DIY Enclosures

Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about how when I get in a position to I will finally get my Uromastyx lizard(s). And my train of thought led me to think about making a custom enclosure from scratch as a DIY project despite my having no experience doing so or being very knowledgeable in the “being handy” dept.

I was thinking how hard is it really to make custom pvc and/or wooden enclosures and is it worth it for me to maybe make some on the side from time to time to sell if I manage to get the hang of it??

Looking for input here on what ppl think…


Making enclosures isn’t terribly difficult. Making them high enough quality to easily sell on the other hand can be more difficult. I do think it is worth it if you have the space you can dedicate to storing the material and set up an area for manufacturing.


Not hard at all if you have the necessary tools. However, material prices are rather high right now due to covid. The most difficult part I have had when building enclosures is the cutting of the acrylic or glass (I have horrible hand coordination) and I prefer glass for lizards as they will scratch the acrylic leaving marks. Luckily for me my local herp shop sells 4x2x2 melamine enclosures with good quality tempered glass for ≈$250. I even bought one for my leopard gecko, but that was a serious waste of money since he uses probably half of it. I have some AP cages as well which are really nice, but the lead times are very depressing.


The thing is I don’t even know yet what my hardware store list should be or what tools I’ll need. I wanna make good enclosures to house a variety of herp life. I know some woods are toxic to herps (I can research that) and I’m wondering what kind of enclosure material is best for herps who like it hot (not just Uros but for others as well).

I’m hoping I can do things well enough to make a lil $ as well since I’m in dire condition financially atm and since my area of Canada is still Covid-nutty for the most part finding decent employment is hard as hell. (Our premier aka provincial head keeps extending covid restrictions–I can’t even buy an empty notebook at the dollar store atm because its “non-essential”. Any ideas what my shopping list should be?

If I had no tools and needed to go buy what I wanted/needed to build enclosures I’d start with a circular saw, saw guide, variable speed drill, set of drill bits and drill drivers. A large sheet of styrofoam (for cutting the wood/plastic on) a jigsaw and safety glasses. That would be a solid start and give you the ability to build. Of course I’d also suggest watching a bunch of DIY/ how to videos and if possible get some in person help to give you the run down on proper usage.


Oh, forgot also a yard stick, marking equipment like pencils/markers e.t.c, sand paper and sanding block.


I also forgot to ask about decent price ranges. Assuming I manage to make decent enclosures I dont wanna be an expensive snob and overcharge but I dont wanna sell myself short either.

Been thinking of making a website down the line to try and sell them maybe.

Well, that is a tough answer to give, as you can find enclosures anywhere in the 160-450 range for a basic 4’x2’x1’. Your best bet for pricing will be to find out the cost of the materials for you to reliably obtain them. (for example a sheet of 1/2" expanded pvc from a supplier is going to cost you anywhere from 100-150 a sheet on average unless you order a massive number at once, then it’ll cost about 30-60 for 1/4" thick glass to be cut and the edges smoothed, then if you go with glass track thats another 15-25 per track pack, solvent for welding pvc together is another 30 bucks for a container etc etc). Then you need to decide what your time is worth (you don’t want to under value it or you’ll begin to dislike building, if you over value it you’ll potentially price yourself out of the market.) Then you need to figure out cost of wear and tear on your tools, as you’ll have to replace them from time to time.


Do you get your glass tempered? (Hardened, for those on the other side of the pond…)

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I do not get it tempered/hardened. If I was going to need huge doors I’d consider it, but standard 1/4" thick glass is quite strong on its own.