When I started this post, I was going to go into detail about my experiences with living in a doublewide, but I decided against it. I came to the conclusion that if you go into buying a doublewide manufactured home expecting it to be built like a regular stick-built home, then you will be disappointed.
Some People Love Their Doublewide Manufactured Homes
Some people love their doublewides and just as they come from the factory never have a bit of problem with them.
There are people who treat their doublewide as a project; they buy a doublewide and then eventually change out the wall panels for drywall, install replacement windows, take out the carpeting and install wood flooring. They add decks, and porches, and build on extra rooms. I even read recently about a doublewide that had been transformed into a brick home by the owner.
Some People Hate Their Doublewide Manufactured Homes
There have been complaints about shoddy construction but if you read reviews, in some cases one person will have problems with their home while another with the same brand of home will love the place.
Things to Consider
Drafts And Wall Panels
Doublewides can be drafty. My doublewide is drafty with a draft that seems to come from everywhere and I think the reason is because of the way it is constructed. The interiors of manufactured or mobile homes are usually built using wall panels; I discovered for myself that sometimes the panels are not flush together - there can be gaps between the panels and I think that is where the draft actually originates from. If you notice in most manufactured or mobile homes, there are strips down the walls, and there can also be chair rail molding and crown molding, and these things cover up where the wall panels, and ceiling panels, meet.
There are also staples used in the construction of manufactured or mobile homes. It seems like there should be nails in some places where staples are used, but it may be in order to keep the costs down, and because manufactured homes are built to be lightweight structures.
It can cost a lot to heat a manufactured home. They don't usually have as much insulation as regular stick-built homes, and they are drafty, so many people complain about how much it costs to heat them.
Single pane windows are a pain! They let in too much heat in the summer and too much cold in the winter. And, in my experience, they fog up a lot. If it is warm in the house and cold outside, the windows get fogged up, and they drip. This can lead to rot and mold and that's not good!
The kitchen cabinets look great from the outside, but if you take a closer look you might find that they are not real cabinets. The back is usually a sheet of thin wood-like product, and in our house, some of the lower cabinets don't even have that! If you look inside the lower cabinets, you can see the wall behind them.
Tripping breakers is another problem some owners of manufactured or mobile homes experience. I think maybe the companies that manufacture these homes need to upgrade their wiring because many people have a lot more electric and electronic devices than they used to!
The Back Door
The outswing back door is something that many people eventually have to replace. It's not very sturdy - usually built using an aluminum frame, styrofoam and vinyl sheets. The door at my house did last over 15 years before a big gust of wind ripped it out of my hand and it fell apart.
Even when a manufactured home has a sloping roof, many people eventually complain about leaks.
Thinking About Buying A Manufactured Home?
- Don't expect a manufactured or mobile home to be built like a stick-built home.
- Take a closer look at the construction of the home you are considering and read reviews.
- Decide if there are some things you can live with like the kitchen cabinets that aren't real cabinets or single pane windows.
- Decide if the positives of the home outweigh the negatives. Manufactured homes can look nice, have a great layout, and be a comfortable home at a reasonable price.
Yes, I would consider it.
Disclaimer: This review is my opinion and from my experience. Opinions and experiences, like manufactured homes, vary! Do your research!
Check out my Manufactured Homes Resources and Info Page
A book that might be of interest if you are looking to buy a manufactured home -