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  1. #1
    Registered User Pale Rider 777's Avatar
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    DIY enclosure worth it?

    So I was looking at getting an Animal Plastics T13 for my red tail boa. I was talking it over with my girlfriend and after mentioning building my own my girlfriend is now convinced we can build a good one for cheap and that I'll be pissing my money away otherwise. What do you guys think? Will I be saving a considerable amount of money building? What material should I use? Any guides anywhere? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran KevinK's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    It honestly depends on how much you value your time.

    You will see savings over the price of the Animal Plastics but not by a huge amount. ....I would say your most appropriate cage material would be plywood (PVC sheets are WAY too expensive to aquire unless you know someone). Plywood comes in 4x8 sheets so all of a sudden, a 30" cage width is going to cost you another sheet or two. Some people might tell you to use melamine but I highly disagree.....it is very heavy and ANY bit of moisture exposure to cut edges will destroy the cage. Large constrictors produce a lot of fluids.

    Then, you're going to have to seal the cage bottom at the very minimum to prevent urine from destroying your cage. I like the idea of epoxy resin for that purpose.

    Doors....glass or plexi (lexan).....both are somewhat pricey and difficult to cut. Then consider if you want sliding or hinged doors. If you do glass, you'll want sliding doors.

    Then...venting. Ive used 3" plastic pvc drain inserts in the past for the purpose.


    So....be prepared to spend a LOT of time on the build. Probably an entire weekend for most people if not more and a lot of trips to the hardware store. I didn't have any luck finding blueprints when I built my cages in the past, just look at pictures.

    Personally, I like the idea of just ordering my cages now. Ive built a few in the past and just determined that extra hours of OT at work and ordering the cages would have been a significantly better financial choice lol.
    Last edited by KevinK; 03-13-2018 at 12:27 AM.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    Well unless you have the space and tools, it might be better to just buy one. And for an adult boa, i recommend a T25. That is what i use for my adult boas. The babies and juveniles get T8 and T10.

    Plus if you make a mistake, it is on your head to eat the replacement cost of materials. If someone else makes the mistake, doesnt cost you any extra lol.

    I personally think AP prices are very reasonable considering the time it would take me to make one without a workbench and routers. The killer is the shipping on the big ones.

    As for saving cash, the bigger you go, the more you would save doing it yourself. I mean at $150 for a T8, the cost of materials would probably easily be at least $100. 1 sheet of 1/2 inch CDPVC and 2 panes of glass. Bet that isnt that cheap.
    Last edited by Sauzo; 03-13-2018 at 01:26 AM.
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  5. #4
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    I've been on the fence for a while with this question myself. I've been considering building my own stackable enclosures for a while, but after researching I'm leaning towards buying them complete.

    I've got a few years of carpentry under my belt, but not many of my own tools. So by the time I rent what I need and don't have, plus factor in the cost of materials, then my time it's probably better to just buy.

    Keep your eyes on Craigslist. I'm always looking and have kicked myself more than once for not jumping on a good deal on a used enclosure.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
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  7. #5
    Registered User 67temp's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sauzo View Post
    I personally think AP prices are very reasonable considering the time it would take me to make one without a workbench and routers. The killer is the shipping on the big ones.
    Say I wanted to get 2 or 3 T8's is the shipping cost per unit or a lump sum up to a certain amount/size?
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  8. #6
    Registered User smvmarine's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    I just recently purchased 3 cages from AP. Regarding shipping 1 T65 was $182, 2 T65s was $242 and finally I added a T25 which added a whopping extra $6 for a total of $248 shipping for all 3. Plus when u order 3 cages you get a discount!
    Last edited by smvmarine; 03-13-2018 at 09:43 AM.

  9. #7
    Registered User SDA's Avatar
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    Good luck finding the raw materials for less than the cost of a premade enclosure. PVC sheets are ridiculously expensive and quality plywood is not cheap. If you have access to someone that can build a wooden cage or you have the equipment and resources to get materials it can be cheaper but say if you live in an apartment and don't even own any power tools then you are not going to save any money trying to build your own.

    This comes up every month on here and the answer is always the same... unless you have access to what is needed to build your own, it is never a cost savings to do so. Maybe 10% of the people on this forum have the equipment and ability to build their own cheaper than buying from say AP. There may be a few people that try and convince you it is doable forgetting they have access to tools and contacts you do not.
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  11. #8
    Registered User Pale Rider 777's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    My apologies. Guess I suck at searching lol

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well looks like I'm getting a shipping quote for a T25. Thanks to everyone for the input!

  12. #9
    BPnet Veteran AbsoluteApril's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67temp View Post
    Say I wanted to get 2 or 3 T8's is the shipping cost per unit or a lump sum up to a certain amount/size?
    it's $48 shipping per cage. I know, I just purchased 3 T8s haha. I asked about bulk/discount shipping and Ali responded " Shipping on the T8s can only be combined if it is more cost efficient to combine on a pallet and ship freight. In the case of 2 or 3, it would be cheaper to ship individually boxed";
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  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    Re: DIY enclosure worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67temp View Post
    Say I wanted to get 2 or 3 T8's is the shipping cost per unit or a lump sum up to a certain amount/size?
    The price listed for shipping is per unit. If you are having oversized items shipped via freight, you get a little discount for a second item. For me though, it seemed the third item was almost the same price as the first, so it seems the best bang for the buck is to go with 2 items on freight. Ali didnt really understand it either but she didnt really have an answer as she just has a list of prices the freight company they use provides.
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