So either you aren’t happy with what the mass market has to offer, or you have the great desire to be creative. No matter what the reason, drawing up the plans and building your cage can just be fun! Thinking ahead can save you a lot of time and expense from making the simplest mistakes. Of course, after every cage you complete you will find new ways to either save money, make an even better-designed cage or learn ways to speed up the completion time for the next cage you build. As in most situations “Haste makes Waste” and “Practice makes Perfect” applies.
Cage Now get started by knowing the particular needs of the reptile you plan to house. By knowing the needs of your particular pet you will have a better understanding of the most suitable size, layout and materials to use in your project.
First, you should decide the size of the enclosure needed. Consider the size in length, width, and depth. Keep in mind that a larger cage can be more exciting to look into, but some reptiles tend to do better in smaller environments. Also, realize that the larger the cage, the heavier the end product will become.
Next step is to create a materials list of the supplies that you will need to get the job done. Decide which materials are best suited for your project. Look for materials that will provide for easy cleanup, heat stability/safety, and also protection from water spills. For those reasons single or double-sided laminated products are frequently used for enclosures.
Doors are a necessity and making the right choice is important. For example, if you were housing a vine snake which can move like a speeding race car you might choose a small door that limits the area for escaping. Other animals, because of their size or slowness might have a need for a larger door. So when you are choosing a door(s) for your cage consider how the door functions as well as the size and location placement.
Give special attention to water, heating and lighting systems. This can make the difference between a thriving or dead reptile. These items will occasionally need to be refilled, replaced and cleaned. Because of this, easy removal is an important detail. You might ask your local pet store owner or reptile experts what systems work best for the type of reptile you are housing. Knowing this information before making a purchase can save you money and time. Remember to use the dimensions in the cage plan drawings.
Do you intend to have a single enclosure or several stacking cages? If you are planning to stack cages making a larger unit, then you might want to plan ahead and attach rolling casters or wheels to the bottom unit. This will make the job of moving your reptile station much more pleasant when the need to move arrives. Additionally, thinking ahead at this time, you can also plan for the needed space to hide unsightly electrical wiring from view. This will most certainly enhance the viewing of your pet later when your project is fully completed.
Don’t forget the . You might want to paint, stain or clear coat your cage outside, or apply decorative trim or molding of some kind. If you choose to use any products on the inside of the cage (paint/stain/clear coating) be sure to inquire if it is reptile friendly before applying it to the surface.
Now feel confident that you’ve done your homework, and start drawing up those plans! Remember cage building can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet.