How to Build
Please note that this is only suggestions, it does not in any way need to govern your choices.
You need to know how to make pretty much everything on this list: Building Objects
Once you have gotten these, construct yourself a building shack out of a wood shelter, a wood door, a workbench, a sleeping bag, a campfire, and a furnace. This step in your building repertoire is crucial if you want to be able to build a rather large house.
I recommend that you, first, pre-plan your floor-plan for your new house on some graph paper(IRL). Try to include space for other foundations(wood or metal) because you may want to expand in the future. (Note that foundations should be placed on the highest point where you are building; they can go quite high above the ground, but cannot go underground at all.) You should design a house that is either able to be hidden really well, or a house that is so strong that trying to break in is virtually impossible without some changes. It will be easier to design your house if you use [this program] for your building.
Then go out and find as many Rocks and Wood Piles as you can find. Don't bother harvesting trees, you only get about 10-12 wood for 30 seconds of mining while you get about 60-80 wood for the same amount of time from wood piles. Try to find an area that has a good balance between resources and the number of other players that are also harvesting there.
For the perfect location, refer to the map. I, personally, recommend resource hole, coast resource, or coast valley. You need to choose an area that is secluded away from the road and is hidden from plain view, or an area that is easily defensible from raids from other players. However, if you are starting a wood base and want to be more cautious or if your server has a high population, you may want to build near the mountains in the north-western part of the map. Areas north-west of Big Civilian are usually less traveled.
As soon as you have all of the materials needed to begin construction, start building! (IMPORTANT! Be very careful when placing pillars to always put them on the corners of your foundations. If you put them in any other positions and your server does not have a removal mod, you may not be able to place a wall or stairs where you wanted to.)
(put some spike walls arround your house or build a wall arround the house)