Informal Style with Board and Batten Siding

If your heart yearns for something different for your siding without a hefty price tag, then board and batten may suit your needs. It harks back to earlier days, when folk discovered a way to save money on materials.

Until then, they spent ages trimming edges of siding strips so they aligned perfectly together, and kept the cold and moisture out. Then somebody figured out why not lay battens over seams between boards instead. And create attractive alternating shadow lines in the process.

This saved a deal on labour costs, especially for barns and  agricultural outbuildings where budgets were tight. We also still find board-and-batten siding on period-style country homes and churches. There’s no denying the informal style adds a homely, welcome feel.

board and batten
Well Settled Period Board and Batten Style: Virginia State Parks: CC 2.0

How to Go About Board and Batten Siding

Adding new board and batten siding to a garden shed, or other outbuilding can make a great holiday project if you are in the mood, and the underlying framework and insulation are still in good shape. Try to get boards that are a foot wide, and battens an inch-or-so for the classic effect.

You fit the boards first, using nails or screws near the edges which you conceal with the overlaying battens. Run beads of silicon along the joints as you proceed to achieve a good seal.

However, you could also use reverse-board-and-battening if you want something different. The principles are the same, except you would use narrow boards and wide battens. The choice is yours.

Architectural Considerations Before You Start

The battens and boards don’t have to be of matching materials, provided their thermal expansion and contraction rates are similar. You can use wood, composite board, aluminium, vinyl or insulated vinyl for your work.

However, please do remember to use quality materials, so your boards and battens can withstand the elements for a long time. It’s also important to attach them firmly and correctly, so the fingers of the wind don’t start to loosen them.

board and batten
Inspirations from an Old House in Idaho: National Park Service: Public Domain

That said, perhaps you should be careful of using board and batten on a building with an unsuitable style, where it could seem out of place and affect your value. Please contact Valiant Exteriors in Calgary by calling (403)829-1661 for more advice.

More Information

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What’s in The Colour of Siding?

Image: 1913 Board and Batten-Style Cottage: Internet Archive Book Images BY No Known Copyright Restriction

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