Originally Posted by trailblazer295
Nice looking cage. If you don't mind my asking. What's the approximate cost of building a cage like that? Curious how it compares to pre-made PVC cages for future reference. One day I might add a Boa to my collection and I'm fairly handy with my hands and tools but not really the best carpenter to be honest.
It is hard to say exactly because some of the materials were bought in bulk and I built three enclosures at once, but here is a rough breakdown of some of the major costs:
$47 - 4' X 8' sheet of Birch plywood*
$20 - one quart Minwax polycrylic
$10 - fluorescent light
$10 - two panes of 1/4 inch glass from local glass shop
$8 - two feet of eleven inch heat tape
$6 - sliding glass track
$5 - two two-inch drains (used for ventilation)
$5 - box of 1.5 inch #8 wood screws
$3 - extension cord (cut the head off and use to power the heat tape)
$2 - two heat tape connectors
Other materials that were bought in bulk and harder to estimate include linoleum flooring, hardware cloth (to cover the vents), glue for the glass track and linoleum flooring (I used Liquid Nails), and silicon to seal all the seams. I figure I have roughly $130 or so in the enclosure, give or take a few bucks. Plug the heat tape into a thermostat and the light into a timer and go. I based the built on this thread
and modified it to fit my needs. That thread has a good step by step with pictures. I will say that the sliding glass doors are not the strongest option, a strong animal that likes to push (a large Boa or Python for example) could possibly break the glass. Buying tempered glass would probably eliminate this issue but I have not looked into the cost or logistics of acquiring tempered glass. But for young animals or most Colubrids plain old sheet glass works great.
*I'm not sure this enclosure could be cut from a single sheet, I haven't tried to draw that out. I built three enclosures (one 3x2x1.5 and two 3x2x1) from roughly 2.5 sheets, planning the cuts across all three sheets as efficiently as possible. Buying and building in bulk really helps keep costs down. I'm just using one sheet as an example here because that's the minimum you'll have to buy.