1. Google "how to build a guinea pig cage."
2. Watch youtube videos on "how to build a guinea pig cage." Personally, I found this one the most helpful.
3. Google "wire shelving" and comparison shop because you're thrifty and want to get the best deal.
4. Drive to Bed Bath & Beyond to see if they have shelving in stock, then google some more... because you're thrifty and want to get the best deal.
5. Determine that Bed Bath & Beyond has the best deal because you have a 20% off coupon.
6. Call Mom to see if she has an extra 20% off coupon because you only have one, and you will need two boxes of wire shelving.
7. Send Mom to local Bed Bath & Beyond, where she uses $5 off coupon (which is a better discount than 20% off), while you drive to neighboring town to buy second pack because local store only has one.
8. Stop at sign store by your house to see if they carry coroplast, which you know you will need for the floor of your guinea pig cage because that's what google told you to do.
9. Rejoice when they do carry coroplast. They will have to order to large piece you need, but they reassure you that it should arrive in less than two days, so you continue rejoicing. Leave $40 deposit, which is the cost of the 40 inch x 54 inch piece of coroplast you ordered.
10. Drive to Lowes to buy zip ties to connect shelving.
10. Stop by sign store to check on coroplast. Leave disappointed when they tell you it did not come in. They do, however, give you the smaller piece of coroplast you need for the second floor of your guinea pig cage.
11. After work, go home and change into building attire.
12. Lay out your components.
13. Try to assemble coroplast into box for cage. Reach two conclusions: 1) You can't bend coroplast. 2) You suck at math because you've ordered a piece of coroplast that is 4 inches short in both directions. You needed 24 x 36.
14. Build panels.
15. Try to increase stability of panels by using more zip ties. Fail miserably.
16. Finally realize you will have to attach extra shelving to panel joints to increase stability.
17. Cut off all the zip ties you wasted to come arrive at this realization.
18. Go to bed because you realize it's taken you two hours to build two panels... So much for that idea you had that you could whip that cage together in about 30 minutes.
19. Stop at Lowes for more zip ties.
20. Build remaining panels.
21. Attach panels to form cage.
22. Clean cuts and scratches from sharp zip tie edges.
23. Admire your creation with smug satisfaction.
24. Post pictures to Facebook so all your friends can also admire the Guinea Pig Mansion you have created. Try not to crumble under the weight of their awe and envy of your engineering skills.
25. Return to Lowes to purchase replacement coroplast which is $10 at Lowes... the sign shop charged you $15.00 for a smaller piece.
26. Return home and dig out exacto knife to cut out edge of plastic to make it easier to bend.
27. Sweat profusely while you try to contort coroplast into correct shape.
28. Duct tape the plastic you cut.
29. Proudly carry it downstairs to install in the top floor of your creation.
30. Realize it doesn't fit.
31. Remove tape.
32. Re-cut, re-shape, and re-tape coroplast.
33. Take it back downstairs to install.
34. Realize you've now cut it too small. But only by about an inch.
35. Punch holes in coroplast, so you can attach it to cage with extra zip ties.
36. Call it a win.
37. Go to bed, looking forward to Monday, so you can finish your cage and introduce your piggies to their new house.
38. Stop by printing store, only to be told coroplast did not arrive again. Are assured that it will arrive Tuesday.
39. Receive call from sign store explaining that supplier has failed to ship your coroplast AGAIN. Are assured that it will arrive on Wednesday.
40. Test limits of will power, refraining from reaching through the phone to strangle caller.
41. Call sign store on the other side of town. Are told that they have a 4 x 8 foot piece of coroplast in stock that will only cost you $15.
42. Though your math skills are poor, even you know that 4 x 8 feet is much larger than the 40 x 54 inch piece the first sign shop was going to charge you FORTY DOLLARS for.
43. Curse yourself for a fool for not calling to check prices before, but cut yourself some slack because you were trying to support a small business in your neighborhood... and apparently you're not as thrifty as you thought. Plus, the other sign shop is by your Grandma's old house, and it makes you sad to be there knowing you can't stop in to see her.
44. Drive to other side of town to pick up coroplast, realizing on the way there that a 4 x 8 foot piece of coroplast will not fit in your car.
45. Call your brother who does not answer...
46. Call your father, who answers, but cannot help you because he's at work. He suggests you call your mom.
47. Call Mom. Who, in an odd twist of fate, is driving right by you at just that second.
48. Load up coroplast.
49. Meet Mom at house later to unload coroplast and cut it into bottom of cage. Because you are going to finish this cage NOW dammit.
50. Cut it right the first time around.
51. Fill bottom with bedding.
52. Catch guinea pigs and release them into new house.
53. Enjoy watching them enjoy their new (bigger and better) digs.
54. Determine to NEVER EVER again give the sign shop by your house your business.
34 wire panels, over 200 zip ties, minimal blood shed. Worth it.