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Skyrim DLC: Hearthfire – House and Adoption Details


Skyrim Home HearthfireSkyrim’s second add-content was released for Xbox 360 today. Hearthfire, which brings a new house developing and adoption system to the breakthrough game, can be downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace for $5. You may have some difficulty getting access to the extra content, so here’s some information to help you out.

Getting Started

When loading up the game, a courier will approach you with a notice from the orphanage in Riften, allowing you to adopt children. You can adopt children from the orphanage or elsewhere, but you will have to have a place for them to stay, regardless of where you adopt them. A child’s bed and a child’s chest is required to adopt. Sadly enough, you can’t adopt Babette or Aventus Aretino. If you own any of the vanilla houses, you will get a notice indicating you can add  a children’s quarters to your existing house. Being a vampire does not have any effect on the ability to adopt children, although you can “prove your worth” by saying you are the Dovahkiin, Harbinger, Arch Mage, etc., as well as generic responses like mercenary and assassin.

Plots of Land

The three plots of land available to you are obtained in Morthal, Falkreath, and Dawnstar. Go to the Jarl and you will be presented with an option to purchase a plot for 5,000 gold. A quest marker will direct you to your new land (and yes, you can fast travel there). I chose the plot of land in the Pale, creating a new fast travel marker called Heljarchen Hall, just southwest of the Weynon Stones.

When you arrive, you will find a Drafting Table, Carpenter’s Workbench, Anvil, and a chest with some starter building materials. Inside the chest is almost everything you’ll need to make an unfurnished starter house —with the exception of Iron ingots for making nails and hinges. You will need A LOT of iron ingots, as they are used in almost everything you can make (nails, hinges, and locks are used for doors, containers, furniture, as well as parts of the house itself).

On the workbench is a book titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Homesteading”, showing you the basics and options for your house. The Drafting table allows you to pick options for the main parts of your house, while the workbench allows you to create them and make smaller additions. You can make an armorer workbench, garden, tanning rack, grindstone, grain mill (where you can turn wheat into sacks of flour), and smelter right away.

Adding Wings To Your Home

After creating a small, one-room house, you can add a Main Hall. You may also add wings to your new home: West, North, and East wing. The West Wing can be a bedroom addition, which has a master’s bedroom and two children’s beds, plus an exterior porch; a greenhouse, with planters; or an Enchanter’s tower. The North Wing can be a storage room with a porch, that connects to your West Wing bedroom or East Wing Armory; a Trophy Room, shown in the screenshots; or an alchemy laboratory that is in a tower identical to the enchanter’s tower. The East Wing can be an Armory with a porch and weapon racks; a kitchen with an oven, also seen in the trailer; and a Library tower identical to the other two.

All towers have an area outside on the top you can enter, you can jump onto the roof of your house from the tower, where you will find a hawk’s nest with respawning Hawk’s Egg. The interior of your home exists in a single cell, meaning there are no loading doors between wings. It took me a little under 15,000 gold to make a house with three wings.

Furniture And Storage

Each room will have a workbench inside the home where you can create furniture and storage. These items require the same materials as the house (sawn logs, nails, etc.), as well as some different ones like glass and straw, and are put in place by the game. You also have the option of removing the furnishing workbench via the outside drafting table. There are a lot of furnishings, and they are all optional, but there is only one of each, and each goes in a specific place. You cannot remove a furnishing once it has been placed. After building a cellar, you can build several unique furnishings, like a coffin bed, shrine, smithing equipment, archery target, and child’s practice dummy. Armor mannequins are also available in several rooms.

Hiring Help

A steward can be hired by taking a follower to your completed house and completing some dialogue. Once hired, you can purchase livestock, hire a carriage driver (who takes you to all major and small towns) and a bard who will sing the song of your choice with the instrument of your choosing. You can also send your steward shopping or redecorating. They can also still follow you and trade items, although steward-specific options are not available until they are dismissed. Changes that take place through your steward will not show until you exit/reenter the cell. If your steward dies, you can rehire another one (confirmed with Lydia and Marcurio).

I hope you’ve enjoyed the extra information.

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  • Mark C

    I’m kinda sad I can’t adopt Aventus. Thanks for all the info, it helped!

  • Jared

    it wont let me rehire the bard once I have had the steward do everything else in that line of questioning

  • Jeremy

    Too bad you cannot adopt Khajiit children too. The list of adoptable children in the wiki:

    does not list any other races other than nord or redguard children. I hope Bethesda patches this to add a greated variety

  • Martin

    Thanks a lot for the info!

  • Lemoncat Steals Tupperware

    I wanted Aventus. I hate kids, but I admired the nerve it must have taken to run away and hire an old woman’s murder.

  • Guest

    i dont get the options too hire a bard or ar carriage driver

  • tiber septim

    i dont get the options too hire a bard or a carriage driver please tell how to fix this