If you’ve been considering purchasing a mobile home, you aren’t alone. Manufactured home sales are on the rise. With 81,169 new mobile homes shipping out in 2016, the industry experienced a 15% increase from the year before, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). In your search for a new manufactured home, you’ve no doubt run across the terms “single wide” and “double wide”, referring to types of mobile homes.
While only .07 percent of Americans lived in mobile housing in the 1950s, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2000, 22 million Americans called a manufactured home their full-time residence. Manufactured homes today offer sport porches, garages, and breezeways, and steeped roofs typically found in traditional home design. The mobile home design is moving toward more elaborate designs and feature styles ranging from Cape Cod to Victorian. With this trend toward larger homes, it’s not surprising that according to the MHI, only a quarter of new mobile home sales were single wide trailers last year. So, what’s the difference between a single wide and double wide trailer?
While the choice between a single wide and double wide home is inevitably a personal decision, here are six important points to remember when you’re shopping for your new home.
Size does matter when it comes to manufactured or modular homes. Size will determine the lot accommodations you’ll need, and contribute to transportation and assembly considerations. Despite the name, most mobile homes aren’t very mobile, so the size of your new home will dictate the size of the lot you will need to rent or buy.
With single wide homes, small can be subjective. Square footage can range from as little as 600 square feet all the way up to 1,300 square feet. Single wides are typically 18 feet or less in width and 90 feet or less in length. The most common size for a single wide home is 72 feet wide by 15 feet wide, with a total of 1,080 square feet. Because they are smaller in width, a single wide home can be shipped on one semi-trailer.
Double wide homes, on the other hand, generally range between 1,000 square feet to 2,300 square feet. A typical double wide home is 20 feet wide and 90 feet or less in length, with the average measuring 26 by 56 feet. Due to their size, a double wide home needs to be shipped as two separate units and joined on site to create a doublewide home.
Single wide homes are narrower, while double wides are wider and shorter, which tends to look more like a site-built home. The size of home you need will be based on the size of your family and your specific needs.
The biggest difference between a single wide and double wide homes is the amount of floor space each offers. A typical single wide home measuring 25 feet by 72 feet will range from 400 to 1,400 square feet, compared to the larger footprint of a typical double wide at 26 feet by 56 feet for anywhere from 1,100 to 2,400 square feet of living space.
Because it has a larger footprint, a double wide home generally requires more space than a single wide home. Either of them can be positioned on land you own or rent, but remember that when you rent you may eventually need to move. Also consider that the double wide is much heavier, which may necessitate the need for a sturdier foundation.
Designed to be mobile, both a single wide and a double wide manufactured home can be moved by trailer to your lot, but if you plan on relocating any time soon, picking up and moving is easier with a single wide. A double wide home comes in two halves, and you’ll need a trailer to move each half. Separating the two is much harder than relocating a single wide home. If you do eventually put your home on the market, the extra mobility of a single wide may be attractive to buyers.
While a smaller, single wide home will generally cost less than a double wide option, the total cost will vary, depending on which options and features you select. Today’s manufactured homes can be designed to fit upscale tastes and a variety of budgets. Adding porches, decks, architectural designs and interior upgrades can boost the price significantly. Don’t forget about the cost of transportation. If you purchase a double wide, you will need to pay for two trailers instead of one to move your units to the lot.
Traditional single wide homes have fewer room layout options due to their long, narrow shape. On the other hand, a double wide has more room to be configured in ways that mimic the look and feel of a site-built home.
Ultimately, the answer to the double wide versus single wide debate rests on your budget, lifestyle and financial goals. Modern modular homes are offering more design options for every price point. Research several single wide and double wide floor plans to determine which floor plan is best for your family’s space and style requirements.