In 2012, Skyrim released an expansion pack called Hearthfire, a DLC that fans *thought* was going to be a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Dawnguard DLC. Instead, Hearthfire added a The Sims-esque element to the game by allowing players to purchase land, build a home, and raise a family (albeit having children via adoption).
That’s it. No extra plots, no new enemies, no new game mechanics (ehh, sort of; you do have to earn the respect of a Jark if you want to buy land, but this isn’t exactly new new, y’know?), no new dragons. Just a sim aspect that, at first glance, seems completely out of place and something players wouldn’t appreciate.
But Hearthfire defied most expectations; players actually were interested in all the things the DLC promised. Sure, there was some criticism aimed at the slightly restrictive building options and the lack of creative input from the player. Basically, people weren’t super happy with purchasing mostly pre-rendered stuff. That being said, it was interesting enough to get people’s attention. In fact, most criticism was aimed at it not being enough of a Sims aspect. I guess chasing dragons gets tiring after a while?
Skyrim and its DLCs are almost a decade old, but they’re still enjoying critical acclaim, a sizable modding community, and surprisingly, new players. Of course, newer players have the advantage of reading through guides like these for hard-to-find materials (like, seriously, where do you get straws in Skyrim?!), monster directories, and whatever else. Back in my day, we just had to guess: who knew Giants weren’t friendly and could send you into space?
Anyway, here’s a quick materials guide for all the new Hearthfire players out there. We’ve broken down materials into three categories:
Each material class has its own unique locations and can be used for various building purposes.
“Bought” building materials are materials that can be bought in most shops and from most traders. Users playing Khajit (Skyrim‘s best race for trading and discounts!) can buy these items at a lower price than most, so choose carefully!
Straw is used to construct a number of items, including:
- Archery Targets
- Child’s Practice Dummy
- Apiaries (beehives)
Where to Get Straw in Skyrim:
Straw is one of the easiest materials to find in Skyrim, which is why it’s weird that it’s also one of the most sought-after materials from newbies. Seriously, you can find it in any General Goods store within Skyrim. Just go to any town, and it should be with any of the stores.
Another buyable material, Glass is necessary for the creation of these items:
- Display Case
- Alchemy Lab
- Enchanter’s Tower
Where to Get Glass in Skyrim:
Again, like most ‘bought’ materials, Glass can found in general goods stores and most Khajit merchants. It can also be found as random loot sometimes. A quick note, though: Glass the building material is entirely different from Glass Armor and weapons, which means you can’t make Glass for building from refined malachite or malachite ore in the same way you use the latter things for glass armor and weapons.
“Natural” building materials are items that can be encountered in the wild, either as a found item or as a loot from monsters.
One of the most prolific building materials in the game, there are tons of clay deposits all around Skyrim; in fact, there are a number of ‘clay deposits’ found in the game map. These locations can be mined using a pickaxe, with each deposit yielding 4000 units of clay before being depleted.
Some of these deposits can be found:
- Along a river bank between Sky Haven Temple and Reachwater Rock, near a crashed boat filled with mead and gems. Between Reachwater Rock and Skyhaven Temple. Look for a crashed boat along the river bank filled with mead and gems. There should be a clay deposit around it.
- Along the western river bank of Karthspire is another clay deposit.
- Along the river bank south of Niflheim. There should be a clay deposit on one of the banks.
- Look for the Old Hroldan Inn and go southeast, there should be a clay deposit somewhere near the river.
Other locations where you can find clay deposits in Skyrim:
Bleakwind Basin: Go west of Whiterun until you get to the mammoth skull icon in the map. Stand on the bonfire in the nearby camp and head north until you get to the edge of the pond.
Brandy-Mug Farm: Walk due north of the farm until you reach the river bank.
Brittleshin Pass (South): Head south of the Brittleshin Pass until you find a short, wooden pier that’s slightly sunken into the lake. Turn eastward and follow the shoreline until you reach a small inland cut.
Bruca’s Leap Redoubt: Go southwest of the camp’s main entrance. Follow the path until the river, and you’ll see the clay deposit on the right of the river bank, across Harmugstahl at the base of the mountain.
Druadach Redoubt: Exit the camp via its north entrance. Follow the trail until you walk past a bear trap with a tree to its left. Cross over to the north side of the river from here until you reach the edge of the waterfalls. There is a clay deposit at the water’s edge.
Guardian Stones: Clay deposits can be found in a hunter’s camp directly across the river in the northwest.
Heljarchen Hall: Walk out of the Hall and to the rear of the stables. There’s also another clay deposit right in front of the carpenter’s table in the nearby Stone Quarry.
Ilinalta Fisherman: A clay deposit can be found on the trail leading up to the camp.
Ivarstead: Leave Ivarstead using the north exit and walk towards the bridge. Follow the path all the way to the river. There should be a clay deposit between the two waterfalls at the river’s edge. Farther down the hill, another clay deposit can be found across the river from a troll cave. This deposit is right at the water’s edge, north of the cave.
Kolskeggr Mine: Head northeast on the road from Pavo’s House. Walk the road until you pass the second tree to your right. Turn right, and there should be a clay deposit across the river, between the peninsula and some logs.
To start you off, though, you can find 30 bricks of clay inside chests located besides drafting tables in every plot of land you purchase, so try not to miss these.
Just like the clay deposit, quarried stones in Skyrim can be found in a “Stone Quarry”, with plenty of these locations all across the world map. Each quarry also yields 400 units of quarried stones before it’s depleted.
“Crafted” materials are materials that can only be created by forging them either at a blacksmith’s forge, or an anvil. To craft anything, you’ll need iron ingots. A single unit of iron ingot can be crafted either into 1 iron fitting or 10 ten nails, while a combination of 1 Corundum ingot with an Iron ingot can be crafted into a lock.
Forged either at an anvil or a blacksmith’s forge, a single iron ingot can produce 2 hinges, with each hinge being used to construct:
- Display Case
To craft an iron fitting, you’ll need 1 iron ingot. Go to an anvil or a blacksmith’s forge to construct this item. Iron fittings are used to create the following items:
- Blacksmith’s Forge
- Display Case
- End Table
- Wall Sconce
- Weapon Plaque
Locks are forged at an anvil or a blacksmith’s forge. To create a Lock, you’ll need one iron ingot and one corundum ingot. Locks are used to create the following items: