The Buyers Guide to Board and Batten Siding

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Board and batten siding is one of the oldest and most iconic house cladding styles in the U.S. You can find it on a wide range of homes from Victorians to farmhouses, and it comes in many, subtly different looks and colors, allowing for a unique customization.

You’ve probably seen board and batten siding on many houses, without realizing exactly what it was, or how you could recreate the look yourself. The look is rapidly growing in popularity right now, with more homeowners opting to include it as part of their exterior design. Use it as an accent or to cover your entire facade; either way, board and batten siding is a great way to add a lot of character and interest to your home.

What Is Board and Batten Siding?

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Board and batten siding was the first style of milled siding to come to the U.S. The original settlers built their homes from logs, but once sawmills became more common and widely available, people began to cut their logs into long boards.

Inspired by Scandenavian homes, these boards were installed vertically over the facade of the home. Thinner strips of wood, called battens, were then fastened over the seams to help make a more water and air-tight finish. This pattern of boards and battens became popular very quickly.

Eventually, as milling and installation techniques were refined and lap siding became available, people moved away from board and batten as the traditional siding style for most homes. The board and batten style is still viable, interesting, and in use today. While battens are no longer needed to help seal up the exterior of a home, the pattern created by varying board widths combined with battens can give you a lot of interesting looks for your home’s facade. By combining different board and batten styles with panels, lap siding, and shingles, you can get a look that’s completely unique to your home.

Board and Batten Siding Materials

Board and batten siding was traditionally made out of wood, usually old growth wood from whatever types of trees were close to the homes being built. It’s still possible to use wood to create a board and batten style home, but wood has a lot of inherent issues that make it less than suitable for a home exterior.

Wood siding has a tendency to swell, shrink, and warp with moisture and humidity. This is one of the reasons that battens were first necessary; when the boards swelled and shrank, the battens could help stop drafts and moisture. All of this movement often means that the finish on the wood will crack, peel, and need to be removed and replaced every few years. With the battens in place, maintenance of a wood facade can become very time consuming and difficult, so many homeowners choose to use other materials when creating a board and batten style for their home.

Fiber cement siding is a great option for creating this board and batten. It’s available in several widths, so you can customize the spacing of the battens, creating different looks for your home exterior. It’s also lower in maintenance than wood, because it resists moisture and humidity, as well as peeling and chipping. It can go longer before needing care, and is resistant to insects and mold damage.

3 Board and Batten Siding Design Ideas

One of the best things about this particular style of siding is that it works on nearly all types of architecture. Board and batten can also vary in width, and it combines well with other siding styles as well, so you can mix and match with it to get a fresh appearance for your particular home. If you need inspiration or ideas, take a look at these design ideas:

1. Section Accents

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Properties like this one that are made up of several different buildings can look more interesting if you use various materials. Two of the sections that make up this home feature shingle siding, while the other sections use a thin board and batten siding. The color, trim, and roof color is the same on all sections, so there’s a sense of unity.

2. Wide Accents

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This home features horizontal lap siding over the majority of the facade, with some wide board and batten siding on the accents. This includes the area directly above the front door, as well as the area just below the windows to the right. Changing the siding helps call attention to specific areas, making the home more interesting.

3. Bump Out

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Homes that feature bump outs or set-back sections can create added interest by using board and batten siding. This home combines board and batten siding with panels below the windows, creating depth and interest, while calling attention to that section, which balances the porch on the other side.

Consider Board and Batten Siding for Your Home

Board and batten siding has been rising in popularity as homeowners have become more aware of this unique and interesting style. Use fiber cement board and batten siding for your home to capture a unique style for yourself.

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