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Cost to build

Discussion in 'Tegu Enclosures' started by aron77, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. aron77

    aron77 New Member

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    I was searching through here last night trying to get a barometer on how much I am going to need to build the standard 8x4x4? My plan is to build some kind of small frame that will be on the inside and then to attached the boards to that frame so that it has a little more integrity to it but I am not sure if that is necessary? I am also planning on trying to make this look like a castle on this inside with some combination of tile and painting grout onto the surface where I will also build an inclined shelf that leads up to the basking spot to look like a big bridge leading up to a draw bridge and then I will paint the wall will look like a draw bridge. Then I will paint the rest to look like it is outside and coat this all with a ton of sealant. I want this to be a wonderful habitat that is structurally sound and to also look great in my house.

    This may be too much but I am kicking around some idea of creating a large water fall in some sort of small pond tub at the other end where he could go for a swim and this would also promote humidity. I am thinking I would epoxy some rocks or maybe use concrete to make the structure of the water fall and then have a turtle filter to push the water up to the top and circulate. I had ideas on some kind of false bottom where I could also drain this with a plug too but that would also require me to build something to keep this off the ground and that might be doing too much.

    If this comes out like it looks in my head then it will look awesome and be structurally sound all the way around.

    Anyways those are all my big ideas but it all has to start with a box and then the rest is up to me and whether or not I have the creativity and ability to pull it off and make it structurally sound. I'm thinking the basics will cost me about $200 for wood, screws and plexiglass plus any other little extras, I've seen some tegu builds on youtube and that is what some of them are saying it cost them. Then another 100-??? for all the rest. How much did you spend?
  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    You came to the right forum. Many of the members have accumulated experience in building large, functional, and pleasing to look at enclosures.
    EnjoysWine and aron77 like this.
  3. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    I'll give you my advice based on keeping my tegu for a few years and building 2 enclosures. Both cages I built we're only 6x3x3's and pretty basic. But they still cost more than 200 each. The castle idea can work, but you have to make it strong. Tegus can be really destructive, even though they're not extremely active.

    About the waterfall, I don't think it's worth it. They get dirty fast, and become bacteria breeding grounds rather easily. You'll have to have a drain, constantly change out a lot of water, and clean the fountain itself regularly. I have seen people do ponds (still an enormous amount of maintenance), and have been successful, but I have yet to see somebody do a full on waterfall.

    About cost, keep in mind, it almost always costs more than you think it will. Basics for an 8x4x4, depending on where you buy and what you use, might cost around 250-500. That's not including lighting, which can add 100-150 to the cost (again heavily dependent on what you're using.)

    On a final note, if you want to be really careful your cage doesn't rot (mine did, horrible experience), put a pond liner or tarp around the bottom to hold in substrate.
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  4. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    400 to 600 id leave it simple
    He’s just going to destroy the castle or never use it. He’ll spend most of his time sleeping under the substrate anyway. I’ve found sev to be most happy when he has a humid hide and a 2x2 tile, he digs under and sleeps. I don’t think he even cares that it’s smaller than him. I believe he just likes the security of someting semi heavy on top of him, making him feel safe.
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  5. aron77

    aron77 New Member

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    If it all comes out like it is in my head I think I'll have the water rot covered as I would plan on putting either tile and grout or just grout or some kind of stone looking liniment down on the floor and probably up at least part of the sides to pull off the castle wall look.

    Then I can use the same tile or liniment for the bridge leading up to the drawbridge. This all leads to the basking spot platform and a fake drawbridge, underneath would be the dragons lair aka his main hide. This would essentially be just a box with a shelf with some décor to look like a castle.

    I have gone back and forth on the waterfall as I don't want a ton of maintenance. I had this idea of also building a stand for the enclosure and then installing a drain spout on the bottom and the waterfall would really be a turtle filter that pushes the water up over some rocks which would aid in keeping it clean. I've always wanted to make a vivarium but I always envision a bunch of frogs and salamanders etc... so it may not be the best idea here.