To hire a follower, simply ask them to come with you, then travel to the build site. They should approach you and volunteer for the job, or if not, you can ask them yourself once there. You will need to first build at least the Small House Layout before the option to hire them appears. Your steward will patrol the exterior of your property, as well as use various items in and around your house.
You can ask them to make improvements to the house, which will allow you several options:
- Hire a carriage driver for 500 gold
- Hire a bard for 1500 gold
- Purchase a horse for 1000 gold (if you have built the exterior Stable option)
- Purchase a cow for 200 gold (if you have built the exterior Animal Pen option)
- Purchase up to three chickens for 25 gold (if you have built the exterior Animal Pen option)
- Your chicken(s) will have a nest where you will be provided with chicken's eggs.
- There seems to be little advantage to purchasing more than one chicken - you only get one nest even with three of them. [verification needed]
 Building Materials
You can ask your steward to purchase building materials for you:
 Furnish a Room
You can ask your steward to purchase furnishing options for the house. When you ask a steward to decorate part of your home for you, they will not do so immediately. They will gradually add furnishing options over time, which can be a very slow process. This is one way to avoid the chore of collecting all the required materials yourself, though you'll miss out on all the Smithing experience you'd gain from crafting thousands of nails and iron fittings. If you have them decorate a section of your home, they will eventually add all possible furnishing options to that section of the home; if you prefer not to have certain furnishing options added, you should build furnishing options for that section of the home yourself. The costs of each section of the home are as follows:
Note that the cost for each section will be the same, regardless of how much of the furnishings you have already built yourself.
You can also ask your steward where to buy materials such as glass or straw. They will direct you to a nearby general goods store: Belethor's General Goods in Whiterun (from Heljarchen Hall), Gray Pine Goods in Falkreath (from Lakeview Manor), or Bits and Pieces in Solitude (from Windstad Manor).
 Followers who can become Stewards
†Only one quest of this type can be active at a time.
- Mjoll the Lioness has the dialogue options to become a steward in the Creation Kit but the options do not actually appear in game.
 Dawnguard Followers
These NPCs are added by the Dawnguard plug-in. If you become infected with Vampirism after appointing one of the Dawnguard as your steward, you must cure yourself before you can speak to them again, making them useless while a vampire.
|Name||Description||Primary Skills||Max Level|
|Agmaer||A male Nord member of the Dawnguard found in Fort Dawnguard. (Bandit class)||One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor||25||0|
|Beleval||A female Bosmer member of the Dawnguard found in Fort Dawnguard. (Bandit class)||One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor||25||0|
|Celann||A male Breton member of the Dawnguard found in Fort Dawnguard. (Warrior(1H) class)||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block||None||3|
|Durak||A male Orc member of the Dawnguard found in Fort Dawnguard. (Ranger class)||Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed||None||3|
|Ingjard||A female Nord member of the Dawnguard found in Fort Dawnguard. (Warrior(2H) class)||Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block||None||3|
 Hearthfire Followers
|Name||Description||Primary Skills||Prerequisite Quest||Max Level|
|Gregor||A male Nord found in Dawnstar.||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block||Become Thane of the Pale||50||0|
|Rayya||A female Redguard found in Falkreath.||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block||Become Thane of Falkreath||50||0|
|Valdimar||A male Nord found in Morthal.||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Alteration, Destruction, Restoration||Become Thane of Hjaalmarch||50||0|
 Dragonborn Followers
This NPC is added by the Dragonborn plug-in.
|Name||Description||Primary Skills||Prerequisite Quest||Level|
|Talvas Fathryon||A male Dunmer conjurer living in Tel Mithryn.||Conjuration, Restoration, Destruction, Alteration, Sneak||From the Ashes||25||3||?||?|
- Personal stewards may vanish after being appointed.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0.3 of the Unofficial Hearthfire Patch.
- Personal stewards may tell you that you don't have enough gold when you attempt to furnish rooms, even when you do. This is usually caused by furnishing a room before asking the steward to do it.
- Personal stewards may not sleep at all and instead just stand next to the bed.
- Hiring a bard through a personal steward does not always bring the bard to your residence.
- Upon arrival at the house they offer to be a steward but may not have the normal steward dialogue and instead offer to go adventuring for free or a price depending on the mercenary. They will, however, wander off and do things on the property like any other steward.
- If you accept the offer to be a follower, when they are dismissed, they may say they will head back to their original location but instead return to the property of which they are steward.
- Whenever hirelings are subsequently "hired" for adventuring, they will lose their steward dialogue upon being released from service.
- Followers may not give the option to become stewards if Dragonborn is enabled.
- Disabling Dragonborn temporarily, hiring a steward, then enabling it may fix the problem.
- In some occasions, particularly when hiring a bard is the only option left, the option of making upgrades for the home will be absent.
- Killing an animal will NOT fix it.
- If an animal is killed and enough time has been spent outside the hold where a reset has happened, the options of buying the animal and a bard will come back.
- It is not known if it is the death of the animal or the reset has triggered the fix.