How to... Out door enclosure help needed.

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi guys. I just found out we will be able to move to a different unit in March with a small yard that has a 6 foot privacy fence. Which is fantastic because I can actually put up an outdoor enclosure for the sunny warm days we have. I really need help on this.

Here are the issues... We have lots of seagulls and crows here so I need it to be made of something that they can not tear into. Also it rains a lot here so I need it to be weather resistant. I am good at putting stuff together but I only have a hand held drill, staple gun, hammer.... no saw. Although I could get wood cut at the right length I would not be able to get angles. Where I have run into issues in the past with stuff like this is that a 2x4 is not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. So I get my measurements all messed up and things don't fit together right. When I have tried to get help at the hardware store they just treat me like the dumb female that can't screw in a light bulb.

I would love it to be a whole unit for added strength. 2x2x7 tall. So that the actual part he would be in would be 4 foot tall. I have about 2-3 months to do this so it is perfect for lovely spring weather. :)
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Am I really the first one to address this? Anyways, yes dimensional lumber usually measures less than what its vernacular name suggests. 2x4’s are 1.5x3.5, for instance. If you were framing an interior wall, the lost half an inch would be accounted for by adding 1/2 inch drywall. However, if you’re planing on building an outdoor enclosure, I’d highly recommend finding a cheap used chop saw (miter saw) or else a circular. My guess is you can probably find one for 100$ or less.

If you’re using 2x4 construction, just assume 2x4’s to be 1.5x3.5. Also, keep in mind that the hardware guys are going to point you towards pressure treated wood, and though I don’t know for sure, my guess is most chammers are not going to want their babies exposed to the copper or arsenic used in the treating process. Untreated wood will rot faster, but will be safe. Also, there’s probably some non toxic weather prodding you can paint on. Anyways, message me if you want some construction thoughts.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Am I really the first one to address this? Anyways, yes dimensional lumber usually measures less than what its vernacular name suggests. 2x4’s are 1.5x3.5, for instance. If you were framing an interior wall, the lost half an inch would be accounted for by adding 1/2 inch drywall. However, if you’re planing on building an outdoor enclosure, I’d highly recommend finding a cheap used chop saw (miter saw) or else a circular. My guess is you can probably find one for 100$ or less.

If you’re using 2x4 construction, just assume 2x4’s to be 1.5x3.5. Also, keep in mind that the hardware guys are going to point you towards pressure treated wood, and though I don’t know for sure, my guess is most chammers are not going to want their babies exposed to the copper or arsenic used in the treating process. Untreated wood will rot faster, but will be safe. Also, there’s probably some non toxic weather prodding you can paint on. Anyways, message me if you want some construction thoughts.
LOL thank you for your response. I actually forgot about this post it was so long ago.
I have decided to hold off on an outdoor enclosure for now. He will not stay in the smaller outdoor one I have. He prefers to sit on me or the arm of the chair next to me to bask. Also with how wet it is where I live I am considering a keepers screen cage from dragon strand since it will not rust or break down the way wood will here. :)
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can absolutely use a regular screen cage for outdoors. If you plan to leave it unattended especially overnight I would cover the outside of it in hardware cloth (wire mesh). You can use self tapping metal screws to attach it to the outside of the frame.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
not to sound like a cheapo - but I am thinking about making a trial outdoor enclosure from PVC. It is sturdy, cheap, easy to work with and light enough that I can pick up the enclosure and move it around (we are doing some backyard construction so that's important). I'm debating on whether or not to use a more dense wire screen to keep bugs out (but that will probably result in thinner wire), or something thick like chicken wire that will also have gaps big enough to let bugs IN. We are in the suburbs so pesticides are a concern. My neighborhood doesn't get treated but that's not to say the neighbor doesn't spray something.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I keep a large greenhouse for my herps, so I thought I’d share some thoughts: First, it’ll be a huge challenge to keep it cool enough. Sunny days in February get my greenhouse up to the 100 degree mark. Second, the previous poster was correct: unless your glazing is uvb transmitting acrylic ($), you’ll have to provide uvb, which will inturn increase your heat problem. I’m not trying to scare you off, just let you know my experiences. Personally, an outdoor enclosure with screen sides and a ceramic heater on a thermostat will be easier to maintain. My guys are removed from the greenhouse May 1st, as summer would forsure cook them.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Further to my last,

Where are you that pvc is cheaper than wood? Pvc would be a great material to use, but it’s pricier than lumber.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can absolutely use a regular screen cage for outdoors. If you plan to leave it unattended especially overnight I would cover the outside of it in hardware cloth (wire mesh). You can use self tapping metal screws to attach it to the outside of the frame.
Yeah I would have to do something like this. He would only be outside during the day but it would be nice to be able to come and go checking on him every 15-20 minutes. We have way too many large birds that I think would try to get through regular screen. I dunno I am still tossing around ideas. He does not seem to like not being near me so each time I take him out right now and put him in the zoo med screen cage he paces non stop. As soon as I open the door he climbs out to me finds his spot and starts happily basking in the sun. The play pen area I built did not end up working because he would just climb down out of it and crawl across the desk to climb up me and when I took it outside he did the same thing. So I am trying not to rush into spending more money yet again for something he will not use.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I made a frame out of pvc pipe and screened it. My main worries outside are lightning bugs and raccoons. Much easier to move than wood, especially since I rent. Also, I'm not the most experienced with building, so that was an easy solution.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Kaizen I could use your help coming up with an idea for an enclosure outside that would hold up to the winter/summer in PA lol. Was thinking of a modded greenhouse or shed.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
oh Snap! Sounds like a lot of fun. Let me know what you need.
Mind if I PM you so @Beman doesn't kill me? Won't bother you too much. Just trying to get some suggestions for my cham situation. I'm in PA and need to have something for a 24/7 enclosure outside, with our winters and summers it's gunna be an obstacle...
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mind if I PM you so @Beman doesn't kill me? Won't bother you too much. Just trying to get some suggestions for my cham situation. I'm in PA and need to have something for a 24/7 enclosure outside, with our winters and summers it's gunna be an obstacle...
LOL I would not have killed you. @Kaizen resurrected my post from the depths lol. At least someone would get use out of it :hilarious:
 
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