The phrase “Double Wide” literally means that two halves of a home will be put together into one wider structure. These halves typically consist of two fourteen foot sections to create a twenty-eight foot wide home – although two sixteen foot sections are occasionally combined into a thirty-two foot wide. Often called sectional homes, double wides (like single wides) are built to the HUD Code, have a permanent metal frame and do not require a foundation (crawlspace or basement) when being installed.
Above and beyond the literal definition, however, the phrase “Double Wide” implies many important facts about these homes. For example, the fact that they are “HUD Code” means that the government has approved the design of double wide homes as a complete housing package. In a double wide, there will always be a built-in furnace, water heater, vents/ducts and appliances. This can be a “double” edged sword (no pun intended) – on one hand there is not as much freedom to alter these systems but on the other hand it is all inclusive at an affordable price. The fact that a double wide will always have a permanent metal frame means that when going on a full basement the basement walls might need to be higher, if finishing the basement space. It also means that the home can be rolled onto the foundation – which can save a significant amount of money on crane costs. An important yet obscure fact about the metal beams in double wide homes is that any stairwells going down into a basement must be parallel along the marriage line (aka the place where the two halves are tied together). The fact that a double wide does not require a foundation opens up the option of installing the home on piers. This is a much more cost effective way to set up a home. Not only does it lower the cost of the foundation but a pier set also reduces the cost of excavation.
Perhaps more important than the literal and implied meaning of the phrase “Double Wide” is the features and upgrades that double wide homes have evolved to include. Think only a modular home can have drywall? Nope, many of our factories have entire series of double wides that include drywall in their standards – Timberland, Deer Creek, Easy Living – and most floorplans can be upgraded to drywall. Think granite isn’t offered in double wide homes? The Patriot includes granite on the island along with a fashionable, free standing tub.