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What do people think about having an outdoor building/shed to keep multiple enclosures as long as power is ran out to it and it's insulated? Wife and I are trying to find houses with a basement withing our price range but are having no luck. Was curious if someone has tried this and what would the potential cost be versus just waiting on a house with a basement?
 

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What do people think about having an outdoor building/shed to keep multiple enclosures as long as power is ran out to it and it's insulated? Wife and I are trying to find houses with a basement withing our price range but are having no luck. Was curious if someone has tried this and what would the potential cost be versus just waiting on a house with a basement?
Troy Goldberg on youtube has his whole setup in his garage. It doesn't matter where the frogs are kept so long as temperatures are maintained. So heating and cooling will be required. Some folks do this in a dedicated room in their house above ground etc.

The biggest issue for a shed is likely whether you are going to want to spend time out there. If it's just a place you go to dump flies, then how long before you get tired of just going out to a shed and dumping flies?
 

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The biggest issue for a shed is likely whether you are going to want to spend time out there. If it's just a place you go to dump flies, then how long before you get tired of just going out to a shed and dumping flies?
This is worth considering. I know my passion/interest in the frogs waxes and wanes over time, and I wouldn’t trust myself to keep them somewhere I don’t walk past every day. And it‘s not even intentional neglect- I’m just a forgetful person.

Otherwise, as long as you can climate control and prevent ant invasions, it doesn’t matter.
 

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I will be putting my tank in a separate building to my house. I made it into my man cave a few years ago with insulation, heating ect. I do other hobbies out there so spend most of my time out there as I have retired but if I was still working I agree with Broseph I would want them were I walk past each day and spend a lot of time. Good luck with you house hunting.
 

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The out of sight out of mind phenomenon is true. Ive seen it with everything from mammals to birds.

Unless its a more substantial space. A chair and a desk, then you will be the out of sight one with your animals in a den that rocks.
 

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Personally I would wait to find a house with what you want.

A separate building would be fine but I think you will find building one or buying a prebuilt, having power ran/sub panel, insulation, probably a ductless mini split, permits, etc.. is going to add up quickly.
 

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What do people think about having an outdoor building/shed to keep multiple enclosures as long as power is ran out to it and it's insulated? Wife and I are trying to find houses with a basement withing our price range but are having no luck. Was curious if someone has tried this and what would the potential cost be versus just waiting on a house with a basement?
I've done both. "It depends." Ha ha. Others have begun some answers; I will first reiterate the points I agree with (or mention where I disagree), then will try to add some value by invoking novel points.

The out of sight out of mind phenomenon is true.
Indeed. How badly it bears on you, specifically, is a matter for you to determine. Also, to a certain extent the phenom can be managed or mitigated. Some thoughts:
  • Don't think for a minute that the phenom cannot occur in a basement situation, but would only occur with an outbuilding. FALSE.
  • Set calendar reminders, have a routine, etc. Just make your lazy ass get out there - or down there - and do it.
  • Instead of a push (alarms etc), make some pull. Obviously you like the animals - that's some pull. What else do you like? Winter where I live can be pretty bleak - dark, cold, and either blizzardy or fucking dry. I like some "sunshine" and warmth, and some humidity. My herp room has those in spades. It also has a comfy "deluxe" lawn chair I can open up and sit in for extended hangouts. I don't need any animal-based reason to go in there. Sometimes I'm just kind of cold, or blue, and it's an awesome spot for a pick-me-up. My wife thinks the same thing, we call it "the spa". No joke. Make it nicer than just a box with some tanks, wherever you stick it.

... as long as you can climate control and prevent ant invasions ...
Both true. Climate control is needed regardless, so that's a bit of a wash. Preventing ingress by enemy organisms is probably going to be easier in the house, but not necessarily. And it isn't just ants (though they are a special category of evil little fuckers) - raccoons, rats, cats, mice, etc are contenders. The good thing about an outbuilding is, you don't have human food and garbage (pest attractors) to also deal with.

A separate building would be fine but I think you will find building one or buying a prebuilt, having power ran/sub panel, insulation, probably a ductless mini split, permits, etc.. is going to add up quickly.
It's going to add up either way.

I made it into my man cave a few years ago with insulation, heating ect. I do other hobbies out there so spend most of my time out there
This is worth considering. What else do you do? Could you create a larger outbuilding to accomodate the herps but also some other hobbies? What about his and hers hobby spaces?

OK so let me back up. You mention basement, which implies "serious freezing" - deep foundations and thus basements are not standard building practice in more temperate climates. But you also said "having a hard time finding one", so...which is it? How cold does it get where you are? Not just your "normal" winters, but what's the 20-year (or so) extreme? Averages don't cause much trouble, it's the outlier events that really nail your ass.

Another thing - property values / costs. Most places I've lived, the cost of buying a house with an "extra" bedroom to keep my herps in has been about $10K. That's in an existing house, say the difference between a 3 and a 4 bedroom. New construction in many cheaper places might average $150 or so a foot for "simple box" space - no plumbing, just four walls, wired. If you could find an existing house with an unfinished basement, what's the square-foot cost to finish? Here, ultimate cheap-ass might be $65 a foot. Again, just walls, insulated and wired.

Whereas you could probably get a bare-bones 12x20 shed for about 5 grand. I got a 10x12 tool shed for half that, and did a lot of work to it myself to make it more comfortable and tear up my stuff less (reduced temp extremes etc). Shed builders (there are many - start looking) typically offer many options and upgrades.

But - an outbuilding means space. Yeah, running power, doing the upgrades, all that shit does imply a bit of cost. But the biggest hidden cost is going to be, you need the yard space and configuration. More yard = more money. Are you talking in-town or more in the country? What are typical lot sizes? What are your setback requirements? Also - hassle factor. Anything over 10x12 often requires a permit just for a raw, "dead" shed. No biggie, but...if you'll be adding power that's another permit too.

Are you handy? Could you do an insulated foundation and then stick a kit shed on top of that? How about insulating and wiring it?

Last point - an outbuilding would be "insurance" to some extent. A bunch of humid vivs can mess up a house. You really need to control water vapor or you'll get mold in the wall and joist cavities.

So there's some stuff to chew on. Congrats, I find this stuff interesting and fun. Others may hate it though - are you one of them?
 
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