Saturday, June 29, 2013

Building a Generator Shelter

A generator house need not look dumpy. In fact, your generator is safer there if no one knows the true purpose of the building.

   If you live in a townhome, a condominium, or a fairly tight subdivision, then building a generator shelter is not an option for you.  But then, you likely live close enough to town or a city where power would be restored fairly quickly following a disaster or significant outage.   If you live on a larger lot in a subdivision, then you may have entertained a whole house generator which is installed just next to your home and, if installed correctly, will begin to deliver power to you the moment it senses an outage.  Some of these are natural gas powered, but the cheapest one can cost about $6500. installed.    They also come with pretty substantial exterior housing which makes a generator house unnecessary.

                If you are one of the few people or organizations who purchased a village styled generator from the federal government or the military when they recently parted with quite a few such diesel generators, then you don't need generator housing either. These units are mounted to trailers and can be towed to the specific region in which they are needed.  They also come with exterior housing to the trailer including baffles which not only protects the unit from weather, sandstorm or hot sun,  prevents it or its component parts from being stolen,  and muffles the noise the unit makes.

This is an automatic generator which can be installed outside your home.

                   However, if you live in a rural home or on a farm, then a whole house generator may be of questionable value to you. You may have missed the boat on buying some of the village generators I mentioned.  You may have bought a Honda, Onan or another brand.  You will discover very quickly that not only can you not keep your expensive generator in the house or basement, but you might not be able to keep it too near your home without succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning depending upon the wind drift.  In addition,  during outages many people report having their generator go off and then going outside to find someone stealing it !    For the right family, in the right location, a tool shed separate from the one you normally have for flammables and other garden related items should be constructed as a "generator house".  You can not only paddlelock it to keep your gennie secure, but you can store the oil and oil filters you will need to keep it running.  You might also wish to attach a laminated set of directions for the operation of your particular generator, should someone in your family other than yourself ever have to start such a thing.

                In addition, before you can use a generator to temporarily run some things in your house, you must hire an electrician to help you estimate the size of the generator you will need to power the items you must in an emergency.  Your electrician will also need to install and explain to you the workings of a transfer switch.

This is a fairly inexpensive, yet workable generator house.   (By: )  Keep in mind such structures do get hot and need lots of ventilation.

This is a contractor's generator house.

A generator shed need not be any larger than this one, but keep in mind, they can get very very hot.  They need excellent ventilation, and should never be up against vinyl siding as this one appears to be.  Your vinyl siding could easily melt.   (

This generator house protects the generator from rain, and has vents which can be opened when in use. It also sits up on a modest foundation to prevent damage in heavy rain or flooding. (

This allows protection from rain and ventilation.   (By: )

This is a generator house in Hawaii, which apparently is oil powered.

These are a variety of ideas in terms of constructing a generator house should you need one to protect your generator investment.