wooden screen front viv build?


New Member
Hi and thanks for reading,

Im wondering, I want to make my own vivs as i can customise them to my own taste and size. I live in Europe and the weather here is really cold in the winter so i want to make wooden vivs to hold heat better. They will have screen front on them that I got from taking apart an Exo Terra 38. I want to make them 50X50X100. Im going to line the inside with pond liner to make them waterproof so the wood doesnt get mould etc. Im also going to be putting mesh at the bottom and making a drip tray to catch any water and feces. Im wondering if you guys think it will be a good idea.

These will be for my hatchlings so i will be making them with the option of placing a shelf in to make them smaller which can be removed as they get bigger. I would also like to use them for my adults as the dimensions are not a lot different from my glass (yes, GLASS, i dont like it either in case you try to scorn me!! lol) vivs which are 60X60X100. Im going to make my own canopy for the lights which will sit on top of the cages which will also be aluminium screen to prevent the heat from melting them. Do you think these sound ok?

Any tips on what wood i should build from? i would like to keep them as light as possible so i can easily move them if needed and as cheap as possible because i want to build 10 of them, 3 for my 3 males, 3 for my 3 females and 4 for the hatchlings.

As always, any advice is greatly appreciated and i do take notice of any critisism so please be honest, better to be critisised and do things correctly than to not listen and waste a lot of money and potentially put my Chams at risk!

Thank you in advance,

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A good tip for anyone building wooden cages is. Always install casters on the frame. It makes moving and cleaning much easier down the road. Other than that your current ideas sound good to me. :cool:;)
Thanks, i dont keep my cages on the floor though, i feel the chameleons are more comfortable if they are elivated from the floor so castors would be no good. do you think the sizes will be ok for hatchlings and single adults (not together!). im thinking of putting 10 hatchlings into each 1.
They will also be wooden sides and back and screen only on the front and roof in case theres any confusion. Ive been told i can seal it with yacht varnish but would this be a more cost effective solution to pond liner? the liner would be siliconed to the sides nice and flat before assembly so would just look like it had been painted.
I just assumed you were also building a base for drainage and would need the castors for that. :eek: Your sizes seem fine to me.
For baby caging I use tubs until they are large enough to be seperated into groups. Remember that you dont want the first enclosure too large so that they can easily hunt down prey. At about 1 month i start moving them into screen cages. 10 to a cage that size should be ok.

I like the pond liner idea myself if you can smooth it out and make it look clean. I think varnish can make an outstanding cage visually speaking though. So if you think you'd be unable to get it smooth and wrinkle free I'd go with the varnish for visual benefits solely.
Brilliant, thanks bud. Ill get started with the real plans now then, wood joints, type of wood etc. I think i can get the liner wrinkle free, just got to try to find some white liner, if not then black but im worried about the heat absorbtion with the black liner. Do you think it will be ok? Ill post pics up on this thread once i complete my first 1, wont be quick though, i gotta get the cash together for the wood and i think thats gonna cost me a small fortune! lol.
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