Building a snake enclosure requires that you have adequate raw materials and appropriate tools. You will also need to spare a considerable amount of time for the project. As long as you can cut with a saw and hammer nails, you can make your snake enclosure.
Here, I will highlight how to construct a snake enclosure, step by step, and explore a few easy-to-hack options with available materials. I will also provide some tips on making the enclosure more homely, so your snake can feel as cozy as possible. This article will be worth every minute.
How Do I Make My Own Snake Enclosure?
First things first, you have to imagine how the enclosure will look like after construction. To do this, think about all the issues that this enclosure will need to address and how it can be constructed to make both you—the host, and the snake comfortable.
Here are a few questions that will help you narrow everything down.
How big does the snake enclosure have to be?
Space is everything since snakes come in different sizes. If yours is significantly enormous, you have to create the right amount of space to build something comfortable. Below I have made a table with the size of the snake enclosure needed for different types of snakes.
|Type of Snake||Required Enclosure Size|
|Red-Tail Boa||70 gallons|
|Kenyan Sand Boa||20 gallons|
|Ball Python||55 gallons|
|Burmese Python||75 gallons|
|Green Tree Python||100 gallons|
|Blood Python||40 gallons|
|King Snake||30 gallons|
|Milk Snake||70 gallons|
|Black Rat Snake||40 gallons|
|Corn Snake||40 gallons|
The snake size will also dictate if you will have the enclosure inside or outside the house. If a majority of the rooms in your house are fully occupied, having the enclosure outside might be the best option. If you have it inside the house, think of the presentation you want it to portray. You might want it as a centerpiece or be okay with it being at a distinctive corner.
What look should I go for?
Secondly, you have to think about how the enclosure will blend with the environment. Some people prefer an all-glass look, which allows you to watch your pet from various angles. Others love a blend of glass and wood for structural function and a rustic appeal.
How much am I willing to spend?
Finally, you need to think about how much you want to spend. Since the idea here is to construct an enclosure, think about material costs and tools if you do not have them. People who have been doing a bit of construction often or at least periodically might have a few materials lying around, making it less expensive to collect all the needed pieces.
If you are new at this, you might have to think about buying all the needed tools and materials at any hardware store.
A Few Budget Options
Just because you might be thinking about having your own practical snake enclosure does not mean you have to get all the new materials. Remember, this is a Do It Yourself (DIY) project, so the more you can make with what you have, the better for your wallet and the planet.
Old cabinet snake enclosure
An old cabinet is one of the popular options when building a DIY snake enclosure. For most cabinets, the structure is already in place, and the wood is of high quality. You might need to cut out a few parts, resize it and smooth out a few edges, but the work will not be as time-consuming as building an entirely new enclosure. Plus, you get to save on material costs.
Old glass window snake enclosure
Old glass windows that have remained intact over the years can be of great help when building your enclosure. You will need glass glue to put the pieces together and a few pieces of wood for structure, but the process will also be easier than constructing a whole new structure.
How to Construct A Snake Enclosure
Now that you have a general overview of what to look for and consider, here is how to get this work going.
Assemble your building materials
This marks the beginning of the preparation stage. You need to make sure you have all your components, and they are of the right measurements.
Small snakes will comfortably fit in a 20-gallon tank, which is approximately 20 by 10 by 12 inches big. Medium-sized to large ones need a 55-gallon tank maximum, or between 36 by 12 by 16 inches to 48 by 13 by 20 inches. You can use a glass or clear plastic opening for the enclosure’s window. This should be less than an inch shorter than the back panel. Use lacquer on the wood.
Wood can quickly rot, especially when exposed to moisture over a long time. Lacquer ensures that the wood lasts longer by keeping it moist-free.
Ensure you and your working space are safe
Before you dive deeper into the work, wear your personal protective equipment (PPE). Safety glasses, a padded kick back apron, earplugs, gloves, and a respirator should all be part of your PPE. Clear out the work station to see where everything is located, avoid misplacing your tools, and keep children away from the work area.
Size your wood or panel pieces
If you are going for a rectangular enclosure, you will need a sizeable rectangular back and maybe two squares for the sides. The front will have a plastic or glass window. The top and bottom will also be the same size.
Create a groove for the window
Before you assemble all the parts, ensure that the window is taken care of. To do this, use a router to dig the window’s groove. Create a 0.5 inches groove on the outside wall’s face. Do this for the top and bottom pieces, ensure they align with each other, and test that the window fits well.
Assemble your enclosure
It is now time to put the pieces together. A drill is better for this process, but you can get by with a hammer as well. Fit the window in place before nailing the top, and be careful not to break the glass window while fixing the roof in place. Use an animal-friendly adhesive to seal any openings once you finish.
The opening panel
Some people prefer having an opening panel, while others opt to use the window as a functional opening slide. If your option is the former, then your roof needs an opening. Cut out a small square-shaped opening before fixing the roof and use hinges to create a practical flip.
If your option is the latter, then your window groove will need to accommodate an opening window. To do this, have two grooves and use two mirrors that slide over each other as an opening.
How to make you snake enclosure Look Great
A lot goes to making a snake’s enclosure cozy, other than the construction work. You need to think about the floor, the snake’s movement, and some structure to allow it to lie down to rest or hide. This all depends on your snake’s habits.
Flooring the enclosure
You can use a substrate with fine-ground sand or paper towels to make the dirt removal quick and easy. Other options include orchard bark, aspen, pea gravel, or pine shavings, which are more decorative options. Some people can go as far as having a carpet, artificial grass, or linoleum. Whichever you prefer is okay as long as your reptile is comfortable.
Add some decorations
The next thing that I would consider is a bit of decoration, and what better way than something that makes the enclosure feel natural. You can choose between live or artificial plants depending on how often you are available to do some tidying.
Small palms, bromeliads, ferns, Chinese evergreen, and philodendron are popular plants used for snake enclosures. Add a few rocks to make the climbing a bit versatile and to also spice up the look.
Water and food dishes
Once all the decoration is set and you love how the enclosure looks, you can now add water and food containers. Use stable dishes, and the water dish should be large enough for the snake to immerse itself in it completely.
With all the above set, you are ready to bring your pet home.
There are endless ways to make a pet snake enclosure, but these are the easiest and best construction options.
You can decide to go all glass or all clear plastic depending on what materials are available. Ask if your seller can cut the wall pieces for you during purchase. This will take a lot of the work off your hands.
Now that you know how to build a pet snake enclosure all by yourself, you can go on and have an adventurous DIY project while saving you some hard-earned dollars. All the best!