When I first started my interest in reptiles I was only young. At that stage of my life I had little or no skills and did not understand the requirements of the wonderful creatures so I did not keep them effectively. We just kept the local lizards, so the cage temperature was not an issue.
I rekindled my desire later in life but I also had mortgages, the cost of raising a family and the daily costs of living to contend with. A reptile was expensive enough, without adding the costs of retail cages and accessories. So I built my own. It saved me a lot of money.
You do need some basic tools but the money you save by making it yourself will allow you to purchase some of those tools that help make the cage. The remainder can go into accessories so that for the cost of a basic cage with nothing else you can make a cage, get some tools and the cage accessories and still have money left over. That's a big difference.
Many people have materials about the house. If you are going to make your own cages you can save even more money by using bits and pieces or timber you may already have, screws, old glass, hinges, light battens etc. that you already have in the basement or garage.
When upgrading one of my cages recently, I was able to reuse some of the materials and the fittings for use on the new cage. This saved me having to purchase new accessories and materials.
Another benefit is the ability to maintain your own cages. Many of the plastic or moulded cages cannot be fixed once they are broken. With a cage you made yourself you can usually fix broken locks or replace doors (I haven't had to do any of these yet as they are very sturdy).
When you build your own cages you decide how strong it will be and what quality of fitting, glues and materials you will be using. The higher the quality of materials and accessories you use, the better the final cage product. You are not at the mercy of manufacturers saving money by using inferior materials and poor quality fittings.
Another benefit is the ability to customise you cages to suit your purpose. One of my earliest cages was built as a normal cage but by placing a removable divider in the middle it allowed me to re-use the cage when I shipped one of the snakes out. This divider was fitted over the middle of a heat mat, allowing for two reptiles to be housed in the cage. It also had two doors. The cage is now used for another purpose but will soon be empty. The divider can still be placed back in the cage for another small snake and then simply removed as the snake gets larger. Tis snake will finally be moved into an arboreal cage. To purchase a plastic cage with divider that will only be a transient cage before the snake goes into a final cage is an expensive exercise.
If you do need to upgrade again, you have the time to build the final cage as the snake grows.
Making your own cages allows you to build and maintain your reptile cages in a cost effective manner while keeping them comfortable and healthy. You can also expand your collection in an affordable way, making more money available for the reptiles while still getting quality cages.
Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles." Find out how anyone can build reptile cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. http://www.reptile-cage-plans.com