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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all,

Bit of a long time lurker.

Just wondered if any of us here who are handy with the tools have ever built an insulated viv for such uses as the garage? If so, how did you go about it or if you have any tips to share?

if it was just a case of covering the viv in Mylar to keep insulated or went whole hog and built hollow walls and lined with the likes of cellotex etc?

the reason I ask, I have two projects at some point in the near future. One, a standard viv.
Two, an insulated outhouse and run for tortoises.

not too bad with tools or handy work, just ideally looking for ideas to get the old great matter ticking.
 

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I presume this is for tortoises ? As I don't keep them I cant really comment on the suitability of housing them in a garage, other than you would need to consider the dangers of any fumes form cars, lawnmowers or any products stored in the garage. Most people who want to use a garage tend to divide it and build up stud work to create a small reptile room and heat that (if the occupants need a warm air environment).

The alternative would be to build a double skinned vivarium, with cellotex / styrene / rockwool between the skins. This could be a simple frame work form 1" x 1" timber, with external grade 9mm / 12mm ply panels inside and out - In order to retain the heat in the viv, the glass could be fitted into a hinged door, and also doubled up. This may not be so important if the environmental requirements of the animals means that a temperate setup is needed rather than a tropical one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I presume this is for tortoises ? As I don't keep them I cant really comment on the suitability of housing them in a garage, other than you would need to consider the dangers of any fumes form cars, lawnmowers or any products stored in the garage. Most people who want to use a garage tend to divide it and build up stud work to create a small reptile room and heat that (if the occupants need a warm air environment).

The alternative would be to build a double skinned vivarium, with cellotex / styrene / rockwool between the skins. This could be a simple frame work form 1" x 1" timber, with external grade 9mm / 12mm ply panels inside and out - In order to retain the heat in the viv, the glass could be fitted into a hinged door, and also doubled up. This may not be so important if the environmental requirements of the animals means that a temperate setup is needed rather than a tropical one.
tortoises will eventually be housed outside with lighting and heating within their shed/house that extends on to a run.

The shed build was more for a snake viv.Boa)

However, insulating the garage could be an option too.

appreciate the feedback, was thinking along those lines too. Good to see I’m not too far off the mark.
 

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If you are looking at building a viv for a Bao then have a read of this thread - what you could do is place 3" wide Celotex or similar inside that framework, and then fit the ply as he has done, effectively making the bottom, top, back and two sides 3.5" thick insulated walls.

I would however consider looking at doubling up on the tracking and making your own double glazed sliding doors by placing double sided adhesive foam between two panels of glass to make one door, otherwise the warmth and humidity inside the viv will condense on the cold glass as the garage would be uneated, and this could lead to problems.

Mind you I have to say that I can't see the point of making a nice large vivarium to house a lovely snake in a garage where you are not really going to spend much time interacting with it, or watching it.

I also find Boa's can develop a change in personality when they don't see a lot of movement. Place one in a living room where lots of activity happens and the snake gets use to it and doesn't tense up or react when you slide open the viv doors. Place it in a room that is static with no movement and the snake can become a handful as it simply associates any opening of the doors with being fed as that is typically what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are looking at building a viv for a Bao then have a read of this thread - what you could do is place 3" wide Celotex or similar inside that framework, and then fit the ply as he has done, effectively making the bottom, top, back and two sides 3.5" thick insulated walls.

I would however consider looking at doubling up on the tracking and making your own double glazed sliding doors by placing double sided adhesive foam between two panels of glass to make one door, otherwise the warmth and humidity inside the viv will condense on the cold glass as the garage would be uneated, and this could lead to problems.

Mind you I have to say that I can't see the point of making a nice large vivarium to house a lovely snake in a garage where you are not really going to spend much time interacting with it, or watching it.

I also find Boa's can develop a change in personality when they don't see a lot of movement. Place one in a living room where lots of activity happens and the snake gets use to it and doesn't tense up or react when you slide open the viv doors. Place it in a room that is static with no movement and the snake can become a handful as it simply associates any opening of the doors with being fed as that is typically what happens.
what a build that was… how much did he pay for that wood though!?

im joking, I’m joking - in for a Penny and in for a pound, just how it goes sometimes. But I love the idea, almost cavity wall-esque in the build.

as for the boa, I’m always in and out of the garage, with tools etc, I just assumed snakes love to be left to their devices, most of the time bogeyed up in one of his many hides. Recently taken to hiding in the uvb guard, as he climbs in and out - great shout re the glass. Never even crossed my mind.

mad for it being In The front room, I’d love nothing more. Make it a display, with the animal inside it. Though with two terriers, I’d rather not chance things, personally.

Malc, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve given me plenty to mull over.
 

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what a build that was… how much did he pay for that wood though!?

im joking, I’m joking - in for a Penny and in for a pound, just how it goes sometimes. But I love the idea, almost cavity wall-esque in the build.

as for the boa, I’m always in and out of the garage, with tools etc, I just assumed snakes love to be left to their devices, most of the time bogeyed up in one of his many hides. Recently taken to hiding in the uvb guard, as he climbs in and out - great shout re the glass. Never even crossed my mind.

mad for it being In The front room, I’d love nothing more. Make it a display, with the animal inside it. Though with two terriers, I’d rather not chance things, personally.

Malc, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve given me plenty to mull over.
No worries, just passing on my opinions and views how I would go about things.

No enclosure and set up is cheap, and with recent events everything is going up, including the cost of timber....But if you want a large snake, then you need a large viv. That is a fantastic build though.

If you want a product to use as an alternative to celotex, have a look at this stuff. In 2011 I built a purpose built observatory in the garden and lined the floor, walls and roof of the "warm room" where I would control the scope from with it (50mm floor and walls and 25mm thick in roof). In the winter I could run a small 2Kw heater for 15 minutes and then sit there for a good two hours before I need to run it again to take the chill off. I since do all the control from the PC in the house so no longer need the advantage of a warm room.

Plant Wood Grass Composite material Groundcover



Ideally my boa could do with a larger enclosure, seeing he's 8' 5", but still manages in the converted bottom section of a drinks cabinet / bureau which is a shade under 6' x 21" x 21".

We had a German Shepherd and neither of them bothered each other. Maybe the boa knew the dog was too large for a food item, and the dog, well she was daft enough not to think of it a as a threat...

Shoe Dog Vertebrate Leg German shepherd dog


She was more interested in people in the allotments behind us than what I had in my hands on this nice warm day :)

If you opt for something like an 8 x 2 x 3 viv in the garage, then drop Russ (retic666) a PM. He sells large heat panels that are ideal for large enclosures, and seeing yours will be exposed to temperatures probably in single degrees you will want something capable of maintaining 32c-34c at the hot side.

If you do proceed (either with the cavity filled viv in the garage or display viv in the house) then it is mandatory to post up a build thread :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No worries, just passing on my opinions and views how I would go about things.

No enclosure and set up is cheap, and with recent events everything is going up, including the cost of timber....But if you want a large snake, then you need a large viv. That is a fantastic build though.

If you want a product to use as an alternative to celotex, have a look at this stuff. In 2011 I built a purpose built observatory in the garden and lined the floor, walls and roof of the "warm room" where I would control the scope from with it (50mm floor and walls and 25mm thick in roof). In the winter I could run a small 2Kw heater for 15 minutes and then sit there for a good two hours before I need to run it again to take the chill off. I since do all the control from the PC in the house so no longer need the advantage of a warm room.

View attachment 353400


Ideally my boa could do with a larger enclosure, seeing he's 8' 5", but still manages in the converted bottom section of a drinks cabinet / bureau which is a shade under 6' x 21" x 21".

We had a German Shepherd and neither of them bothered each other. Maybe the boa knew the dog was too large for a food item, and the dog, well she was daft enough not to think of it a as a threat...

View attachment 353399

She was more interested in people in the allotments behind us than what I had in my hands on this nice warm day :)

If you opt for something like an 8 x 2 x 3 viv in the garage, then drop Russ (retic666) a PM. He sells large heat panels that are ideal for large enclosures, and seeing yours will be exposed to temperatures probably in single degrees you will want something capable of maintaining 32c-34c at the hot side.

If you do proceed (either with the cavity filled viv in the garage or display viv in the house) then it is mandatory to post up a build thread :)
amazing, thanks once again!

oh for sure, ain’t no way that I can be building something and not putting it out there - the inspiration for future people encountering this very same thing.
 
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