Cost for Building Your Own Outdoor Night Box

Mizcreant

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I bought a vinyl roll that is designed for shelf lining for $9.99. It is thick. I was able to do two layers and had enough for two doorways. I had a little left over which I’ll use to do my Russian’s doorway.

It’s similar to this at Home Depot. I just found it cheaper at Stine.
Great idea... thanks!
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I've used vinyl floor carpet protector that you can buy at a big box hardware store. Get the kind withOUT dimples. Buy it by the running foot, so get exactly how much you need. I used four layers overlapped with the flap NOT lined up. It's funny to see the tortoises poke their head through when they wonder what I'm up-to in their yard.
 

Mizcreant

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I've used vinyl floor carpet protector that you can buy at a big box hardware store. Get the kind withOUT dimples. Buy it by the running foot, so get exactly how much you need. I used four layers overlapped with the flap NOT lined up. It's funny to see the tortoises poke their head through when they wonder what I'm up-to in their yard.
Another great idea! would those come in varying thicknesses?
 

Big Charlie

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Yeah....thanks. I don't need 150' worth though. Maybe 20' at the very most.
you could try contacting the ebay seller to see if they will sell by the foot. That is what I ordered. If I recall correctly, it was $1 a foot plus $6 shipping.
 

Mizcreant

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you could try contacting the ebay seller to see if they will sell by the foot. That is what I ordered. If I recall correctly, it was $1 a foot plus $6 shipping.
Don't suppose it would hurt to try as a last resort.
 

Trihog

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I have been reading lots of your work and appreciate it. Have you ever thought about using pallet wood on the inside to cut down on cost? I plan on trying it next week while building from your 4x8 plans. I have some plastic lining that i will apply in between the foam board and pallet wood to keep it sealed better.
 

ChucktownTort

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Tom thank you for all of your guidance and advice. A quick question on the thermostats you use: how do you feel about the inkbird products for this application? I have been using the Jump Start for a couple years but they just started malfunctioning (which was a bit scary since it was trying to bake my tort), and I need a new one.

Thanks.
 

Tom

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Tom thank you for all of your guidance and advice. A quick question on the thermostats you use: how do you feel about the inkbird products for this application? I have been using the Jump Start for a couple years but they just started malfunctioning (which was a bit scary since it was trying to bake my tort), and I need a new one.

Thanks.
I've used the Jumpstart, but the Zilla is the main one I use. I've never used the Inkbird brand, so I have no experience to comment on. I have not heard any complaints about any of the three.
 

MaryJane

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I just finished building another new box for my star tortoises, and I built a box for some friends who lost everything in the fires a few months ago. Many people have asked me to build them a box and what it would cost. I thought it might be helpful to list everything out to help people decide what they want to do.

To make a 4'x8'x24" I use:
7 sheets of plywood at about $20 each: $140
4 sheets of insulation at about $25 each: $100
20 2x4s at about $3 each: $60
Asst. other lumber: $25
6-7 tubes of silicone I caulking at $6 each: $42
Loads of "Deck Screws": $30-40
Door flaps: $10-20
Paint and primer for outside only, plush rollers, paint pan liners, brushes: $20 + $40-50 = $75
Coating for inside, if needed is about: $100 for Pond Shield
Hinges for top and doors, plus door latches: $44
Weather stripping: $25

Total for building materials = Approximately $655, but by the time I'm done adding stuff, lets just call it $700.

Then the electrics:
Heavy gauge extension cord: $50
Plastic box with clips on the lid to contain cords and thermostat: $10
Oil-filled mini radiant heater: $50 with tax and shipping.
Computer fan with speed controller: $20
Thermostat: $30
Cup holders, zip ties, and screws to manage cords and keep them secure: $10
Incandescent fixtures, bulbs and timers, if needed: $20 + $20 + $15 = $55

Total for heating stuff= Approx $215

It takes me approximately 30 hours to get one done, including painting.

So… $650-700 + $215 + labor...

Cost of lumber and building materials would be about half for a 4'x4'x24" box, but labor and the cost of the heating and electrics would be about the same.

Some people might want to factor in time and gas to drive to the hardware store several times to get all the needed stuff (Because you never get everything right the first time…), and any unforeseen problems that might pop up. Several hundred or thousand in tools will also be needed.

People have asked me to build boxes for them, and I really enjoy building them, but I'd have to sell a finished box for $2000-2500 just to make any money and be able to pay a few bills. I wish it were cheaper, but it just isn't. I can remember my first boxes costing a lot less than this, but the cost of materials keeps going up and up. Plywood used to run $13 a sheet. Now its closer to $20. 2x4s were $1.20 each, and now they are over $3 each.

This is also the reason why I won't be building any indoor boxes anymore. Animal Plastics charges only $500-750 for their larger cages. That is a bargain because I spend zero time building, it looks very professional, and it will outlast anything I make myself from wood. I wish they made insulated outdoor boxes because I would never build another box again!

I hope someone finds this info useful in some way or other.
Very useful! Thank you very much!!!
 
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Connie Jo

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I just finished building another new box for my star tortoises, and I built a box for some friends who lost everything in the fires a few months ago. Many people have asked me to build them a box and what it would cost. I thought it might be helpful to list everything out to help people decide what they want to do.

To make a 4'x8'x24" I use:
7 sheets of plywood at about $20 each: $140
4 sheets of insulation at about $25 each: $100
20 2x4s at about $3 each: $60
Asst. other lumber: $25
6-7 tubes of silicone I caulking at $6 each: $42
Loads of "Deck Screws": $30-40
Door flaps: $10-20
Paint and primer for outside only, plush rollers, paint pan liners, brushes: $20 + $40-50 = $75
Coating for inside, if needed is about: $100 for Pond Shield
Hinges for top and doors, plus door latches: $44
Weather stripping: $25

Total for building materials = Approximately $655, but by the time I'm done adding stuff, lets just call it $700.

Then the electrics:
Heavy gauge extension cord: $50
Plastic box with clips on the lid to contain cords and thermostat: $10
Oil-filled mini radiant heater: $50 with tax and shipping.
Computer fan with speed controller: $20
Thermostat: $30
Cup holders, zip ties, and screws to manage cords and keep them secure: $10
Incandescent fixtures, bulbs and timers, if needed: $20 + $20 + $15 = $55

Total for heating stuff= Approx $215

It takes me approximately 30 hours to get one done, including painting.

So… $650-700 + $215 + labor...

Cost of lumber and building materials would be about half for a 4'x4'x24" box, but labor and the cost of the heating and electrics would be about the same.

Some people might want to factor in time and gas to drive to the hardware store several times to get all the needed stuff (Because you never get everything right the first time…), and any unforeseen problems that might pop up. Several hundred or thousand in tools will also be needed.

People have asked me to build boxes for them, and I really enjoy building them, but I'd have to sell a finished box for $2000-2500 just to make any money and be able to pay a few bills. I wish it were cheaper, but it just isn't. I can remember my first boxes costing a lot less than this, but the cost of materials keeps going up and up. Plywood used to run $13 a sheet. Now its closer to $20. 2x4s were $1.20 each, and now they are over $3 each.

This is also the reason why I won't be building any indoor boxes anymore. Animal Plastics charges only $500-750 for their larger cages. That is a bargain because I spend zero time building, it looks very professional, and it will outlast anything I make myself from wood. I wish they made insulated outdoor boxes because I would never build another box again!

I hope someone finds this info useful in some way or other.
What kind of paint do you use for outdoor box? Is it necessary to use pond shield inside?
 

Tom

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What kind of paint do you use for outdoor box? Is it necessary to use pond shield inside?
I use Behr exterior paint and Killz2 primer from Home Depot on the outside. I don't do anything on the inside unless I am planning to keep it 80+% humidity all the time, like I did for my stars. That is the only time I'd use the Pond Shield.
 

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