7 / 19 / 2019

A Powerful Alternative

When deciding features for your new home, there are many approaches that can be decided on and one of those factors are generators. While this item is always mentioned in the preliminary programming phase of our designs, we find that clients start to glaze over when this topic is brought up.

Some common questions that come up when in planning include the following:

  • How much will it cost to add?
  • How big of a generator do I need to power my house?
  • How much fuel will I burn through once it kicks on and how long will it last?
  • Do I have to add it in the beginning or can I do it later?

Let’s assume by starting with a new construction home, but understanding that it will also be applied to renovation projects also. The first item of cost is always the question. Cost depends on so much, as it relates to the amount of power you will require to have once in use and gather main power is no longer supplying your home. The amount of items that you would like to have in operation while under this temporary power. And lastly, the amount of fuel supply that you have to power this device and all that is attached to it.

Given the factor that KTS Homes is located in Florida, air conditioning is the first thing that people want when the generator is active as the main source of power. The cost of the generator will start off in a higher cost structure if you want to have AC. This requires at least 20kw if not much more depending on your average system in place and all that you want active. Being that you will most likely need 2 systems if located in Florida and above 2500 SqFt, you will have to choose the area in which you want to have the generator become active when needed. The average system will start around $15, 000 properly installed.

Based on your consumption of power the amount of fuel you will need may vary depending on longevity of the time and usage. As an example of this, the time frame can range from 3 – 5 days when using a 500 Gallon propane tank, to as long as 3 weeks. Personal consumption is all relative to usage by way of the family using it. If you are a Natural Gas customer and have this available for you, then you must also consider the cost of usage. My advice is to treat this supply exactly the same as the propane storage as if it can be extinguished very easily and if it isn’t needed to survive, then don’t turn it on.

Lastly, the question of “Do I need to do this from the beginning or can’t it be added at a later date?” Let’s just say this….When possible, always do things from the start. It’s easier to install, less costly, less intrusion to the existing structure when going through the installation process. Even though this option can typically be added after the fact, a little prep work would be helpful if it doesn’t fit the budget from day one.

A few tips to ensure proper planning:

  • Allow proper planning of area where the item maybe added
  • Make sure it isn’t too far from the electrical panel
  • The cables can become costly so pour the concrete pad closer to the house and go back to it later
  • Make sure your electrician adds the proper circuits
  • Add a transfer switch to have the house pre-wired for this future addition

Generators are a great addition to home for reasons of preparedness and back up for extreme conditions. Be mindful and cautious to what you really need to survive and explain this to your builder/ designer/electrician when in the planning stages of adding a generator. As a brief overview of this possible addition to your home, I hope you have gained a bit of knowledge as to whether or not a generator makes sense for you. This post will be apart of a future Hurricane Preparedness to help people considering on building in Florida and what can come up as a cost of the construction process.

Thank you,