Custom enclosures

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm currently toying with the idea of just building my own enclosure from scratch for when Pesto outgrows his 18x18x36. I have absolutely no experience building anything ever, but I have a lot of family who does! So I plan to do what I do best: plan and supervise :ROFLMAO:
My question is: What worked for you? What issues did you have? Let me learn from your mistakes! I dont know if I'm going to do screen or glass, I would definitely prefer the look and stability of glass. I want it to be BIG. I was originally looking at getting the large atrium from dragon strand but it's pretty much decidedly out of my price range.
I have awhile before I need to upgrade Pesto, he is still just a wee little guy. But what can I say, I like to be prepared! So let's get the conversation started early!
All comments and advise welcome!
 

Asour89

Established Member
I'm currently toying with the idea of just building my own enclosure from scratch for when Pesto outgrows his 18x18x36. I have absolutely no experience building anything ever, but I have a lot of family who does! So I plan to do what I do best: plan and supervise :ROFLMAO:
My question is: What worked for you? What issues did you have? Let me learn from your mistakes! I dont know if I'm going to do screen or glass, I would definitely prefer the look and stability of glass. I want it to be BIG. I was originally looking at getting the large atrium from dragon strand but it's pretty much decidedly out of my price range.
I have awhile before I need to upgrade Pesto, he is still just a wee little guy. But what can I say, I like to be prepared! So let's get the conversation started early!
All comments and advise welcome!
I turned a Barbie house into a Cham cage separated down the middle for my 2. It was the first time I had ever built anything from scratch, I just kind of had an idea and went with it. I used the aluminum screen and black flex seal. Here’s some pics to kind of take you through my process. good luck!
 

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Zevil

Avid Member
You can do both screen and glass, a combo. For example, mine is a custom build. The back and front are glass, the top and both sides are screen. You have a nice viewing front glass and ventilation, best of both worlds.

Make sure the frame is strong and sturdy.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
I turned a Barbie house into a Cham cage separated down the middle for my 2. It was the first time I had ever built anything from scratch, I just kind of had an idea and went with it. I used the aluminum screen and black flex seal. Here’s some pics to kind of take you through my process. good luck!
I saw your build thread! That is an amazing job. Thank you for the images!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can do both screen and glass, a combo. For example, mine is a custom build. The back and front are glass, the top and both sides are screen. You have a nice viewing front glass and ventilation, best of both worlds.

Make sure the frame is strong and sturdy.
What did you use for the frame? Just wood?
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm currently toying with the idea of just building my own enclosure from scratch for when Pesto outgrows his 18x18x36. I have absolutely no experience building anything ever, but I have a lot of family who does! So I plan to do what I do best: plan and supervise :ROFLMAO:
My question is: What worked for you? What issues did you have? Let me learn from your mistakes! I dont know if I'm going to do screen or glass, I would definitely prefer the look and stability of glass. I want it to be BIG. I was originally looking at getting the large atrium from dragon strand but it's pretty much decidedly out of my price range.
I have awhile before I need to upgrade Pesto, he is still just a wee little guy. But what can I say, I like to be prepared! So let's get the conversation started early!
All comments and advise welcome!
Building your own viv is a very rewarding experience most keepers miss out on, go for it! https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/bioactive-mentor.167174/
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m going to post a full write up on my blog soon, but here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been working on. Originally we were going to build our own by adding a wooden frame and screen to the top half, but after seeing the Clearside Dragon Strands, we decided to use those for all the chams.

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JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m going to post a full write up on my blog soon, but here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been working on. Originally we were going to build our own by adding a wooden frame and screen to the top half, but after seeing the Clearside Dragon Strands, we decided to use those for all the chams.

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I’m in love I will fly you and the hubby to California to help me lol
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m going to post a full write up on my blog soon, but here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been working on. Originally we were going to build our own by adding a wooden frame and screen to the top half, but after seeing the Clearside Dragon Strands, we decided to use those for all the chams.

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Ugh this is exactly what I want to do, but I dont really have $800 to drop on that enclosure lol
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
What materials did you calculate that as?
Let me find everything again and I’ll send it to you but I just drew up a sketch of what I wanted and then calculated the dimensions and then went to Home Depot and got price measurements and then checked how much sheet to cover the cage would be and then obviously hinges and locks

Btw diy cages has free shipping ;)
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Let me find everything again and I’ll send it to you but I just drew up a sketch of what I wanted and then calculated the dimensions and then went to Home Depot and got price measurements and then checked how much sheet to cover the cage would be and then obviously hinges and locks

Btw diy cages has free shipping ;)
You and @Beman are little DIY pushers! I was considering it, but my heart is set on getting Pesto an atrium sized enclosure and DIY doesnt do that size. Plus, I think building the enclosure would be a cool project for my family to all work on together
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
You and @Beman are little DIY pushers! I was considering it, but my heart is set on getting Pesto an atrium sized enclosure and DIY doesnt do that size. Plus, I think building the enclosure would be a cool project for my family to all work on together
I was going to build Larry a cage when I first got him but then Imelda came along by accident and plans got pushed back because of her vet checks. Then home boy ended up with coccidia so diy cages instead lol I’ll get to it eventually. You’ll have fun with it I’m sure but Pesto wants him sunroom lol
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was going to build Larry a cage when I first got him but then Imelda came along by accident and plans got pushed back because of her vet checks. Then home boy ended up with coccidia so diy cages instead lol I’ll get to it eventually. You’ll have fun with it I’m sure but Pesto wants him sunroom lol
Lmao you're right, screw making the enclosure. We are just going to make an entire greenhouse for him :ROFLMAO:
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
We probably spent 2-300 just in materials for the stand. That being said once we paint it or stain it (undecided) it will look like furniture and last forever. To extend it to make the whole enclosure wouldnt be that much more expensive - maybe $5-600 all said and done, using higher end mats.

Dragonstrand’s shipping kills me... but I really like the clearaide. Acryllic is expensive so if you wanted comprable materials it is worth it, IMO. I paid a fortune for the drainage pan in hindsight due to shipping and I wouldn’t do it again... next one we will build our own.
 
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Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
We probably spent 2-300 just in materials for the stand. That being said once we paint it or stain it (undecided) it will look like furniture and last forever. To extend it to make the whole enclosure wouldnt be that much more expensive - maybe $5-600 all said and done, using higher end mats.

Dragonstrand’s shipping kills me... but I really like the clearaide. Acryllic is expensive so if you wanted comprable materials it is worth it, IMO. I paid a fortune for the drainage pan in hindsight due to shipping and I wouldn’t do it again... next one we will build our own.
I think we might try glass, not sure yet though
 
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