The best places to find building materials in Skyrim

Hearthfire has added many new housing options to the world of Skyrim. After making a deal with a Jarl and buying land, you have the exciting possibility of building a house with exactly what you want inside. You will need a lot of materials, with each piece needing the appropriate components, and those you have left to start soon start to run out.

Related: Skyrim: Which Hearthfire House Is Best?

So where to go next? Not all sources are equal. Why spend unnecessary time and septims when you could be doing something more fun, like baking crostata or trying to save your household staff from horkers?


9 Stone and clay – your own property

Mined stone and clay are the mainstay of your building efforts. You’ll need to gather a lot if you want to get anywhere in building your Nordic dream home. Fortunately, these are some of the easiest materials to find. Quarry stone is needed for floors, foundations, and most major house elements, while clay is needed for foundries, baseboards, and walls.

Any land you buy will have both a stone quarry and a clay deposit somewhere on the property, and they will produce a large number of units before they run out. If you don’t want to sit and watch your Dovahkiin hit something with a pickaxe for ten minutes, there are other options. If you have appointed a steward to your property, he can buy stone or clay for you, at 20 septim for 20 blocks of clay, or 100 septim for 20 pieces of stone.

8 Sawn logs – Sawmills

Another major cornerstone of your construction projects is sawn logs. These can be purchased from any of the various Sawmills around Skyrim, at 200 Septims for 20 Sawn Logs. If you have appointed a steward, he can do the legwork for you, then you can buy the logs from your home.

Related: Skyrim: Best Stewards For Hearthfire Houses

If money is an issue, it’s possible to run the mill yourself and saw your own logs, with each cut giving you ten for your pile of logs. You can’t get started, because you’ll have to befriend the owner of the sawmill first. This can be done by chopping lots of firewood for them, although some also have quests that will help them. Aeri of Anga’s Mill needs a letter delivered to Morthal, and Horgeir of Dragon Bridge will appreciate it if you return his Dragon’s Breath Mead.

seven Straw – General Merchandise Stores

Straw is a useful commodity that appears in a few furniture blueprints, including beds and archery targets. It’s also not necessarily obvious where you can get it.

Straw will spawn in general merchandise stores, those with scales on signage. General merchandise from Belethor to Whiterun is one of them, although it is advisable to look at some of these as there is no guarantee that straw will be in stock on any given day. It can sometimes be stolen from homes and shops.

6 Iron Ingots – Mines and Blacksmiths

Iron ingots are needed for nails, hinges, and most other metal parts used in construction. They can be a bit of a pain to find in large quantities.

Blacksmiths can sell a few at a time, or you can stop at an iron mine. The left mine near Markarth and Stonehills in Hjaalmarch are both handy, as they have iron and a smelter just outside. If that all sounds like too much hard work and you don’t mind less than legal ways to get your hands on it, The Scorched Anvil in Riften has a large pile of ingots on the lower floor that you could free. They probably won’t miss them too much.

5 Corundum – Crossing Darkwater

Corundum is more valuable and significantly harder to find in ingot form than iron. Fortunately, it is also not necessary in the same quantities. Most of what you’ll need is crafting locks, which require an ingot and are often needed when adding extra coins. A good source is Darkwater Crossing, as there’s a foundry there and you’re unlikely to be disturbed while you’re there.

Related: Skyrim: Best Mines To Dive In

If you’re the thief type, you can also pick up some ingots that are out in the open near the smelter, especially if the miners have gone to bed. Well, they shouldn’t leave them lying around if they don’t want someone to pick them up.

4 Glass – Shops And Caravans

Despite the name, Glass in Skyrim isn’t used to craft glass weapons – they’re crafted from malachite, which makes you wonder about the name. Was it too long for the Nords?

The objects in your home, on the other hand, are made from real glass. It can be found in the closets of homes, either taken legally or lifted while the owner isn’t looking. It will sometimes appear in general merchandise store inventories and can also often be sold by Khajiit caravans – if you can find one camped out.

3 Skins – Hunting Animals

Certain kinds of skins are used to make mounted animal heads. The important thing to keep in mind here is that you will need the respective skin of the animal you want a trophy from. Since many animal encounters in the wild depend on your level, things like bears and sabrecats might be a little harder to find at first. You can try taking on the Helgen Cave Bear if you want a trophy to show off as soon as possible.

If you’re less concerned with specific species, The Rift is a good place to hunt, as its birch forests are invariably teeming with wildlife. Finally, a reason to actually want to be mobbed by Skyrim’s super-aggressive wolves.

2 Leather – Blacksmiths

Leather strips are used in a number of household items, as well as being useful in crafting weapons. They are made from leather, which is in turn made by working hides on a tan backing. If you have a lot of pelts in stock, that might not be a problem, as there is a tanning booth available pretty early at your property.

If you don’t have any hides on hand, it’s probably easier to go to the nearest blacksmith. They always have leather bands in stock, and they’re super cheap, so there’s no reason to go on a whole hunting trip unless you want to.

1 Goat horns – Goats

No prizes for guessing where you get goat horns from. If you want to make light fixtures, you’ll need a goat to meet the Divines. You can find these passive herbivores roaming Skyrim, and you’ll almost inevitably find at least one on a farm.

Keep in mind that killing goats is taken very seriously in the Northern Kingdom, so being seen attacking one will earn you a bounty in the local hold. If the hunt is unsuccessful and you don’t want to embark on a life of crime, you can sometimes find them for sale at general merchandise stores.

Next: Skyrim: Things You Completely Missed In Hearthfire DLC