Over the past decade, manufactured homes (which are still commonly referred to as mobile homes) have become a great option for new home buyers. Unlike the old shoddy mobile homes in trailer parks that people think of, manufactured homes now come as two-story or even townhomes and include features like high ceilings and fireplaces.
However, the basic configuration of prefab houses is still single width or double width. Single-section or single-width mobile homes are made up of one main unit. The average single-sided manufactured home typically has around 1,100 square feet of living space, while the double-width averages 1,700 square feet. It goes without saying that there are larger prefab homes as well, but single and double widths are still the most common sizes.
Manufactured homes have their problems. According to Consumer Reports, single-section homes have more problems with floors, roofs, windows, and doors, while multi-section homes tend to be related to the joining of the sections.
In part, the problems relate to the fact that the house is built in a factory and then transported to another location by flatbed truck. The movement involved can have a negative effect on the joints and connectors. However, quality home manufacturers do their best to correct any problems that may arise during transportation.
Today, it may even be impossible to distinguish between a mobile home and a home on site unless you have seen how it is built. The most common difference is that manufactured homes tend to have a lower roof slope because the home must move under highway bridges.
On the other hand, the materials used now tend to be comparable to the quality of the houses built on the site and apart from the slope of the roof, they generally resemble “normal” houses. In fact, if a manufactured home weren’t located in a “trailer park,” most people would have a hard time telling the difference.
Today more double widths are sold than single. In large part, this is because the typical home buyer wants more space, not less, and twin homes offer that at a price that is still much less expensive than a traditional home of the same size. Not only that, but zoning in many areas actually means that double-width manufactured homes are the smallest size allowed.
As a homeowner, you should also know that double-width manufactured homes tend to maintain … or even increase … in value compared to single-width homes.