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Old 07-27-2020, 02:37 AM
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Default House fire

So, I’m sure many of you talk to me on Facebook or Instagram.. but I wanted to start this thread as sort of a way to recover from my loss..

On July 15th at 2:30 in the afternoon I noticed my “animal room” lights shut off.. first thought was power outage.. then a split second realized the tv was still on.. maybe a circuit breaker popped.. so, I went into the room to investigate and go out to the garage to check the panel. When I entered the room I saw white smoke pouring in from the seams of the door that leads to the garage..

I screamed to my wife “FIRE, get the cat get out call 911!” I grabbed the other cat and tried to pull the dogs out the front door but they froze and the smoke was now black and quickly filling the house. My wife ran out the side door I went out the front screamed for my neighbors tossed the cat to them and ran to try and go back and rescue the turtles.. the fire was so out of control at this point I knew I could t make it back in..

My wife never came around and I went into a panic that she went back in for the dogs.. I screamed for her and what felt like hours but was likely seconds later she ran through the side kitchen door and out the front.

The fire department arrived and started getting water on the fire and miraculously all the dogs ran out. Once they where safe.. we watched as 4 fire departments attempted to put the fire out..

In the end.. where we sit now is half the house is so severely damaged it will need to go down to the basement foundation. The other half will need to go down to the studs possibly the foundation as well..

All of my frogs.. 6 terribilis orange, 4 bicolors, 5 cobalts, 26 vittatus, 5 leucs, 2 a. Pepperi orange heads, who knows how many Santa isabella, 6 azures, 5 lowland fants, 2 Borja ridge , 5 valeroi glass frogs, 8-10 mourning geckos, 5 turtles and all of my fish Shrimp and plants are gone.

In all 125g high tech planted tank, 2 12” cube tanks 13 vivariums of various sizes. 2 insitu, 2 exoterra a couple of conversions and a few hand built vivs, 210g turtle tank, 90g turtle tank, and a few “spare” tanks plus filters, pumps, lights, various cultures.. so on and so on.. all gone..

I don’t care about the “stuff” but I do care about the lives.. no matter how small.. I loved them.. my springtail cultures even excited me seeing them boom the way they did.. I loved watching my isopods munch on the food when I fed them.. my frogs and plants.. I put so much care into making sure everything was as perfect for them as I could get it.. I was absolutely enamored by the glass frogs especially. They where just so fun to watch every night after lights out..

The Santa isabella where super annoying.. but fun to watch. I will leave them off my “rebuild list” though. And I finally got rid of those f’ing slugs.. but I don’t recommend my method. 😝

So, we are currently in a Hilton with 2 1 bedroom suites because of our number of pets is over their limit. Insurance is looking for a rental while we rebuild.. tomorrow we inventory contents with a company. It was already all deemed a total loss.. we pulled heirloom items and a few things to try to get cleaned and salvaged.

Trying to find silver linings in this.. we will pretty much have a new house once things are done.. we can also take this time to make a few changes to a few things.

While I am a long long way away from having frogs again.. and honestly don’t know if I can do it again.. I have an opportunity to do something not many are able to.. Ive amassed a ton of knowledge.. thanks to experience and you kind folks and these archives.

I can purpose build my den for amphibian, plant and reptile keeping.. I can get custom shelving built in and ditch the metal racks.. I can add drainage and a sink / ro station. I can wire that room to it’s own breaker and have outlets at 2 levels for every viv. I’m thinking about possibly doing either vaulted ceilings through the entire new half of the house and getting sky lights to bring in more natural light. I don’t know yet if it’s possible for the frog room as it’s a different configuration of roof.. but solar tubes may be a great option if I keep it normal ceilings in that room. Also thinking custom tadpole rack, fruit fly cabinet.. I’m sure it will evolve and get more cohesive as time goes on.

So, let’s hear some ideas.. if you got to build a purpose built frog room what would you deem necessary, what would you add to make life easier?

I won’t be getting any more turtles.. partly because ours where beloved and with us a very long time.. partly because at 44 I can’t ethically take on an animal that can live 30+ years. And partly because they where more work than all of the others combined and took up a lot of space.. I definitely won’t do salt water again.. the reef tank was beautiful.. but such a pain in the ass.. I don’t know about fish / planted tanks again.. I love them.. but right now I’m not sure I want back in.. I lost some very high end angelfish that where difficult and expensive to get the first time around.. maybe one day..

I’d likely be interested in some reptiles though.. I was in the process of building a leopard gecko tank. I was researching auckie monitors with intent to build out a tank for one.. and have been researching a dream reptile which is a caiman lizard.. but that’s more of a pipe dream as their care requirements are a bit extreme.. I had always said once we finish the basement I wanted to build out a huge caiman lizard enclosure on the scale of a zoo exhibit. I wouldn’t want to do any less if I committed to the care of such an awesome lizard.

As far as frogs go.. I am fully intent on replacing all of my phyllobates and adding mints, and auroteana. Leucs but possibly going to fine spots or blue foots. Tinc azures, Vanessa, powder blue, cobalts, and one or two other locals. Then possibly some pumillo.. basti, draco, and a few other locals really interest me..
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:19 AM
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Sprinkler fire suppression system in the next iteration?
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: House fire

Im terribly sorry for your lost animals. What has happened to you is one of mine and others Im sure, greatest fears.

I dont know where you live but I have a large inventory of care gear, media and woods. I have some Ive never used and saved for future acquisitions and rescue emergencies.

PM me for details when your ready. If you need anything I have, Ill send pics, we'll exchange details.

Peace to you, as much as can be.

Kelly
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:30 AM
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As both a frog and motorcycle lover, I feel your pain. Your pictures on FB were devastating. Sending you and your wife lots of love and prayers!
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:41 AM
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Default 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.
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Last edited by minorhero; 07-27-2020 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: House fire

Sorry to hear it, Rob. I wish you all the best moving forward. Not sure I could recover from something like that and move forward with another collection. I wish you all the best.

Mark
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: House fire

so sorry to hear about this
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: House fire

As great as natural lighting sounds the reality is its just much easier to manage things artificially. Heat, and variability in light are 2 factors that are a major hassle. Now alot of this depends on how into things you are, but I just want the throw that out there. Alot of modern keepers of all sorts of things that were traditionally thought best done in green houses are giving up and going with all LED lighting.

Also built in shelves for frogs also sound nice but will have major down sides. For one if you ever sell the house its most likely no one will appreciate it. I have actually come to dispise built in shelves in almost every place they are used in any house. They simply lack flexibility and never seem to work for the next person or project. And they constantly force me to rebuy things I already own because they wont fit in the built ins. If you do still go with them make sure they are very very flexible IE you have lots of horizontal space and they have completely adjustable vertical spacing.

Now one thing I would recommend you build in is a central infrastructure closet. Ideally, it would be between the living room and frog room. But basically you build a closet that isn't too big and is also probably unfinished. It allows you to reconfigure things and finish the other 2 rooms very well. Many people will build one of these to service an entertainment center but yours would service the frog room, and an entertainment center if you so wish. And usually, they maintain good value on the home because even if the next person has no use for any of that it can be used as storage. They can also serve as some sound suppression.

Run ethernet to every room and possibly multiple, keep it away from the electrical where ever possible.

Run a drain and water to the frog room, you can completely automate a ton of the frog work and make it look hella good. And a new person could turn it into a bar. Or maybe even make your frog room a bar too!
I have a completely automated drain plus RODI system for my frogs and it sure is nice not having to do literally anything at all ever to service the water for all the tanks its hooked up to. Just make sure its all working and swap out filters every 6 months.

You might want to consider a separate AC system for the frog room, or some way to vent heat or even just extra vents in there that could be opened or closed due to the increased heat output in such an area. Once the framing is done its easy to do this but much harder to fix the forced air system is already done and the house is finished.

When ever you are ready if you want to start your collection you can PM me I could put together very diverse plant clipping package for a good price.

Another side track is home entertainment. Even if you dont plan to use it or dont care you might want to do some looking into what it would take to make a living room or the frog room a great home theater. This is another thing that can really give a house a wow factor and isnt a very expensive add on when building new but is a ton of work and expense when trying to remodel it into a plan. This would include extra sound proofing. Picking the right floor material for subwoofers, running in wall wires for surround speakers and isolating the electrical. Also included would be running channels in the wall for a TV so you can drop cables and power completely hidden to the receiver. Anyone who is into console video gaming, some PC video gamers, and anyone who likes watching movies or appreciates music will love this. And that is a much bigger group of people than froggers!
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: House fire

Very sorry for your loss Rob.

I'm glad your wife and other mammals are OK.

s
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: House fire

The Pain and the self blame is the thing. And its not the same respect and somber social observance that a person gets when human loved ones are tragically taken.

But I know what it is to know and to care for Somebody.

You create a place of utopia for them and you get to know who they are. And you dont let ordinary obtacles get in the way of disrupting the serenity that you have lovingly curated for them.

I believe that Sentience extends the folds of our cerebellum. For ages there has been proposed the question of: "Do Animals have Souls?"

Maybe animals are All Soul. All the Best of what Life and the Universe Is.

Somewhere maybe a kind of free commerce of knowing exists.

I believe they knew you loved them.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: House fire

I'm in the midst of building my own frog room but don't have the luxury of working from the foundation up in my design. If I could have designed from the ground up, I would have taken advantage of many the suggestions above.

One thing that I would liked to have given more thought to was sufficient working surface. I use an old dresser but wish that I had more of space with access to a deep sink. I always seem to be running out of workable surface and have to put stuff on the ground only to pick it back up to use again later when I need it. Not the end of the world, but wish I had more clear horizontal surfaces to work with.

I may pick up a rolling cart to bring from tank to tank as I do maintenance to hold various things and streamline care. Hold my pruning scissors, rubbing alcohol, dusted flies, plant clippings, etc. Less trips back and forth, even in my modest room is a plus.

I'd also like to have a centralized hub where I can control everything from the lights to the misting schedule. Currently all my lights are plugged into timers in tough to reach locations. If I could build from the beginning the centralized hub would also have the thermostat for the room itself.

I'm sure you've already thought about this and others have mentioned it as well, but keep in mind your home may be someone else's home at some point. What you do now may be incredibly cool and functional for what you are trying to achieve, but keep in mind it's attractiveness to a future owner. You may never recoup the investment in your home's infrastructure, shoot you may be leaving money on the table when you do decide to sell.

I'm with everyone else, I hate buildins.

Just some things to think about.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: House fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
Sprinkler fire suppression system in the next iteration?
Yes 100% and less stuff to watch burn
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pubfiction View Post
As great as natural lighting sounds the reality is its just much easier to manage things artificially. Heat, and variability in light are 2 factors that are a major hassle. Now alot of this depends on how into things you are, but I just want the throw that out there. Alot of modern keepers of all sorts of things that were traditionally thought best done in green houses are giving up and going with all LED lighting.

Also built in shelves for frogs also sound nice but will have major down sides. For one if you ever sell the house its most likely no one will appreciate it. I have actually come to dispise built in shelves in almost every place they are used in any house. They simply lack flexibility and never seem to work for the next person or project. And they constantly force me to rebuy things I already own because they wont fit in the built ins. If you do still go with them make sure they are very very flexible IE you have lots of horizontal space and they have completely adjustable vertical spacing.

Now one thing I would recommend you build in is a central infrastructure closet. Ideally, it would be between the living room and frog room. But basically you build a closet that isn't too big and is also probably unfinished. It allows you to reconfigure things and finish the other 2 rooms very well. Many people will build one of these to service an entertainment center but yours would service the frog room, and an entertainment center if you so wish. And usually, they maintain good value on the home because even if the next person has no use for any of that it can be used as storage. They can also serve as some sound suppression.

Run ethernet to every room and possibly multiple, keep it away from the electrical where ever possible.

Run a drain and water to the frog room, you can completely automate a ton of the frog work and make it look hella good. And a new person could turn it into a bar. Or maybe even make your frog room a bar too!
I have a completely automated drain plus RODI system for my frogs and it sure is nice not having to do literally anything at all ever to service the water for all the tanks its hooked up to. Just make sure its all working and swap out filters every 6 months.

You might want to consider a separate AC system for the frog room, or some way to vent heat or even just extra vents in there that could be opened or closed due to the increased heat output in such an area. Once the framing is done its easy to do this but much harder to fix the forced air system is already done and the house is finished.

When ever you are ready if you want to start your collection you can PM me I could put together very diverse plant clipping package for a good price.

Another side track is home entertainment. Even if you dont plan to use it or dont care you might want to do some looking into what it would take to make a living room or the frog room a great home theater. This is another thing that can really give a house a wow factor and isnt a very expensive add on when building new but is a ton of work and expense when trying to remodel it into a plan. This would include extra sound proofing. Picking the right floor material for subwoofers, running in wall wires for surround speakers and isolating the electrical. Also included would be running channels in the wall for a TV so you can drop cables and power completely hidden to the receiver. Anyone who is into console video gaming, some PC video gamers, and anyone who likes watching movies or appreciates music will love this. And that is a much bigger group of people than froggers!
I should have phrased built in better.. i more meant built from wood / furniture quality.
My previous setup had the mist pumps in the basement as well as a decent mount of ro water and a waste water storage that was used for laundry. Drainage is a must though. It will evolve over time.. right now Iím just spitballing ideas and figured Iíd kind of turn this into a build thread as we progress. The false wall / closet would be difficult due to floor plan issues. The plan is to open up the kitchen dining room and living room. I debated possibly opening the frog room as well or relocating the kitchen to that area.. all that has to wait until the engineer / architect faze.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: House fire

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.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: House fire

I CaNT iMaGiNe WHaT you aND youR WiFe are GoiNG THRouGH =( iTS VeRY uNFoRTuNATe aND i'M SoRRY FoR YouR LoSS oN eVeRYTHiNG i'm sUrE yOU And yOUr wIfE hAvE WoRKeD FoR. aS CLiCHe aS iT MaY Be aND TRue, eVeRYTHiNG CaN Be RePLaCeD. THe iMPoRTaNT THiNG iS, YOU AND YOUR WIFE ARE OK AND ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aND iT SuCKS, eVeN THouGH You'Re GeTTiNG a CHaNCe To BuiLD a NeW HoMe (hopefully insurance does their part), iTS GoNNa TaKe SoMe TiMe. BuT KeeP THaT SiLVeR LiNiNG iN YouR MiND aNYTiMe THiNGS GeT SHiTTY.

i'M KiNDa NeW To THe DaRT FRoG WoRLD. BY No MeaNS CaN i CoMPaRe To THe PeoPLe oN HeRe, eVeRYoNe iS So iNCReDiBLe WiTH THeiR FRoGS & aNiMaLS, JuST BRiLLiaNT! i'M STiLL LeaRNiNG DaY By DaY.

WHeN YouR Room aND HouSe iS ReaDY, I WouLD Be MoRe THaN HaPPY To GiVe You SoMe FRoGs To HeLP You GeT YouR HoBBY BaCK oN iTS FeeT!!!! aLL You WouLD HaVe To Do, iS PaY FoR SHiPPiNG.

i HaVe aN oK CoLLeCTioN. i HaVe a FeW SaNTa iSaBeLLa WiTH YouR NaMe oN THeM!!!! J/K LoL HaHaHa. i DoNT HaVe aNY BuT i'M CuRiouS WHY aRe THeY aNNoYiNG? I'Ve NoTiCeD, THeY F*3K LiKe RaBBiTS CuZ WHoeVeR HaS THeM, THeY aLWaYS HaVe aN aBuNDaNCe oF FRoGLeTS oR TaDPoLeS.

aNYHoW, i LiTTeRaLLY HaD MY 1ST RaNiToMaYa iMiTaToR TaRapaTO TaDPoLe GRaDuaTe aND iS oFFiCiaLLY a FRoG NoW! CooLeSGT THiNG eVeR!!!!

aNYWaYS, GooDLuCK To You & YouR WiFe & ReaCH ouT To Me WHeN You aRe ReaDY!!!!!
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:28 PM
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AND I WOULDN'T GO WITH SKYLIGHTS. THEY ARE ANNOYING. I USED TO HAVE ONE ION MY BEDROOM. When it rained, I heard every single drop on my skylight. I ended up getting used to that, especially being from hollywood, California, doesn't rain much.

The worst wason my days off, or the weekend when i'm trying to msleep in, THE SUN BLAZING THRU THE SKYLIGHT AND ONTO MY FACE! nIt Made me miserable. It warmed up the room too.

I would ONLY GET ONE, IF I had control of opening and closing it with a remote.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: House fire

Those photos are heartbreaking. I'm so sorry, Rob.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:07 AM
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Sorry to hear about your loss. Hopefully others can provide some good info for you moving forward.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: House fire

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Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
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 there.. Iím sure the architect will pop a blood vessel lol
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: House fire

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Originally Posted by Stiles View Post
AND I WOULDN'T GO WITH SKYLIGHTS. THEY ARE ANNOYING. I USED TO HAVE ONE ION MY BEDROOM. When it rained, I heard every single drop on my skylight. I ended up getting used to that, especially being from hollywood, California, doesn't rain much.

The worst wason my days off, or the weekend when i'm trying to msleep in, THE SUN BLAZING THRU THE SKYLIGHT AND ONTO MY FACE! nIt Made me miserable. It warmed up the room too.

I would ONLY GET ONE, IF I had control of opening and closing it with a remote.
The original though was to get the ones that can be clear or opaque with the flip of a switch. They are getting put Inyo the living room, kitchen and dining area.. that side of the house will be switching to a full open floor plan plan the den is still in the ideas phase. Because itís a different pitch on the room, it may not be possible to change it too much. It Iíd roughly 12x24
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: House fire

Hi Rob,
I follow you on Instagram and once again I am SO very sorry that this happened to you. So incredibly heartbreaking to lose the creatures you care about. The pictures look absolutely devastating. Someone said above and I would second this, a place in the New Room for a Reverse Osmosis system, a floor drain, and some independent way to heat your room. The prewiring of outlets where you want them would be a great thing as well. With the community in sending you my best and hoping you are healing from this a little bit. Glad you your wife, pups and cat are all ok! Hang in there.

Mike
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:48 AM
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Rob, so sorry for your losses. Someone mentioned vinyl plank flooring, I second that, it looks great, lasts virtually forever, and they have water resistant and maybe even waterproof kinds now. I installed water resistant out on my sunporch 3 years ago and it's put up with all those lovely changes of Massachusetts weather over that time.
I like the caiman lizard idea. But a glass enclosure is going to be substantial for an adult. Zoo Med keeps them in really big Waterland Tubs with some sort of custom steel cage over the top. If you go on their website I'm sure they still have the article (The Vivarium online maybe). Don't give up on turtles, try a smaller species that could be an interesting breeding project like Stripe necked musks or Cagles maps.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: House fire

Quote:
Don't give up on turtles
Hear, hear. Besides their other charms, no other herp seems as interested in human companionship.

What were you keeping before?
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: House fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
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.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: House fire

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Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
Hear, hear. Besides their other charms, no other herp seems as interested in human companionship.

What were you keeping before?
We had a Mississippi map, western painted, res and a 1.1 pink bellied side neck.

The pair was kept separately. The male res and female pbsn, and western painted where in a 210 that was my first experience with foam backgrounds 10+ years ago. The male pink belly and f map where in a 90 and I was watching for another 210 or a 180 To build out for them. The slider was 15, the painted was unknown rescued from someone who wasnít caring for her properly and she was stunted and in the 10 years I had her she stayed the sized of my palm. She was also the most personable, but they where all fairly bold. I brushed their shells weekly, so they where very hand tame.

I for multiple reasons am Hesitant to get turtles again.. the space required for proper indoor keeping is one.. the other is their life expectancies mean with me at 44 would not want to burden someone with them should something happen to me. Men in my family often go in their 60s. I have always said I want to live to see Haileyís comet again though.. so I gotta make it to 75😂

I suppose if I found the right situation where a turtle needed my help Iíd change my mind.. all but the side necks where rescues. The res my wife found walking across a parking lot in her first apartment when she moved back to jersey.. hence the name Parker. Res arenít native here.. so I assume either he came from an invasive pair or someone went to china town and their parents said no so they released him. He was a very young hatchling when she found him.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: House fire

Skylight is out.. lol I havenít had one person say Ďthey are awesomeí just negatives about having them at all.. depending on how we design the rebuild maybe solar tubes.. but thinking about it more, I think Iíd rather control day night cycle as much as I can.. 6am calls are not my favorite frog calls. Lol
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: House fire

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Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
Rob, so sorry for your losses. Someone mentioned vinyl plank flooring, I second that, it looks great, lasts virtually forever, and they have water resistant and maybe even waterproof kinds now. I installed water resistant out on my sunporch 3 years ago and it's put up with all those lovely changes of Massachusetts weather over that time.
I like the caiman lizard idea. But a glass enclosure is going to be substantial for an adult. Zoo Med keeps them in really big Waterland Tubs with some sort of custom steel cage over the top. If you go on their website I'm sure they still have the article (The Vivarium online maybe). Don't give up on turtles, try a smaller species that could be an interesting breeding project like Stripe necked musks or Cagles maps.
Iíve seen them.. honestly the more I fall in love with the Caiman lizards the more I donít think I want to keep one.. lol they are amazing, but a huge chore.. I may Ďadoptí one at the zoo and visit it there where he has a zoo keeper to give him fresh snails daily.
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