Print out my and cut out the shapes or design your own house. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the molasses and mix well.
Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and 1 cup of the flour, mixing until combined. Continue to add the remaining flour, 1 cup at time, alternating with the water until a thick dough comes together. Be sure to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl partway through. The dough should be stiff enough for rolling right away, although you can chill it in the fridge for up to 3 days, if desired.
Roll out the dough on parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness. This dough tends to stick even to floured counter tops, so parchment paper is pretty much crucial to your success. Be sure to flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin periodically so it doesn't stick.
Place the pattern shapes on the gingerbread dough and cut out individual pieces using a pizza cutter for longer lines and a small, sharp knife for smaller shapes like doors or windows. Re-roll the dough scraps as needed until you have cut out all the pieces for your houses. If your dough is ¼-inch thick, you should have just enough dough for 2 basic houses. Carefully transfer the pieces to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake on parchment paper on two to three large baking sheets. Baking time depends on thickness of each piece, but generally the larger roof, front, and back pieces will take about 25 to 30 minutes. Smaller pieces like the side walls and doors will take around 20 minutes. The edges will be lightly browned when done and the pieces may still feel somewhat soft, but will continue to harden as they cool.
Cool pieces completely before decorating. The gingerbread pieces can be made a week in advance and stored on the counter. Or you can freeze them for 2-3 months and thaw at room temperature before decorating.