We've had a Generac backup generator for years without a cold weather package and never had a problem with it starting up.
For a base, SC made a 4x4 box and we filled it with gravel. Works fine.
You will like having the backup generator. Once it's in, the power won't go out for years!
We've talked about getting one for years but sitting up all night watching that wind storm pushed it to the top of our priority list. Then I was in Lowe's one day and saw the 5 year bonus on the warranty extension and that made me pull the trigger. Lowe's has already called me to say it's in and waiting for me!!!
I just used the pad that comes with the generator. Gravel under it so it doesn't sink is wise. I have several up north and also did NOT get the cold weather kit. The one think I wish I would have thought of is putting it where the snow or ice from the roof wouldn't smash in the top !!!!
It's going right on a sand hill so won't even take too much gravel. I will keep the snow buildup in mind when I set it up. I don't know how long the wiring harness is so that may limit my choices.
Sounds like the 'up north' kit is for way more 'up north' than SE Michigan! Thanks for helping me get this pre-planned out before I get started.