Re: House fire
Sorry to hear about your loss!
If I were building an animal room from the ground up I would make everything waterproof. Glue down vinyl plank tiles with a drain down low for gravity draining of tanks. No more bucket reservoirs. I would definitely not add a full skylight. I have two in my living room and they easily add 7+ degrees to the rooms temperature. Hot in the summer and cool in the winter. I have no experience with skytubes.
Another thing to consider is sound proofing. I am pretty sensitive to sound and have small children that sleep in the day so there are a lot of species of frogs I just won't keep. If building my own room I would sound proof it. There are materials (quite expensive materials) that can do this when installed inside the walls, but the cheapest and effective way to do it is to build a whole room inside another room. So your walls end up being double thick with one framed wall (the inside) completely disconnected from the other framed wall (the outside). You would want to look into it a lot more of course if you decide to go that way but /shrug that is what I would do. If money permitted I would also consider my own heating/cooling system just for the room. Split units are becoming surprisingly affordable and it might be nice to be able to set the temperature in the room and know it was going to stay there compared to the rest of the house.
Of course lots of plugs on different circuits for lights, plumps, etc. If you decide to get back into aquariums then I would definitely put in a whole house water filter (on city water where I'm at) and put in water lines sufficient to do auto water changes on all tanks. If planning to do RO water then a system with large enough storage tanks on location would be nice as well. Speaking of aquariums. To the extent you might like to hang any lights from the ceiling for aquarium lighting you might want to install some outlets in the ceiling. And if getting back into aquariums then making sure your floor joists are strong with good support down below for big tanks with no sagging would be a must.
I personally would not use built ins when it comes to anything other then a bookshelf. Built ins can be very difficult to deal with when it comes to running wires, hoses, equipment etc. I would use custom made stands if you want a cohesive look. That way if 10 years from now you decide 'I really want a 6 foot long tank' you don't need a sledge hammer to make it happen.
Just some thoughts.
Last edited by minorhero; 07-27-2020 at 11:46 AM.