Building A Home

With Minecraft, users find themselves in an unfamiliar world with no instruction. There are no tutorials or manuals built into the game. We have built a city for you to help as best we can. The rest is up to you. You are on your own. The following  tips will help you survive your first twenty-four hours in MineQuestria, this new and strange land.

Get Busy

As far as beginner Minecraft tips are concerned, there is no better than the strong recommendation to get busy building a shelter. You will need protection in this strange land. It is all fine and dandy to explore, but if you leave yourself vulnerable come nightfall, it could get messy. It may seem pretty and quiet during the day, but at night skeletons, zombies, monsters and the really scary Creeper come to wreak havoc.

Location

Spread out on the map, but don’t take too long and gather materials along the way. Find yourself the best spot to build a shelter.  Lookout towers are along the paths so you can get a better view as you look. Time is of the essence in a world where nighttime brings an array of formidable creatures. To save time, find an existing natural structure that you can use for at least one wall of your shelter. Look for a cliff and you already have one wall made, Just please when you move on reclaim your materials. Try to keep things looking nice for everyone else.

Go Simple

Another popular suggestion from the box of Minecraft tips is to keep it simple. The easiest and simplest shelter to build is one made from dirt. Look for any grass tile, and then turn it over to find dirt bricks. You can use your pick or take the time to construct a shovel; however, the dirt bricks are also easy to collect with your bare hands. You will need about forty blocks to construct a reasonable shelter.

Lumber

If you have left yourself some time before nightfall, you can harvest lumber. Walk to the closet tree, and hold down the left mouse button to gather wood. The block will eventually break off the tree and drop a log that you can pick up. You will need about 12 logs for a decent structure. To make the logs into useable lumber, press “E” to open your inventory then click and drag the logs to the crafting window. Place logs on top of each other to make sticks.
Although this game may seem incredibly overwhelming to the novice, some key Minecraft tips for beginners make playing it more enjoyable in the long run. Remember, make the shelter first!

[spoiler title=”Possible Rooms” open=”0″ style=”2″]

Crafting Room

This is the single most important room and should be the first one built. A craft room should include a crafting table, at least one furnace, and at least one chest containing common crafting materials found while mining. This room should also have supplies so you can quickly get them and leave without needing to go to the other side of your shelter to get what you need. This should be well-defended and well hidden as it’s generally a main entrance to your base.

Furnace Room

This is important if you are a big miner and every miner should have one. This also enables quick production of several stacks of charcoal, smooth stone, glass, etc. Make a big room and line the walls with furnaces, possibly keeping a chest of fuel inside as well. The benefit of having multiple furnaces is a much faster smelting time for many items, since each furnace is able to run independently.

Kitchen

This is very important because you can cook and store food. You can make it nice or just have a furnace in it. Anyway you want it. OR you can just make the kitchen of your Dreams. Also you can use blueprints and schematics for it!

Store Room

A room full of chests for storing all of the dirt, cobblestone and other less-valuable materials that accumulates in your inventory while mining. This should be built once your main craft room’s chests start to overflow. You should also build another store room directly below this one, though hiding the entrance to it, and it is the same setup as described before, though this store room is filled with more valuable and rare materials, i.e. gold, iron, redstone, etc.
Note that as of Beta 1.8, chests are transparent, and can therefore be stacked on top of each other, saving space.

Mine Entrance

It’s generally a good idea to put the entrance to your mine inside your shelter, simply so that, if you return at night, you won’t have to make a mad dash to your house. It’s probably a good idea to make sure your mine is well lit, or have a decent way you can enter your shelter from the mine or vice versa without mobs being able to do the same.

Back Door

The vast majority of basic shelter designs have only a single entrance, but you should always add a second if at all possible. This gives you another way in or out, especially if the main entry-way is temporarily too dangerous to use. (e.g. There is a Creeper at your front door.)

Bedroom

Sleeping in a bed resets your spawn point to the last bed you slept in. Put beds in all bases to easily transfer primary bases. A bedroom often shares purpose with another room.

Brewery

Once you’ve been to the Nether and gathered some Blaze Rods, you can create a Brewery, which is simply a room with a Brewing Stand and a Cauldron. It is good to be able to brew some potions to prepare yourself for leaving your base. Include a chest with some potion ingredients such as sugar, redstone, blaze powder, nether wart, glowstone dust, spider eyes, magma cream and fermented spider eyes and a well would be helpful as well for an immediate and unlimited water supply.
Positive Effect Potions and an example of a brewery can be found, by clicking here.

Enchantment Room

After gathering some diamonds, obsidian, and sugar cane you can build an Enchantment Table. This lets you enchant your items (See Enchanting for help on design), and since bookshelves give you higher level enchantments, this room could also be a good use for your sugar cane.

Armory

Although only required later on in the game, an armory is a room near the front door with chests containing food, armor, weapons etc. for when you are going outside.

Cellar

Just like the storage room, but underground. You can use this as an opportunity to make several mines plus you can put in a lava disposal without the house getting burned down. Very helpful!

[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”Expansions” open=”0″ style=”2″]

These projects, while not entirely mandatory, make your base more useful and interesting.

Redstone Lab

A laboratory is a large, clear, secure area where you can safely test designs without distractions. When building large projects with complicated parts, it can save you time and effort if you test the ideas first.

Cake Factory

A cake farm simply provides the avenue to quickly produce cake and have the necessary ingredients nearby and produced in a close area, most commonly in one large factory type building. To make a cake factory make a Wheat Farm, Automatic Harvesting Sugar Cane Farm, an Automatic Egg Farm, and a cow in a cage (make the cage so you can milk the cow.). Place a crafting table and a chest. Once you have enough materials from the farms, start making cakes. This is a good thing to put under/next to a dining hall in SMP.

Path/Road

How about building a road or a path between your buildings or to the nearest village? Remember to keep it well lit so no mobs spawn!

Cobblestone Generator

A cobblestone generator provides a safe and convenient way to gather cobblestone. They typically involve mixing water and lava. A tutorial of this is available here

Bunker

Sometimes called a panic room, a Bunker is a small room made of strong materials (obsidian for example) with an iron door with the open/close system inside the room. This room must have a bed, a crafting table, a furnace and also a chest with the basic materials (food, tools, and weapons are a must). It also has to have a high interior luminosity to avoid monsters spawning inside.

Scout Tower

A cheap and safe way to survey the land. Note that these are mostly obsoleted by maps, should you have the resources to make them, although a map doesn’t tell you if there are any aggressive mobs outside.

Beacon/Lighthouse

A tall tower with some sort of light source on the top means that you can see your base from a long distance away. Handy if you go exploring a lot, your spawn point is a long way from your base, or you have not made a bed yet.

Kennel

If you have tamed a lot of wolves, a kennel is a good place to keep them. A simple shed-like structure will suffice, but be sure to keep it well lit for the wolves’ safety.

Well

A renewable water source is useful for a variety of projects. Put water in a 1×3 ditch and you can take water repeatedly from the center! For a more aesthetically pleasing pool, a 2x2x1 well works as well, and you can take water from any of the squares.

Wheat Farm/Greenhouse

A renewable source of food from the safety of your base is incredibly useful. If your base is underground or has an expansion underground it is highly recommended to make an underground farm. This will help avoid possible animal trampling or creepers blowing up part of your farm (See Farming for more information). For a tutorial on this click here

Melon Farm

A Melon farm produces the obvious, melon slices. Which can be used as a valuable food source that keeps your hunger bar up. For tutorials on creating an automatic melon farm click here.

Pumpkin Farm

A Pumpkin farm obviously provides pumpkins. These pumpkins can be used for souls for Snow & Iron Golems, Enderman protection as well as jack-o-lanterns and ofcourse simply for decoration.

Tree Farm

Producing wood in your own base can eliminate a major reason for venturing in the dangerous outside. Make sure your farming room has a torch next to each sapling and has enough space upwards. A chest with axes, saplings, and spare wood can be helpful as well. See Tree Farming.

Mushroom Farm

A big room with flat floor. You can light your farm by torches or glowstone, placed on ceiling, to prevent mobs from appearing. Just make sure that there are no places on the floor where the light level is greater than 12. More about this can be found it by clicking here (Video Tutorial) or on the Mushroom Farming page. Alternatively, find a small cave or make one, put some mushrooms inside and completely seal it off without torches and check on it/clean it out. Also provides the drops from hostile mobs.

Sugarcane and Cactus Farms

Easier to manage but somewhat less useful than the above two projects, farming Sugarcane and cactus underground requires little effort. A cactus farm requires sand to grow, and Sugarcane needs to be properly irrigated with water within one block of it. If you don’t want to spend lots of time harvesting your cactus, place a three-block-tall pillar next to where you want your cactus (See Farming for more info). Or click these links for a tutorial on creating these farms. Automated Cactus FarmAutomated Sugar Cane Farm

Chicken Coop

Farming eggs is possible, though time-consuming, by locking yourself in a small room and throwing enough eggs to spawn several chickens (see Farming for more info).

It is recommended you switch to Breeding after getting a handful of adult chickens

Indoor Animal Farm

Light up a large area with a grass floor. Then put two of the same kind of passive mobs (i.e., two pigs or two cows) inside. You can then breed them together and you can gather wool, leather, pork, beef and raw chicken safely. You might want to put trees inside so the animals feel more comfortable, or, if you’re really ambitious, build a man-made forest. For an outdoor tutorial with the same concepts click here

Incinerator

A room with lava, for disposing of unwanted materials. A good way to do this is to create a two block high corridor with lava at the end, and a slab block just before the lava. This results in you being able to walk up to your incinerator but not into it, eliminating fear of death. Be careful with lava around flammable materials. You may replace the lava with a cactus block, or burning netherrack.

Obsidian Farm

Natural obsidian is dangerous to mine, let alone the difficulties associated with finding it. Make a long, narrow, enclosed pit to store lava in. The easiest way to get lava is in The Nether, so you may want a portal in this room as well. It is also possible to make redstone-to-obsidian converters. Basically you place redstone where the cobblestone is generated in a cobblestone generator before it forms another peice. Examples can be seen on YouTube

Minecart Hub

If you have active mines scattered over the place and use Minecarts to haul your stuff back to your base, dig out a universal stopping point under your base.
Indoor fishing pond
This is very easy to make, and can be very useful, especially if you don’t have a wheat farm yet. Just make a hole long enough to cast your fishing rod, around 8 blocks long and at least 2 blocks deep, and fill it with water.

Portal Room

Once you have at least 10 obsidian, either from mining it in a cavern or obtaining it though obsidian farming you can build a portal. Once built, activate it with a flint and steel, and you can travel to the nether. This can be used for fast travel and for getting lava, netherrack, Soul Sand and glowstone. Beware of ghasts, Zombie Pigmen, as well as Magma Cubes.

Music Room

A room filled with note blocks to enjoy melodies. This can be made with or without redstone repeaters.

Library

Not only is it a great use for any excess sugarcane, a library can also add a bit of class to your home. Can double as an enchantment room.

Minecart Chest System

After a lot of days in Minecraft, you will soon have the ability to automate everything (farms, doors, etc). The most useful automation you can make is a Minecraft Chest System. You can simply craft Minecarts with chests, Booster rails, and some rails, you can make a system to send your ores up your mine to your base, and have a minecart with more tools come back to you.

Gravel-to-Flint room

Once you have many stacks of gravel, it can be useful to convert most (leave some for mining) of your gravel into flint. This is just a big empty room (a 4X4X4 space holds a stack of blocks), which you fill with gravel, before destroying the gravel, getting some flint in the process. It is most efficient to do this 10 – 15 times for every 20 stacks, though about 5 for 10 stacks, and 30 for 50 or so stacks. This room may include a chest with shovels, as well as ingredients and a crafting table for quick production of arrows, and flint and steel.

Lookout tower

If you always get blown up by creepers when you go out your door, you should consider adding this very handy expansion. Just make a very high platform with ladders or stairs to it, then put fences around the perimeter of your platform. This may be done by planting and stacking Huge Mushrooms. This is similar to the Scout Tower suggested above.

Target Practice Rooms

Make this room dimly lit, so hostile mobs can spawn, when you enter this room, always close the doors when entering and exiting, arm yourself and kill the mobs in there. Light the entrance area with torches. This will help you gain XP and loot.

Biome room

If you like to travel through the biomes, then consider making a biome room. Collect all the items unique to that biome and incorparate all in to one room (this may not have the same look of feel of the biome you make due to the biome you are currently in).

Suicide room

This room is useful for when you’re mining a lot and don’t want to waste food to refill your hunger upon your return. Simply put a chest for storing your items temporarily, make a room full of cacti or fire (be careful of wooden surfaces), and when you die, your hunger will be restored with no harm done. Keep it near your spawn point as well. Remember that you might lose your EXP when you die.

Trophy Room

If you use a piston you can acquire a Ender Dragon Egg, so you can make a Trophy Stand and put the egg on it. After you kill the Ender Dragon of course.

Wool room

Make a room with all the different wool colours and a space so you can compare colour combinations. A video representing how to make all the wool types and a demo wool room is available here

Saw Mill

Uses a sideways piston, a wooden pressure plate next to the piston, and lava on the other side of the piston, with a hole in the wall that the piston is one block behind. This uses boats to convert birch, pine, and jungle planks into the oak planks we all know and love. When you place the boat on the top of the block in front of it, it trips the pressure plate to make the piston push, and the lava also destroys the boat at the same time, making the piston push ready made oak planks and some sticks to you. Wood is lost through this, but it’s much less annoying to place full blocks than double slabs.

Rooftop Archery

On the roof of your house/shelter put chests with bows and arrows in them. Put fences around the top so you dont fall off. Plus it saves you the job of putting in a lookout tower.

Patio/Porch

Outside of your main shelter, make a nice patio out of bricks or stone for decoration. Fence it off and it can double as home defense.

Windmill

A good idea is also to make a wind mill near his house, largely to his home to resemble a farm. You can put some blocks Glowstone the top, or just use it as a great pillar to see your house from afar. It can also be used as a warehouse, or perhaps a point of mining. [/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”Home Defense Options” open=”0″ style=”2″]

These additions make your base safer and provide a certain amount of entertainment.

Murder Holes

First, dig a 2 block deep hole in the ground. Dig another hole 3 blocks deep, 1 block away from the first hole. Dig out the block that separates the bottom of the 2-deep hole with the middle of the 3-deep. If done correctly, this should allow all mobs (except for spiders) to fall into the 2 block hole. Then, you simply go into the 3 block hole and attack their feet. Murder Holes often function best alongside a perimeter wall of some sort, with the 2 deep outside and the 3 deep inside. An extra addition to this is to make a large amount of murder holes, and form a tunnel system of sorts, so you can watch multiple holes at once. These were featured by Paulsoaresjr in his minecraft tutorial videos.

Snowgolem Defenders

Since snowgolems shoot Mobs back, consider adding holes in the sides of your walls with little rooms attached to each hole. Then build Snow Golems behind each of the holes. You should be placing the pumpkin head 1 above the hole, because when the snowgolem is formed, it is only 2 blocks high.

Skylight

Although this may not sound like much of a defence, building a small skylight above your entrance/exit will allow you to easily see any mobs (Especially spiders) waiting to pounce on you from above.

Anti Hostile Mob Passageway

You can use the fact that snowballs push hostile mobs, by building a 1-wide bridge over lava and putting snow golems on the side (see gallery). The player and passive mobs can pass through safely, while hostile mobs will be pushed to the lava by the snowgolems’ snowballs.

Overhang

Since Spiders can climb walls, a base needs to have either a ceiling or an overhang along the outside walls to be safe. The walls must be at least four blocks high (since spiders can jump up to three blocks high). Of course, a closed roof with a lava pond on top is also nice…

Perimeter

Adding torches around your base can reduce the amount of monsters that spawn nearby, so add some light to your lawn! You can also use fences, cacti, and burning netherrack to keep enemies out. Just remember that spiders can jump your fences.

Floodgate

Using a fairly simple redstone circuit connected to a lever at one end, and one or more pistons at the other end, you’ll be able to build some simple floodgates. If you extend the pistons first, and then place water, or even lava behind it, you can get rid of or even kill any mob passing by pulling the lever and letting the water or lava flow! For a quick morning mob clean-up and a strong sense of catharsis, you can place lava floodgates surrounding your entire shelter, facing out. One throw of the lever reduces the surrounding landscape to a barren, hellish wasteland! Not to be used in wooded areas.

Moat

The simplest of these is a “dry moat” or trench, a couple layers deep so that skeletons and zombies can’t get across. This can provide you with a reasonably safe area that is outside. This can be filled with water to push the enemies to a mob grinder, or simply filled with lava which has more dramatic and obvious effects. Please note: It might not be a good idea to use lava when having a shelter built out flammable blocks such as wood, wool or wooden planks. Tower shelters would do well to have a three-block deep water moat to break the player’s fall so they can safely fall to the bottom.

Lake

If a moat does not feel sufficient, build a lake around your base, preferably several levels below the entry level and with a bridge to allow easy access back and forth. Again, it can be water, or, if you want a dramatic flair, use lava. Remember to protect the bridge well, though, and be sure you are protected from within the island in case you miss a spawner. Making a drawbridge out of trapdoors is a fun alternative to the actual bridge.

Archery Tower

If you have a plentiful supply of arrows, building a small tower to pick off nearby monsters can be fun and provide useful resources such as gunpowder.

Dispenser Turret

Put a dispenser with some arrows at your desired location (preferably next to a door) and a Stone Button/Lever/Pressure Plate attached to it. This is handy if mobs want to pay you a visit.

Traps

If you’re not satisfied with moats or a perimeter fence, consider adding a trap or two. If you’re up to a challenge (and on a SMP server), you could even make an entire trap, designed to look like a base! Dark rooms with no way out for mob spawning, entire mazes made of glass, and traps using pistons and lava. The possibilities are endless.

Wall

Build a large wall, light the area inside and you can live “hostile free”.

Secure Waterfront

Because zombies and skeletons can survive sunlight in water and hostile mobs can swim, if you have a base on the coast it’s a good idea to make sure it isn’t vulnerable to mob attack. Building canals, lighting nearby islands, and building walls on areas of water you don’t use can stop very rare, but still as deadly, attacks from the sea.

Blast shield

About 3 or 4 layers of some cheap material (e.g. dirt) placed on the house will make it ugly, but it prevents creepers from doing any damage to your house. Alternatively, you could use 1 layer of obsidian instead.

Self-Rebuilding Wall

It’s possible to apply the idea of a cobblestone generator and use pistons to make it automatically rebuild damaged walls. Generally more effort than it’s worth, but very neat-looking.

Iron Golem Trap

If you have plentiful iron, you can create a separate room containing multiple iron golems. This can be opened via a piston door to allow iron golems into a courtyard or garden. This will allow them to be sent to kill zombies if your house is under siege.

Cactus Wall

If you have a small house near or in the desert, and you want some more protection because you’re just starting out, or if you’re a veteran and you want a cheap, effective wall, then this is the wall for you. It’s basically composed of cactus blocks, placed about 3 blocks high, and all around your base in a way to only make one path to your door, this will trip up most mobs, other then skeletons because they shoot, and spiders, and they tend to jump over it, but it’s an excellent defense for a beginner.

Outer Walls

The best material to construct these are stone, stone brick or brick. They should be at least 4 blocks high and 2 wooden doors for the exit. Make sure to build ramparts and cover walls.

Panic Room

So that if your house is invaded, you can move to that room. Should be well defended and have a basic kit- cake, weapons, a bed, a crafting table/furnace/chest(s) -inside, as well as a way out separate from the rest of your base. Handy if that one creeper manages to find his way up and explode.

Weaponry room

This is a room you can solely use to make weapons and store them. You’ll want a crafting table and some chests for materials. This is useful since you can then use your original crafting room for things other than weapons, therefore leaving more space for such. Some holes in the side would be useful for sniping all the mobs and creepers outside. [/spoiler]

[spoiler title=”Other Ideas” open=”0″ style=”2″]

There are infinite possibilities in Minecraft. These ideas are not always functional but can be fun to make and have.

A Water “fall”

if you have a tall base and you want to get down fast, make a 3 block deep hole on the ground and fill it with water, so you can jump down safely.

Add underground floors to your shelter.

Using this gives you a chance to find resources, and, in the case of invasion by mobs, it will always provide a safer spot. Underground floors are also useful for making mob grinders or animal farms.

Add above-ground floors to your shelter.

It is normally advised that you do this after building underground floors, especially if you have a ton of resources (after mining the basement out). These floors could even give you a chance to “snipe” some creepers and spiders in the morning.

Balcony

Place your balcony where it is facing a nice view! Add a chest with bows and arrows for quick mob sniping. Useful for a variety of things, from providing a point for easy kills to enjoying views to, on multiplayer worlds, reenacting Romeo and Juliet.

Landing and Takeoff Platforms

If playing with flying enabled (for example, in Creative Mode) you can create platforms at the same height on multiple buildings for easy flight between the upper levels of different locations. This works great in tree-forts, cities, and anywhere that multiple balconies are otherwise unconnected. Remake it out of a different material. Install luxurious violet carpeting for the bedroom. Give your craft room a nice glass roof. Rebuild the armory out of obsidian. Redo your outer walls in smooth stone. Add a second story to your library.

Make another base in a new location
Having more than one base helps if you need to travel farther to get resources. A base next to your spawn point is helpful if you built your main base far away and you died at night. A base in a desert can provide sand, and a base in a tundra can provide snow. A base hovering in the sky can provide entertainment, especially if mobs spawn on the edge of it. A great idea is to connect them with nether portals that have a secure hallway in the nether.
An emergency kit
In case you need to quickly gear up and run back to get dropped gear. Perhaps a sword, cake or a stack of porkchops, a stack of torches, and maybe some TNT? A more advanced kit can be made from dispensers that give you items at the click of a button or a step on a pressure plate, although arrows and torches will still have to be accessed from a chest or two (if you want the whole stack).
Add an escape tunnel
You never know, that creeper might one day get you. Bonus points if the tunnel leads to a secondary base.
Lava lamp
Simply make a hollow space out of glass and fill it with lava. An efficient method is to run a vertical column through many floors powered by a single lava block at the top. You can also make one of these high above your base to mark it from afar. If your house is made out of flammable blocks, this isn’t recommended.
Quarry
A Quarry yields very large amounts of materials such as cobblestone and dirt to make your buildings, and coal and iron to make tools and torches. It can require several days of game-play to finish building. Some rarer materials like gold can be found as well.
Mining shaft sunroof
Making a sunroof that points directly down your mining shaft has its advantages: you will be able to tell the time of day more easily, and burn mobs like zombies and skeletons. The sunroof can also provide enough light to discourage other mobs from spawning in your mine.
Doorbell
Players (and mobs) entering your house without your knowledge is a pain, that’s why you need a doorbell. When a mob or player steps on the pressure plate the note block will play a sound, and you can make this more sophisticated making chimes or even a whole song that play upon entering.
If you have multiple entrances to your base, place different blocks under each note block to make sure that if a creeper comes to your west entrance, you don’t get blown up when you try to run away through that door.
Blinker Beacon
A more technical variation on the Lighthouse – the light blinks on and off like a real lighthouse.
You may also use a minecart rail system, which can be made so you put down rails in a square(4 rails on every side), then put down a booster and detector rail, power the booster, and connect the detector rail to the torches you want to blink with redstone. Place a minecart on the booster and it will loop forever.
This can be used to blink multiple torches with the same system, and does not require maintenance. You can connect more detector rails for faster blinking speed.
Outpost
Make a small room somewhere away from your base. You can include a bed, a cake on a table (for food), a crafting table, a furnace and a chest. This is helpful as a simple second shelter, and the cake is a useful source for restoring the hunger-bar if it gets low. Add a door and windows to know when that creeper is staking out your door.
Dock/Harbor
If you find yourself using boats in a general area often, making a dock or two is a good idea. They can help prevent your boats from drifting off into the ocean, or slamming into a wall when you exit, thus breaking the boat. Dispensers can also be placed here and filled with boats for convenience. Chests filled with boats are a good idea too. There are several ways to make useful docks.
Placing half-blocks in the water. When a boat moves on top, it will slow down and stop immediately. Half blocks are shorter, so your boat will not collide with it and break.
Warning: it is recommended to only use this method on Peaceful difficulty and to land on the half blocks at a low speed, instant death is possible when landing on half blocks at maximum speed.
A closed dock. One type of dock is by making a small area (2×3 or larger) that is filled with water. You can place doors in the water, allowing you to ensure your boat will not drift off. Soul Sand is a suggested building material, as it will prevent all of the impact damage from colliding with a wall made out of it.
Water currents. By using a bucket to remove the top layer in 2+ deep water, you will create a + shaped water current flowing towards the centre. You can use this to hold boats, while still being able to escape somewhat easily. This design does not always prevent the boats from moving if you or a mob bumps into it, but will help prevent it from drifting away
Piston elevator
If your base happens to be atop a large mountain or if you have a deep mine below you base then a elevator may be a good idea. Elevators dramatically cut down the time that it takes to travel vertically. Dig a 1×1 hole down twice as many blocks as you need to go up, fill it to brim with sticky pistons and a cobblestone on top. Put a redstone torch and repeater by the bases of every piston. That way for a few seconds its up, and for a few it’s down. Step on and you go up, or down.
Fridge
Create a fridge by placing a dispenser on the ground, a block on it and a button on the side of the block to quickly get something to eat when you’re starved. Add a door in front of the dispenser if you feel it would look better, or if you just like the idea.
Miniature zen garden
Either above the surface or underground, create decorative minimalistic works of art using water currents, plants/crops/flowers, sand, clever use of fenceposts, signs, torches, etc.
Fountain
You need 22 stone and a bucket of water. Make a 5 by 5 square with the nine in the middle taken out so the water won’t spill, then make a 4 block high pillar in the middle and place the water on top of the highest block. Taking out the stone pillar in the middle of the fountain can look nice, and placing half-blocks around the stone blocks can look fairly cool.
Piston Doors
These are very cool looking. Have these anywhere in your house: library, craft room, furnace room, you name it. All you need is redstone, sticky pistons, and levers. Be sure to keep them hidden if the rooms are secret.
Tunnel to a Stronghold
After you found a stronghold make a tunnel to it. Easy way to get to The End. Keep it well lit and defended so that the creeper you ran into in the stronghold can’t follow you back to your base and blow up.
Add a carpet
You can spice up your base by adding a carpet made out of colored wool. Make sure that fire and lava aren’t less than two blocks from the carpet otherwise, well, your carpet will go up in flames! Bright colors, like red, blue and purple are recommended, because black and gray carpets don’t have the same feel.
Roller Coaster
If you have enough resources, build a roller coaster out of rails. Add twists, turns, steep climbs and falls. Use booster rails to keep it running fast. This is a decent way to keep occupied while you have nothing else to do in the vast world of Minecraft. Useful on SMP- you can charge other players to ride.
Sky Base
Create a base floating in the sky with no bridges or stairs connecting it to land. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way to build it! The no-connections idea can be accomplished with waterfalls, piston elevators, and nether portals. Add other sky islands nearby with bridges to connect them, and it’ll be like you never left the ground! If you truly don’t want any connections to land, even with the waterfalls and nether portals and elevators, gather up all the resources you’ll need and seal yourself away in the sky. (But make sure you have a bed up there in case you die.) For extra entertainment, make a smaller island and plunge it into darkness, and watch mobs walk right off. To make it even more entertaining, place some arrow dispensers hooked up to pressure plates on the island, and even make signs all along the edge.
Battle Arena
The first thing you must do is find a mob spawner. Then seal off any extra entrances and place a door at the last remaining one. Maybe make the dungeon a little bigger, to provide for more fun and monster spawns. Finally, make a lobby with chests full of equipment (swords, bows and arrows), potions and food. Now you can fight that specific mob whether for experience or drops for as long as you want! Include beds if it is a long way away from your base, so that if you die you won’t have to walk for ages just to find it again. If in SMP, add a lock on the lobby and another lobby where other players can pay you to fight that mob. This is handy to build in abandoned mineshafts, wherever you find a cave spider spawner.
Railway
Make a long tunnel to fit from one to any amount of minecarts, then use minecarts with furnaces to propel the ‘train’. You can also use powered rails, but for that you’ll have to find gold and redstone. Be sure to add emergency chests to the side of the track and fill them with coal to power your minecart so you don’t get stranded. Adding food and weapons in these chests is a good idea, in case you get stranded and have to fight some zombies to make it to your shelter. This is fun for SMP and single-player and you can go across the land quickly. Don’t make your railway aboveground; you will constantly be attacked by creepers. However, covering the railway with blocks (such as you would make a house) can solve this problem, alternatively you could build a 3 block wide track that is elevated off the ground 2-45 blocks. This option is very cool and provides great views but is not suitable for SMP. Make stations for your favorite landmarks (big mountains, your house, etc).
Minehouse
Make one of these if you have a long and deep mine and have to constantly run up and down long tunnels to drop off your bounty and sleep for the night. You need to make a small cottage in the middle of your mine, but digging out a room(s) in the side of a wall works fine as well. Adding a door, windows and plenty of light will reduce the chance of being ambushed when you wake up in the morning. It must have a chest with food, picks, and shovels, as well as rare items that you don’t want to lose while mining. Having multiple chests in a back room to store your excess dirt, gravel, cobblestone and ores is handy if your main chest is getting crowded and you’ll be down in your mine for a while yet. A crafting table, multiple furnaces for quickly smelting items, and a bed are always good to have inside. You can also include an Enchantment Table for quick enchanting of tools and armor, especially if your favorite Efficiency IV/Silk Touch I diamond pick got burnt in the pit of lava that also stole some redstone.
Pool
Make a pit of any shape or depth, but a small, rectangular design that is 2 blocks deep is recommended. Fill it with water. And now you’ve got your very own pool. And if your extra careful, you can make it with lava instead. Also it lights up that area of your base and looks good.
Park Square
Make fences around a 20x50x15 area, put a garden, and a wool statue with a stone base. You can use bone meal on the grass that makes up your square to make tall grass and flowers appear. Adding pathways of blocks like stone brick shows players where they can go and adds a nice touch.
Work Tents
If you feel that you’re running out of inventory space frequently during above ground projects, build a work tent. Make a 4×4 fence box, add a door and wooden roof, and place lots of chests. Add a least 1 furnace and a workbench. Dig a little ditch in case a skeleton or spider appears. This can double as a safe-house/tent.
Mining Rig
Create a platform on top of a relatively flat surface or mountain. Dig out a trench in the middle of it and place redstone on either side connect the redstone to a single button and fill the trench with TNT. All you need to do is to press the button and you will begin a pit that leads to the bottom of the world. A automatic reloader can be added via sand and pistons.(Can be easily repurposed into a cannon)
Toilet
You never know where you’ve gotta go. You can make a small toilet out of water and sticky pistons or trapdoors. It can be used as a garbage disposal or just for laughs.[/spoiler]
[spoiler title=”SMP-only Ideas” open=”0″ style=”2″]These ideas are quite pointless if you play by yourself, but are fun additions to a multiplayer server!

Mailbox
Simply put a chest on top of a fence post, then other players can give you gifts. Be wary of thieves though!
Bank
Make a bank to store items. Players could pay Gold or Diamond to store their valuable items in a ‘vault’. If you’re really ambitious, the Vault could be lined with lava or obsidian (or bedrock if you’re an Admin) to make it super secure.

Inn/Guesthouse

Build a large and well-defended structure with private rooms each containing a bed and chest (possibly a furnace and crafting table too). For additional style points, decorate the rooms nicely. Use a locking mod, and charge people to stay at the inn; when they rent a room, add them to the list of people who can unlock the door and chest. You may want to hire people to man the front desk, keep records and collect bills. This is especially useful if you build it near a dungeon, as players will want to have a well-protected “base camp” when setting off to explore.

Army

Make an army from other players. People can pay the army in valuables to protect their homes. Charge based on location and how long.

National Park

Corner off a HUGE area of land with big mountains and amazing caves on a multiplayer server. Put in information signs for landmarks and charge people to visit. Make some camp-sites to house players while exploring, and put chests with food or weapons in the camp-sites. Be sure that players give back any items they use.

SMP-Railway

Charge other players to ride on it, a perfect way to get coal. Make a deluxe version for long journeys. Make windows in the tunnel. Another idea is to make a subway. See Tutorials/Train Station for more information.

Spleef Arena

Great way to have some fun with your friends on multiplayer. You should make a Snow Golem room to be able to collect snow balls easy to craft into snow blocks. You can bet on games, build a score board and have stands for people to watch. You can also make it so the loser faces a little more punishment and humiliation by making the bottom out of lava so if someone falls they will burn to death. This makes it a little more fun and pleasurable to watch your opponent burn.

PvP Combat Arena

Create a huge room and fill it with obstacles and platforms. Make a roof with beds on it, that players will respawn in, and chests to take equipment from. Make holes in the roof to allow players to enter the arena at different places. Use ladders or water holes to prevent falling damage. You can give the arena a theme, like a forest, and decide what equipment should be available when players respawn.

Legal Department

This consists of 3 buildings: Police Department, District Court, and Jail/Detention Center. The Legal Department gives a few jobs, but the server it’s on will decide on these. The Police Department must have these rooms: Interrogation Room, Records Room, and Offices. The Interrogation Room is an enclosed room to question in, but can be done in chat anywhere. The Records Room does depend on the recent addition of the Book and Quill from Snapshot 12w17a, but can also be tracked with .txt files outside the game. The Offices would just be the work space for people working on cases but not going outside.
The District Court is where Lawyers and Prosecutors provide a path for people to follow the case. Meaning they find the truth behind the crime committed. The Judge follows this path and gives a verdict, or the Jury does. Be sure to include seats, desks, and a tall place for the Judge. Also put a Lobby with possibly a fountain, flowers, and bushes. Trials can go on throughout chat anywhere.
The Jail/Detention Center is where criminals go if the punishment agreed on is not an execution/banishment. It’s also the place where suspects go during the few days after the crime was committed for investigation. In this time the suspect finds a Lawyer. Build a secure room with traps outside cells to prevent criminals from escaping, via bugs and digging, like lava flowing from the top of the jail. Also add visiting rooms, which would be a glass panel screen and a sort of table on either side. Even though you could talk any time through chat, it fits in.[/spoiler]