constance and then speak to the child you would like to adopt. Adopting is free of charge, and you can adopt up to two kids. Now that you have children, it is now possible to interact with them, have them do their chores or play with them. Occasionally they might bring home a pet as well.
Adding a Second Wing
It’s about time we add a new addition to the house. Since we have already added the West Wing, let’s work on the East Wing. Our current three choices are Armory, Kitchen, and Library. Each of the three different selections results in a different way the wing will appear. I’m going to choose the Armory for my house. Just like the other sections of the house, we start with the building of the foundation and work our way up to the woof and balcony. Once your new wing is complete, don’t forget to go inside and decorate some.
The Final Wing
It’s now time to add our final wing, in our case, the North Wing. Like before, there are three different types to add: Alchemy Laboratory, Storage Room, and a Trophy Room. I am going to go ahead and create an Alchemy Laboratory for my house. Like before, make sure you have all the supplies you might need. Always be sure to have log piles and iron ingots ready. All there is left to do is decorating the inside of house.
So there you have it, we now have our very own completed manor. If you have a follower, it might be a good idea to turn them into a steward. Just take them inside your new home and ask them to be a steward. Stewards can help in a couple different ways, including the ability to help gather crucial supplies. Those that like to build things might just enjoy this Hearthfire expansion. I certainly enjoyed building my own house in Skyrim and will eventually build 2 more.