Board and Batten Siding: Ultimate 101 Guides to Know

One of the key design and functional features existing in most of the home designs is the board and batten siding. From old residence designs to modern homes, batten board siding has remained one of the top picks for homeowners and designers.

The traditional board and batten siding have been upgraded with the innovation of newer materials and technology. The current designs promise durability and clean aesthetics to keep up with the modern look. Let’s look into what exactly a board and batten siding is and what all possibilities these bring to a home’s design and functionality. 

The History of Board and Batten Siding

History of Board and Batten Siding

Board and batten siding have been famous picks for home designs for a long time. Earlier, homes were built with long vertical panels that covered the foundation to the top of the house without having to add a horizontal panel for connectivity.

However, later on, the building techniques changed and horizontal members were introduced. Board and batten siding, in this case, became an easy and efficient method to conceal the overlapping and offer a seamless surface. Another advantage of the board & batten was their ability to capture the air within the house. 

The sealed edges left minimal chances to form an escape route for air which took the structures towards an energy-efficient approach. The strategic building approach that proved to be sustainable and aesthetic is now considered one of the designer elements in the house. Farmhouse board and batten siding are timeless designs that have remained in trend from earlier times till today.

A Modern Context with Board and Batten Siding

 Modern Context with Board and Batten Siding

Contrasting to the vertical building panels, board and batten siding is added as a horizontal element. While the traditional design had narrow wooden strips concealing the seams, modern designs are all about varying textures accentuating the aesthetics. 

Modern designs nestle the design of the board and batten siding not only in the exterior but interior panels as well. These offer an unparalleled stylish look to the entire house and bring a unique personality to the space. These can impart the finishing touch to the face of the building and balance the entire visual appeal.

There are multiple ways of using board and batten siding to give the design a distinct design language. From vertical vinyl siding being balanced with horizontal ones to plain wooden sidings, there are endless possibilities when it comes to amping up the design. Let’s learn about the materials available in the board and batten siding and the essence they add to the design. 

Board & Batten Material Options

There are multiple options in terms of the materials when it comes to board and batten siding. Each material comes with its own set of pros and cons and can offer a unique look to the house. Let’s understand the material better to help you narrow down the most suitable choice. 

MaterialPros and Cons
Wood Board and Batten Siding
Add traditional appeal to the design. Prone with moisture damage. Can sag based on the temperature difference. High maintenance.

Fiber Cement Board and Batten Siding
An advanced material than wood. Adds to the strength of the siding. A greater hold on the rest of the design elements. Demands repainting in order to maintain a fresh look. Installation is best performed by professionals rather than taking it as a DIY project. 

Steel Board & Batten
One of the best board and batten siding options. Promises excellent performance. Demands minimal maintenance and upkeep. Quick and easy to install. Greater fire safety than wooden board and batten siding. Water-resistant material. Keeps consistency in its color.

Board and Batten Vinyl Siding
A cheap option for board and batten siding. Enhances the aesthetics of the home exteriors. Durable material offering longevity.

James Hardie Board and Batten

James Hardie Board and Batten

The Hardie board and batten work on the panel configuration to get the desired look. These are one of the most effective board and batten siding options the results are promising and the material demands minimal upkeep. 

While the real wood board and batten aren’t a smart choice for the siding, James Hardie Board and Batten let you get the desired look with their engineered product. These can stand up against extreme exterior conditions and adds wooden appeal to the design.

The Hardie board and batten let you choose amongst a plethora of options varying from different colors to textures. You can select the desired option that goes well with your design sensibilities and reflect your personality through the design. Bring the classic designer touch to the house and make it stand out in the rest of the neighborhood.

Install Board and Batten Siding the Right Way

With board and batten siding finding its place in both interiors and exteriors, let’s look into the installation procedure that needs to be followed.


Exteriors of board and batten siding

Although the installation might vary based on the design, here’s the basic process that needs to be followed while installing board and batten siding.

  • Undergo the process of furring that demands the installation of horizontal strips serving as a structural frame. This framework forms the skeleton on the top of which board and batten siding will be installed.
  • The next step is you measure the size required for the siding and precisely cut it. Make sure to measure from the soffit’s underside to 1/4th inch below the foundation’s top level.
  • There’s a possibility of expansion and contraction of the board and batten siding due to the weather conditions. In this case, to prevent the case of warping within the boards, ensure to leave a gap.
  • Once all the vertical boards have been set in place, it’s time to add top trim with the help of battens. Place it horizontally and ensure that it’s tightly pressed against the soffit.
  • Now it’s time to add battens. These have to be placed tightly against the trim board and the bottom needs to be flushed in line with the wide vertical boards.
  • Once everything is in place, you can go for a water-resistant sealant on the top of the battens. And based on your personal preference, the entire setup can also be painted in the desired tones.


Interiors of board and batten siding

Let’s look into the installation process of batten board siding trim in the interiors.

  • Before starting the process, trace the layout on paper and analyze the spacing required within the battens for a neater look.
  • Once the layout has been finalized on the sketch, you need to pick a chalk and start marking it on the wall. This will let you look into how the result will come out and tweaks can be made prior to getting into the hefty work.
  • It’s time to get rid of the thin baseboards and replace them with a new and sturdier base. Opt for boards with a thickness that matches the batten size.
  • Check the alignment with a level and the next step is the installation of top trim. Add it to the base with fresh nails and precisely cut the battens based on the measurements.
  • Your battens will be installed with construction adhesive as gypsum might not hold nails in place. Once the glue has been applied on the back of the batten, you can start adding nails at an angle in order to keep it in place.
  • Conceal the nail holes and paint the boards in your preferred colors. This will give a fresh and finished visual appeal to the entire space.

How do Decide the Color of the Board and Batten Exterior?

Decide the Color of the Board and Batten Exterior

Whether to go for white board and batten siding or dark? Picking a color for the board and batten exterior can prove to be a challenge. There are a lot of considerations when it comes to selecting the color as the chosen option has to match the rest of the design language of the house.

One key noteworthy point in the case of board and batten siding is that it needs to be repainted with time. This is a key consideration when opting for wooden siding. Apart from the steel siding, rest most of the materials demand paint to conceal the wear and tear on the surface.

The chosen color of the board and batten has to match the trim on the facade. One of the best options is to go for natural wooden tones in order to keep the design inclined toward modern aesthetics. Your design can also add contrast with a blend of light siding and dark trim or vice versa.

Comparative Analysis of Lap and Board and Batten Siding

Analysis of Lap and Board and Batten Siding

One of the main questions while designing your dream house is whether to opt for lap siding or go ahead with board & batten. Let’s analyze a few factors that will help you decide better.


The prices of siding, in either case, depends upon the material you’re choosing. While wooden and vinyl board and batten siding can prove to be a cheaper option, innovative materials like steel and fiber cement can prove to be a little expensive. Although the prices may be a little higher, these offer better strength and aesthetic appeal to the house. A general range for board and batten siding is within $1 to $9 per square foot.

When it comes to lap siding, there are multiple options in the materials. The wooden siding is the cheapest choice, however, durability isn’t promised in this case. In the case of lap siding, the labor cost also varies as per the chosen design and material. 


Board and batten siding demand repainting when it comes to wooden or vinyl materials as these can fade away with exposure to the sun. In a few cases, maintenance levels can be more based on the climatic conditions and the material that you’ve chosen.

The upkeep of lap siding might demand painting in order to offer a fresher appeal. Whereas, new-age materials like steel are totally maintenance-free. 


The installation of board and batten siding is a bit challenging with the traditional methods, however, the new-age approach makes it easier. The entire process can be eased out with easy-to-handle materials and modern techniques.

Compared to the board and batten siding, lap siding is easier to install. But again, this is totally dependent on the material you’ve chosen.

Summing it Up

Lap SidingBoard and Batten Siding
$1-$9 per square foot.

Ease of Installation
Easy to install.
A hefty procedure with traditional techniques but innovative methods offer ease of installation. 

Maintenance Factor
Based on materials, might require to be repainted.
Demands maintenance to keep up the fresh appeal.

Board and Batten Siding– A Longer Companion

A white house with a clock on the front of it
A small white building with a brown roof
A house being built with a ladder in front of it
A brown house with a white window and a brown roof
A large house with a lot of windows and a balcony
A large black house with a wooden porch
A white house with a black roof and white trim
A black and white house with white trim
A close up of a wooden door on a house

Board and batten siding will remain intact if installed and maintained well. All you need to consider while selecting the batten board siding is the well-suited material and the installation process.

With several options in its style and textures, pick the one that blends well with the design and aids in amping up the curb appeal of your house.

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Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantt
Saili, once an architect, has seamlessly transitioned into the world of writing. With a background in architectural writing, content strategy, and curation, she now brings a unique perspective to fashion. For the past three years, Saili has collaborated with various multimedia publication houses, design firms, studios, organizations, luxury brands, and educational institutions. Beyond her professional endeavors, Saili is an avid reader and an adventurous traveler, channeling her experiences into her work.

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