Heated Shed Ideas HELP

Yeetster

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I was wondering if there were any outdoor sheds that were insulated that I could just buy from like a hardware store, instead of building a night box? It would be easier for me and I could also heat it easier. Any ideas would help
 

Tom

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Nope. Anything you buy will have to be extensively sealed, insulated and retro-fitted for tortoise use. Plus it makes no sense to heat a shed that is 8 feet tall inside, when your tortoise only occupies the bottom 12".
 

Yeetster

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Nope. Anything you buy will have to be extensively sealed, insulated and retro-fitted for tortoise use. Plus it makes no sense to heat a shed that is 8 feet tall inside, when your tortoise only occupies the bottom 12".
What outdoor box thread would you suggest for 2 sulcatas then?
 

Tom

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What outdoor box thread would you suggest for 2 sulcatas then?
This type works here: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/what-youll-need-to-build-a-night-box.171435/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/what-youll-need-to-build-a-night-box.171435/

I'm not sure if this will be enough in your climate though. This works in my area beacuase it is warm and sunny most of every year. We will have "cold" spells when it rains and daily highs are only in the 50s for a few days or a week, but then its sunny and warm and they can walk around, bask and graze outdoors. They couldn't be cooped up in a box like this for months, and they shouldn't be walking around outside in snow in my opinion. The only way I'd keep a sulcata in a place like that is if I had a large heated indoor space for them for winter. Like a large basement with heated floors, or a small warehouse of some sort. They get huge, are very active, and they need a large warm space to do their thing.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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This is closest to 'built' as I have seen. You can find slide lid sheds on Craig's list often enough to get one cheaper than brand new. The build is sulcata worthy as you will see. Not as simple as a complete out of an Amazon delivered big box, but certainly easier than full blown construction. I got two split lid sheds and built one for the Manouria to use as a nest box.

If you don't want to use a heat lamp (potential fire hazard) you can use radiant heat panels, or the mini radiator as seen in many build here on TFO. I prefer the heat panels, two or three of a lower wattage so if one fails, others are already in place working.
 

Yeetster

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This type works here: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/what-youll-need-to-build-a-night-box.171435/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/what-youll-need-to-build-a-night-box.171435/

I'm not sure if this will be enough in your climate though. This works in my area beacuase it is warm and sunny most of every year. We will have "cold" spells when it rains and daily highs are only in the 50s for a few days or a week, but then its sunny and warm and they can walk around, bask and graze outdoors. They couldn't be cooped up in a box like this for months, and they shouldn't be walking around outside in snow in my opinion. The only way I'd keep a sulcata in a place like that is if I had a large heated indoor space for them for winter. Like a large basement with heated floors, or a small warehouse of some sort. They get huge, are very active, and they need a large warm space to do their thing.
That’s why I was considering maybe a shed because it can get very cold in my climate and some days they may have to stay inside for very long periods, so I was considering getting them a whole shed to have for themselves and I could just heat that.
 

Yeetster

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This is closest to 'built' as I have seen. You can find slide lid sheds on Craig's list often enough to get one cheaper than brand new. The build is sulcata worthy as you will see. Not as simple as a complete out of an Amazon delivered big box, but certainly easier than full blown construction. I got two split lid sheds and built one for the Manouria to use as a nest box.

If you don't want to use a heat lamp (potential fire hazard) you can use radiant heat panels, or the mini radiator as seen in many build here on TFO. I prefer the heat panels, two or three of a lower wattage so if one fails, others are already in place working.
This is what I was thinking my only question was how to go about insulating it but I guess you could put the wood on the inside like they did in that video.
 

Yvonne G

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You can find really nice walk-in sheds at places like Home Depot. But any shed you get you will still have to insulate it, and maybe put it up on an insulated floor. But you can buy the 4'x8' sheets of rigid foam insulation pretty cheap, then maybe a plywood strip tortoise high around the bottom edge to protect the foam from the tortoise. Personally, I'd rather have a walk-in shed so that I can stand up in there to rake it out, etc. I don't like having to open a lid and lean in to administer to the shed/tortoise. Plus with a walk-in shed you can make sure the light/heat is up high enough to not burn the top of the tortoise's shell. I have walk-in sheds and with a pig blanket and a heat/light hanging from the ceiling the ambient temp of the air inside is just where I want it to be.
 

Tom

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This is what I was thinking my only question was how to go about insulating it but I guess you could put the wood on the inside like they did in that video.
I understand your thinking. My point is that:
  1. A shed is too small for them to be in for weeks or months at a time in winter.
  2. It makes no sense to me to heat 8 feet of air (heat rises) when your tortoise is only using the bottom 8-12".
  3. By the time you buy a shed, seal it, insulate it, protect the insulation with plywood inside, buy the heating equipment and figure out how to get the heat down on the floor, and cut out a tortoise door down low, you may as well just build a box that is designed for and more functional for tortoises.
I was once where you are. I bought the exact shed that is in the video linked by Will above. It was okay for warm weather but the floor was too cold. I insulated the floor and added Kane heat mats. When winter set in, I discovered it was too drafty. After adding 3 more domes with CHEs, I decided to try to seal and insulate it and try to contain my warm air. That's when I discovered that when it was 80-85 degrees on the ceiling (So said my IR temp gun and a digital thermometer...), it was only 60-65 on the floor at tortoise level when off the Kane mats. With three Kane mats, four CHEs, sealant, and insulation, I could barely keep the ambient temp in the 60s on a cold winter night with outdoor temps in the 30s, and the heating elements all ran all night long sucking down the power.

Taking all of this into account, I decided to build this one:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-mother-of-all-tortoise-boxes.20527/
Check out the date on this thread... This box worked okay, but the floor needed more insulation, it needed more caulking, and this is where I discovered the pointlessness of heating a tall air column over a tortoise that is only 10" tall at rest. You can see the old plastic shed in one of the later pics in the first post. I gave this box away and built this next one:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/
With this box I fixed all the previous problems, made design improvements and learned more building skills. With each box I've built since this one, I make little improvements here and there and refined my technique. This box was very effective, efficient, and I'm still using it today. It uses an average of .18 cents a day of electricity even at stupid CA rates in the highest billing tier.

Long post, but I thought it might help explain why I'm telling you what I'm telling you.
 

Yeetster

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I understand your thinking. My point is that:
  1. A shed is too small for them to be in for weeks or months at a time in winter.
  2. It makes no sense to me to heat 8 feet of air (heat rises) when your tortoise is only using the bottom 8-12".
  3. By the time you buy a shed, seal it, insulate it, protect the insulation with plywood inside, buy the heating equipment and figure out how to get the heat down on the floor, and cut out a tortoise door down low, you may as well just build a box that is designed for and more functional for tortoises.
I was once where you are. I bought the exact shed that is in the video linked by Will above. It was okay for warm weather but the floor was too cold. I insulated the floor and added Kane heat mats. When winter set in, I discovered it was too drafty. After adding 3 more domes with CHEs, I decided to try to seal and insulate it and try to contain my warm air. That's when I discovered that when it was 80-85 degrees on the ceiling (So said my IR temp gun and a digital thermometer...), it was only 60-65 on the floor at tortoise level when off the Kane mats. With three Kane mats, four CHEs, sealant, and insulation, I could barely keep the ambient temp in the 60s on a cold winter night with outdoor temps in the 30s, and the heating elements all ran all night long sucking down the power.

Taking all of this into account, I decided to build this one:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-mother-of-all-tortoise-boxes.20527/
Check out the date on this thread... This box worked okay, but the floor needed more insulation, it needed more caulking, and this is where I discovered the pointlessness of heating a tall air column over a tortoise that is only 10" tall at rest. You can see the old plastic shed in one of the later pics in the first post. I gave this box away and built this next one:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/
With this box I fixed all the previous problems, made design improvements and learned more building skills. With each box I've built since this one, I make little improvements here and there and refined my technique. This box was very effective, efficient, and I'm still using it today. It uses an average of .18 cents a day of electricity even at stupid CA rates in the highest billing tier.

Long post, but I thought it might help explain why I'm telling you what I'm telling you.
Okay thank you I will go with that one then!
 
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