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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Rather than jacking an existing thread I thought a couple of people might like to see my amphibian shed build. I had a falling down 6ftx4ft shed which I wanted to convert into an axolotl breeding area.
The first step was to build a base, the shed came on three wooden runners to keep it off the ground, I assumed that they may not be strong enough, so I removed them and fitted some paving slabs to keep the wooden base off the floor

I then replaced brocken supports, missing panels and waterproofed the shed, inside and out

I then placed the shed on the slabs ,insulated it with 3" polstirine which i painted to seal and loose bits which may otherwise fall in the tanks, built a low insulated ceiling, I am 5ft 6" and can wander in there with my slippers on but in high heel stilletoes I bang my head. I added lino to the floor and siliconed all round the outside of it to a depth of 1" creating a trough inside my shed to contain any spilled water.


I added a double glazed window with top opening panel, felted the roof and added extra pitch, ran electric into it and that was it

My only problem (other than space) so far is condensation, I seem to get a lot, I wipe the tanks down regularly and I retrofitted a vent. In the hot weather of the summer I kept the shed door closed and fitted a thick curtain to over the door way to slow down the warming of the internal air temp. Even in the hottest of weather the air temp didnt exceed 24c, the water temp maxed out at 20c, except for one day when my idiot son left the door open and it got to 25c, an emergency cold water change and it was back to acceptable levels.
I have yet to experience a winter with the shed as it was built earlier in the year, I hope to learn a few more lessons in the next couple of months and apply them to my next build which I hope to be a 10ft x 12 ft shed.
The total cost of this build was minimal
shed = allready owned
insulation=free from work as it is waste
wood/nails= £25
paint/timber care £20
window=free off a buddy
electrics=free off my sparky nephew
lino=free off wifes friend
felt/pitch=free of a different buddy
base/paving slabs =£15
lock/latch=£10
ac unit/heater=free off freecycle
wifes patience with my obsession=priceless
Any questions or helpfull advice would be appreciated.
 

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Good work Ian, I'd be screwed being 6.4" but then I'm use to ducking and diving through life :whistling2: still got me thinking about my own 'phib hut' tho'

Did well to get most of the work and bits through friends and work etc... I work for myself so can count out most of the freebies.

Quick Q about the wiring... do you run a master cord from your house or something... sorry to sound V.noob! that your nephew hooked up...?

Ta
 

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Good work Ian, I'd be screwed being 6.4" but then I'm use to ducking and diving through life :whistling2: still got me thinking about my own 'phib hut' tho'

Did well to get most of the work and bits through friends and work etc... I work for myself so can count out most of the freebies.

Quick Q about the wiring... do you run a master cord from your house or something... sorry to sound V.noob! that your nephew hooked up...?

Ta
I got a buddy to drill a hole through my house wall with a 2ft drill and disk cut a groove from the house to the shed to bury the wire. My sparky nephew did the electrical stuff for me and made sure it was safe, just an extension lead tbh, so nothing too complicated. The only job i need to do is to fit some lighting, it was ok in the summer for the plants as there was plenty of light coming through the window, in the winter though I will probably get some dying back unless I get a light source. Not worried about arcadian rhythms for the phibs as i will set the lighting on a timer to match the seasonal day length , it will just be the light intensity and hopefully that wont effect them too much.
 

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I used bubblewrap then silver loft insulation to insulate the shed (which is also 6x4). I have a heavy curtain over the doorway and the window (which is just a sheet of perspex). I also have an outdoor waterproof extension lead out to the shed plugged into a circuit breaker in the house. I do plan on getting the electrics done professionally at some point. The shed is heated by an electric fan heater on a thermostat and it holds the heat very well.

I plan to extend the shed next year and add in more tanks (after the electrics are done) so really interested in this approach, along with any other ideas.
 

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I used bubblewrap then silver loft insulation to insulate the shed (which is also 6x4). I have a heavy curtain over the doorway and the window (which is just a sheet of perspex). I also have an outdoor waterproof extension lead out to the shed plugged into a circuit breaker in the house. I do plan on getting the electrics done professionally at some point. The shed is heated by an electric fan heater on a thermostat and it holds the heat very well.

I plan to extend the shed next year and add in more tanks (after the electrics are done) so really interested in this approach, along with any other ideas.
Muggs how many setups does your shed hold and is the lec fan heater expensive to run as I can imagine it is on and off all the time?
 

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Wouldn`t it be cheaper to run an oil filled electric radiator?Be careful if you are running lots of fluorescent tubes and starters they will soon heat up a shed.I dont have to heat my reptile room for most of the year because of this and I keep tropical species.If the insulation is good it will keep the temperature up until the early hours.
 

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Muggs how many setups does your shed hold and is the lec fan heater expensive to run as I can imagine it is on and off all the time?
The shed holds heat very well so I didn't notice any abornal spike in electric however we have a 17yr old who has a blantent disregard for our bill so its hard to judge :devil:

From what I could see last year, the heater wasn't on that much but I guess it must be on around an hour, maybe 2 in total a day so you can work that out against your charges. It's on the 1000w setting.
 

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My questions would be about security- a couple of reptile shops here in Kent have been targeted lately- and they are alarmed and all.
 

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My questions would be about security- a couple of reptile shops here in Kent have been targeted lately- and they are alarmed and all.
Yes Ron, I do worry about that a lot. We are in the middle of a long terraced road and have gardens backed onto ours. I dont exactly live the the nicest parts either at the moment so yes, its a concern.
 

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Yes Ron, I do worry about that a lot. We are in the middle of a long terraced road and have gardens backed onto ours. I dont exactly live the the nicest parts either at the moment so yes, its a concern.
I guess there are alarms or even CCTV- but it costs. When I lived in a house, I (briefly) considered keeping some of my birds outside- but I decided the risks out-weighed the benefits.
 

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My questions would be about security- a couple of reptile shops here in Kent have been targeted lately- and they are alarmed and all.
I considered the security of my shed very carefully ,I have a shed alarm , good lock and the door was reinforced . To get into the shed you would have to remove the entire front. Plus I have a psychotic dog who hates people he doesnt know lol. I think there was a post on this site a while back about the guy who lost £20,000 worth of pythons from his shed, shame we have to worry about robbing scumbags, however I am more concerned about my neighbours cat getting into my shed and helping itself to my phibs.
 

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I considered the security of my shed very carefully ,I have a shed alarm , good lock and the door was reinforced . To get into the shed you would have to remove the entire front. Plus I have a psychotic dog who hates people he doesnt know lol. I think there was a post on this site a while back about the guy who lost £20,000 worth of pythons from his shed, shame we have to worry about robbing scumbags, however I am more concerned about my neighbours cat getting into my shed and helping itself to my phibs.
Sounds like you've put the sensible stuff in place! :2thumb:

*Aside: Lexi, my Senegal parrot is currently repeatedly banging his cage bars. And when I say 'repeatedly' I mean over, and over and over and over again. :devil:

I'm thinking of putting him out for the thieves to find...*
 

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Sounds like you've put the sensible stuff in place! :2thumb:

*Aside: Lexi, my Senegal parrot is currently repeatedly banging his cage bars. And when I say 'repeatedly' I mean over, and over and over and over again. :devil:

I'm thinking of putting him out for the thieves to find...*
God help anyone who tries to steal my male senegal, he loves to be hand fed but you put your fingers in his cage a little too far then you'll know all about it. The little bugger has had me twice and both caused a lot of blood and a large hole in my finger.

Back on topic..... I have a good lock, security lights ect but I am currently doing the ground work for my new shed (same as old, keeping both) and I am looking at putting some kind of barrier in the concreate with a lock. Not sure how but I am looking into it.....Or I'll just put a Cayman running free in one and the theives can play russian "shed" roulette* :)
*(Discliamer for any DWA people popping in - I am just kidding :lol2:)
 

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God help anyone who tries to steal my male senegal, he loves to be hand fed but you put your fingers in his cage a little too far then you'll know all about it. The little bugger has had me twice and both caused a lot of blood and a large hole in my finger.

Back on topic..... I have a good lock, security lights ect but I am currently doing the ground work for my new shed (same as old, keeping both) and I am looking at putting some kind of barrier in the concreate with a lock. Not sure how but I am looking into it.....Or I'll just put a Cayman running free in one and the theives can play russian "shed" roulette* :)
*(Discliamer for any DWA people popping in - I am just kidding :lol2:)
Lol- mine is the Evil Bastard fom Hell- and he's hand-reared! :lol2:
 

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This is definitely making me want to get my shed build under way. Just a standard 6x4 with a workbench to do my tank builds, some shelving for semi-built tanks and floor storage for bits of bogwood and whatnot :2thumb:
 

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This is definitely making me want to get my shed build under way. Just a standard 6x4 with a workbench to do my tank builds, some shelving for semi-built tanks and floor storage for bits of bogwood and whatnot :2thumb:
Once the practical issues-Security, heating, lighting, insulation etc were out of mind, accessibility and appeal would be my next concerns- is the shed somewhere I can get to easily and want to spend time in? I ask because, back in the day when I had an aniimal room, I didn't give my 'Phibs anyway near as much attention as I should have (not least, 'cos I was in a repossessian fight at the time!), whereas I can safely say I don't miss much with my animals these days, as we all share the same space.
 

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Once the practical issues-Security, heating, lighting, insulation etc were out of mind, accessibility and appeal would be my next concerns- is the shed somewhere I can get to easily and want to spend time in? I ask because, back in the day when I had an aniimal room, I didn't give my 'Phibs anyway near as much attention as I should have (not least, 'cos I was in a repossessian fight at the time!), whereas I can safely say I don't miss much with my animals these days, as we all share the same space.
I think it's definitely got to be somewhere you want to go. I'm fortunate that I can bypass the heating, lighting and insulation (to a degree) as I won't be keeping animals in it, just tanks and as a workshop so if I didn't go in there for days on end it wouldn't be an issue although I would like a bigger space in an ideal world. Personally I'd always prefer my animals dotted around the house, I get the feeling that it could almost feel like a chore if they were kept outside in a separate building to go and feed, do water changes and do maintenance. I have a tank in just about every room of my house so it never feels like hard work to want to be around them. As I've said before though a loft conversion man cave would be the dream and then I've got the best of both worlds- a separate room to go and hang out on my own and no annoying walks in the rain to get to them :no1:
 

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Just started a shed conversion into my little domain, world of peace and animals, god knows how long it will take though, although have just put set of doors on it as a start. Next job in concrete all floors to the same level.
 

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I think it's definitely got to be somewhere you want to go. I'm fortunate that I can bypass the heating, lighting and insulation (to a degree) as I won't be keeping animals in it, just tanks and as a workshop so if I didn't go in there for days on end it wouldn't be an issue although I would like a bigger space in an ideal world. Personally I'd always prefer my animals dotted around the house, I get the feeling that it could almost feel like a chore if they were kept outside in a separate building to go and feed, do water changes and do maintenance. I have a tank in just about every room of my house so it never feels like hard work to want to be around them. As I've said before though a loft conversion man cave would be the dream and then I've got the best of both worlds- a separate room to go and hang out on my own and no annoying walks in the rain to get to them :no1:
Personally I would LOVE to have all my animals in the house however I have a breed of wife that is incompatable with my hobby! So I have 2 solutions, expand my empire in the garden or rehome the wife. I am starting with option one for now to see how that goes :) If its out of her way she doesnt mind.

On the plus side, she is giving me a large wad of cash for my 40th which happens to be on the same weekend as Hamm and I fully intend to come home all frogged up :2thumb: only issue I have is finding away to get there or some people to car share.
 
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