Originally Posted by jgragg
Hey man, sorry for your many losses. Seems like you're keeping your chin up though - good on ya.
For short sweet practicality in a response - what I have done in my first and/or second purpose-built herp rooms, and/or intend to do on my upcoming third one.
- Locate the hobby room on the lowest floor so you're not fighting air temps as much.
- Make the narrowest dimension no bigger than 12'0".
- Floor drain, utility sink if you have the space.
- Frame the room's walls with pressure-treated 2x4s. Bottom and top plates too.
- Insulate the walls and ceiling with mineral wool board or batting.
- Sheath the walls and ceiling like you would a shower - cement board or at least a paperless drywall, with a roll-on moisture membrane (Redgard or whatever) over that. Those elastomeric coatings accept latex paint just fine - it'll look normal but undercover it'll be tropical high-functioning.
- Floor the room with a single piece of roll product. "Vinyl sheet flooring" is the search term. They make some nice looking stuff nowadays, that's tough as nails and also won't break the bank.
- PVC composite (or other inorganic) baseboard and door trim.
- Put a ductless mini split in the room. Don't hook the room up to the common HVAC.
- Overbuild the electrical. Standalone circuit, for one thing. DON'T make it weird by failing to install the standard duplex (maybe make em quad though) outlets every 4 feet at normal height along the walls. BUT, ALSO put in a junction box (so it's easy to remove) and run surface-mount outlets (also so it's easy to remove) in an upper course, 4 or 5 feet off the ground.
- Definitely put a dimmer switch on the overhead light.
- Exterior-grade door & threshold to the room (fire coded) with a deadbolt. No lock on the knob, just the deadbolt.
- Small bench / countertop area with same length of cabinets above if you have the space.
- Solatubes yes if it's a 1-story. Skylights no. Too hot, and prone to leaking eventually. Nice idea that fails upon contact with reality.
There's some thoughts. Good luck with the insurance company, the building & permitting department(s), and your contractor(s). Hang in there, man.
Great info exactly what I was looking for. Iíll be meeting with architects next week and hopefully lock one down within the next couple of weeks.
Have contractors also replying to my initial questionnaire and getting my shortlist of who will move on to in person interviews. Iím hoping to shop bids soon as well. Itís going to be a long road but Iíve loved by the head down work hard keep going motto.. so I know there will be light at the end of a tunnel.. right now that light looks like a midget holding a flashlight though.