Minecraft house: how to get started and build ideas

Minecraft house - Steve in front of a villager house
(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)

The wonderful world of Minecraft houses might be a lot less confusing than our world's real estate, but that doesn't mean you'll be an expert craftsperson overnight.

While you won't have to pay for lumber or negotiate building codes and zoning laws, your Minecraft house does have to protect you against the hordes of zombies, skeletons, creepers, and other nasties that show up when the sun dips below the horizon. But effective protection is only one part of the equation – showing off your personal style accounts for the rest. Putting your creativity on display can be hard work though, and utilizing Minecraft's palette to express yourself is no exception, whether it's with Minecraft skins or a new house.

Sometimes the wheels of invention get stuck, and the only acceptable grease to get them moving again is to seek out new inspirations for your next Minecraft build. For some people, inspiration can strike from nature, from experimentation, or from real-life architecture and art – but if you're like me, sometimes you need the extra helping hand of other Minecraft creators to jump-start you. Thankfully, there are options aplenty out there, with countless examples.

Minecraft houses

Minecraft house: how to build a starter house

Minecraft house - Steve proudly standing in front of his fresh dirt hovel

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)

Before you can jump into building a palace of your own, you'll have to focus on surviving your first nights in Minecraft's cubic landscape. Wandering the trees and fields of night without shelter is a surefire way to end up dead, so what's the fastest way to get yourself protected? The answer really depends on how much time you have, so let's take a look at the options:

Help, it's already dark!

Minecraft house - a small bolt hole in a stone hill

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • The quickest way to keep yourself alive is to find a wall – usually a hill or mountain – and dig yourself straight into it. Ideally, you want a 1 block wide x 2 block tall opening a few blocks deep.
  • Once you're inside, you can turn around and seal the entrance with blocks to prevent any enemies that come around from getting to you.
  • From there, you'll just have to wait out the night – which is about seven minutes – unless you've already got torches to light up your little hidey-hole.

But what about if there's a bit more daylight left?

It's still daytime, how do I prepare better?

Minecraft house - a small cubic house of dirt

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • You have time to work, so find an open spot to build and then go and gather up some wood logs, cobblestone, and a bunch of dirt.
  • You want at least a 3 block by 3 block footprint for the interior of the floor, so build a 5 block by 5 block outer wall for your house that is about 4 blocks tall and then seal the top in with a 3 block by 3 block roof, preferably you want to use dirt for the walls and roof to save wood and cobblestone.
  • Pick a side for your entrance and then break a 1 block by 2 block entrance from your wall.
  • Create and place a crafting table on the inside of your house, and then use the crafting table so that you can create and place a furnace inside too.
  • Make a door using the crafting table and use the door to seal your entrance.
  • If you still have time you can cook logs in the furnace to make charcoal which you can then use to craft torches to place inside and outside.

I've survived my first night, but what do I build to upgrade my house?

Minecraft house - a luxury Minecraft house with a garden

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)

Once you've made it through that critical first night, there are a number of upgrades you can do to your house to make it function – and look – a whole lot better:

  • Replace the dirt walls, roof, and floors with something nicer, like cobblestone or whatever woods are handy. You can even create patterns in the floor with different wood colors.
  • Find some sheep so you can get wool for a bed – this way if you die you'll at least be able to spawn back at your house.
  • Cook some sand in  your furnace to get glass, and make some windows so you can see if there are any surprise enemies lurking outside.
  • Add plenty of torches in the area around your house so enemies don't spawn nearby at night.
  • Make a hoe and you can start planting any seeds you find next to your house to get some food growing.
  • Dig out a lower floor beneath your house and you can spend your nights mining underground.

Minecraft houses: cool build ideas

Once you've got your basic survival taken care of, you can really get creative with things in Minecraft. These are a few of our favorite inspirations for building a Minecraft house:

A stunning japanese-inspired house

A house with a view is all about location, so why not go with a house that is the view instead? With their beautiful color palette picks, gently sloping roof, and gorgeous pond to reflect at, Zaypixel nails the look and feel of a quiet and contemplative open-plan.

Check out Zaypixel here

The coziest hobbit hole you can imagine

As part of PixlRiffs 'One Chunk' series it's hard to believe that so much detail can be packed into just one Minecraft chunk. If you've ever wanted to live the cozy hobbit life inside a gorgeously appointed and lushly decorated hole in the ground, this is the inspiration for you.

Check out PixlRiffs here.

An idyllic lifted lakehouse

Coexisting with nature sometimes means conquering it, and with this majestically soaring lakehouse, Folli shows off how something simple can really elevate your build. With perfectly detailed support buttresses and window framing, this Minecraft house is perfect to fish from after a long day mining.

Check out Folli here.

Philip Palmer
Senior Writer

Phil is a Senior Writer of TechRadar Gaming (TRG). With three previous years of experience writing freelance for PC Gamer, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.