Board and batten siding is a classic style that can be modified using color and layout to express a unique aesthetic. The options for board and batten siding can seem endless – which can be overwhelming for homeowners.
This guide breaks down everything you need to know about buying board and batten siding, including cost comparisons, design options, and which material will last the longest.
What is Board and Batten Siding?
Board and batten siding has a unique vertical layout that consists of flat panels fixed with thin battens at each seam. The result is a highly textured appearance that looks dynamic and classic at the same time. While this unique exterior layout originated as a practical approach to enhance energy efficiency on large barn structures, it has since become known for its recognizable aesthetic quality that’s hard to ignore.
Nowadays, board and batten siding can be seen adorning all sorts of structures in a variety of styles. From sprawling suburban residences to cozy cabins, board and batten siding has a way of enhancing the exterior and bringing unique charm to the facade. For that reason, it’s a popular choice that is prized for its versatility, character, and timeless appearance.
Aesthetics of Board and Batten Siding
One of the best qualities of board and batten siding is its versatility. Depending on the architectural style of the home, the colors chosen, and the surrounding ornamentation, this unique siding style can truly achieve a wide range of appearances – which makes it perfect for remodels and new construction alike.
White board and batten siding with black trim on a barndominium instantly draws out the modern farmhouse aesthetic, while steely blue board and batten on the dormer of a gray home creates a more arts and crafts appearance. When it comes to board and batten siding, the design potential is limitless!
Board and Batten Siding Materials
There are many material options to choose from when shopping for board and batten siding – some of which offer much better long-term value than others:
Wood is the traditional material with which the board and batten siding style was originally developed. Susceptible to water damage, peeling, insect infestation, and dry rot, wood is considered a fragile material for exterior siding and is likely to require significant maintenance every few years. Wood is a poor, albeit classic, choice for board and batten siding.
A modern material that homeowners are familiar with, vinyl provides affordability which makes it appealing. Problems with vinyl board and batten siding are its susceptibility to dents and dings, as well as its environmental concerns due to its plastic composition.
Steel is superb for durability, but it tends to be a very expensive option for board and batten siding. Corrosion and rust are other concerns associated with metal board and batten siding products.
Highly durable and weather resistant, fiber cement is a long-lasting material that holds up well in all sorts of climates and conditions. Comparatively, fiber cement board and batten siding is significantly more durable and longer-lasting than other siding materials.
Board and Batten Installation Techniques
Installation for board and batten siding can either be tedious and time-consuming, or simple and easy – it all depends on the material! Wood board and batten siding is usually installed using traditional techniques, which means each individual batten must be secured in place above individual planks. This requires a lot of materials, measurements, and time.
Modern products – like board and batten siding built from fiber cement – are fabricated in an easy-to-install format. Several ‘boards’ and ‘battens’ are typically included in a single sheet to speed up the installation process and help the finished product look precise and more aesthetically appealing.
Board and Batten Cost Comparisons
Cost differences are also tied to the material composition of board and batten siding products. In other words, the material can impact the price tag. Steel siding tends to be significantly more expensive, at up to $8 per square foot, but even some wood products – especially rare species that are harvested responsibly and milled professionally – can also be pricey.
Vinyl tends to be the most affordable when talking about upfront costs, but you’ll need to keep in mind that vinyl isn’t merely as durable as other options, like steel or fiber cement. Once you factor in the repair costs, maintenance, and relatively short lifespan of vinyl, it doesn’t seem like that great of a deal after all.
With all things considered, fiber cement board and batten siding tends to deliver the best value to cost ratio.
3 Easy Board and Batten Design Ideas
A top-to-bottom approach always looks great with board and batten siding, but there are other design approaches to consider if you don’t want an all-over look. Here are 3 easy ways to incorporate board and batten into your exterior:
1. Exterior Accent Walls
Install board and batten on a small section of the exterior to create a pop of texture.
2. Focal Points
Surround the front door or patio with board and batten to visually frame the space and draw the eye to a specific feature.
3. Bump-Outs and Dormers
Enhance the architectural features of the home by outfitting them with board and batten siding to contrast with lap or another siding style.
Board and Batten FAQs to Narrow Down Your Options
Still not sure which board and batten siding product is right for you? These questions should help!
- Is durability a priority? If so, avoid wood and vinyl products.
- How much maintenance am I comfortable with? Wood requires regular painting and staining, while vinyl can require a lot of cleaning.
- Do I have time to paint it myself? Fiber cement comes pre-finished, so it’s ready to go – no on-site painting needed!
- How long do I want the board and batten to last? Pay attention to the lifespan of the material to find a product that fits your needs.
- What fits in my budget? Consider upfront costs as well as maintenance and repair costs when calculating the value of board and batten siding.
Find the Best Board and Batten Fiber Cement Siding with Allura
Ready to get building? Contact Allura today to explore a wide range of board and batten siding products crafted from durable fiber cement. With a spectrum of colors to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect board and batten selection for your next project!