Hi Guys [changed title from Fishroom Reality Check after moved to Members Tanks] I have an unfinished basement, and i was planning on taking one corner to build a 11x 8 fishroom to contain a 185 gallon sump system (2 x 29g + 125) to support an in wall 180g DT. For perspective- its a new to us home, needs other work, have a 2 year old and one on the way in august, so not a huge amount of free time. We decided to get a contractor to look at it and give us a quote, but we took a hit with a new boiler and fence and had to cut the budget- I need opinions on what i could potentially drop from the build to bring costs in line. Right now, hes coming in about $1000 more than we'd really like. Considering electrical and floors arent included, we'd like to find the savings so we can do those too. The FloorPlan The Space The 2x 4 on the ground mark the new walls. The window with the black glass square will be covered from the inside but look intact from outside (HOA mandated). Id rather cover it for the insulation ability and the fact I dont want extra sunlight in the refugium/ sump. Thoughts on keeping/ losing the window? bare in mind im not hanging out here, just maintenance. Plan is to do 2x4 walls, full R13 insulation in the walls. 1/2 inch XPS foam along the cinder block walls. 8 feet total height (7 feet 71/2 inches inside height- works for me) to give 18 inches space up top for small tote storage (id be losing storage space to build the room) and to run my plumbing over and set the fan on top. Outside walls will be drywall, inside walls will be 15/32" plywood sheathing painted with latex paint and seams sealed with silicone. I picked plywood for walls to allow me to run pipe hangers and shelves anywhere, and not have to worry about finding a stud. Door to the room is a 22" door we have already from our reno. Quote included hanging this door in a specified position. Environmental info- Since we moved in in October, the basement hasnt dropped below 68oF. Thats including a winter in suburbs atlanta were we got 3 feet snow for a month and the ground froze. Its just hitting the mid 80's outside temp and the basement right this second is 68.5oF. No moisture penetration on floor or any of the walls. I painted the cinder block with 2 gallons of drylok paint to cover a bad attempt by the PO, and before i figured out to use this are for fishroom. I had intended to run 1/2 inch XPS against the cinder block, and R13 in the walls for insulation. Given these environmental parameters for this room, is this overkill? Im in two minds- save $350-400 on insulation, which doesnt drop the price of the build down *that much, really*, or insulate and be happier that my heating costs are lower. But will they be, if i vent to outside anyway? im losing heat there, too. Regardless, I think im also going to cover the sump glass with 2" xps anyway, to contain heat in the water, and do acrylic covers. Thoughts Having just written this out, i dont see anywhere i can cut to make it cost less. Materials cost is the cost- i might be able to cut the budget on labor, by doing some of it myself. Have the contractors do framing and hang the ceiling drywall, and tape and mud the outside walls (two person jobs and those requiring good finishing- i suck at drywall mud) but i hang the inside panels, seam, paint and hang the external drywall. Run ventilation and limited electrical myself. Stuff not included in quote- Ventilation will be an inline 6" fan venting to the outside (soffit space above window). Make up air will come in through an in wall chase to a vent near the floor- pulling air from the first floor. Actually running a 6" duct alongside my plumbing makes it easy. Not included in quote. 1 15 amp circuit in the wall to power a few receptacles, lights and the fan. 3 other 15 amp circuits will be in conduit on the walls acting as big 'extension cords' for the apex EB8's x 3. Electrical isnt in the quote, just giving you an idea. FIL is a licensed sparky. Floor- self level compound to 1", then 2-part epoxy on floor. Not included in quote. Stands- cinderblock, unistrut and plywood stands for the various tanks. Not included in quote. Any opinions, thoughts, advice for trying to limit the budget? I think I need all the insulation I can squeeze in, but I may be wrong given how stable the basement is. Thanks Guys!!