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Board & Batten Siding

Board-and-batten siding

One of the earliest and most basic styles of wood house siding is board-and-batten, a type you’re likely to see on today’s ranch and country-style homes. As its name suggests, board-and-batten siding-sometimes called board-and-batt-is made by nailing boards vertically along a wall and then covering the spaces between the boards with narrow strips of wood called battens.

Batten-and-board siding is just the opposite; battens are applied first and then the boards. The boards, sometimes as narrow as a 1 by 4 but more typically 1 by 8s or larger, are spaced from 1/2 to 1 inch apart to allow for expansion; battens, normally 1 by 3s or 1 by 4s, are then nailed over the spaces.

Board-and-batten siding doesn’t seal out blustery weather quite as effectively as most types of lapping or interlocking horizontal siding, so it’s best reserved for temperate climates. Because it runs vertically, it can’t be nailed directly to wall studs; instead, it is applied over solid sheathing or fastened to horizontal nailers or blocking.

Though a variety of woods are used, cedar is popular because of its natural resistance to decay. All solid-wood sidings require treatment with water repellent, stain, or paint, and this finish must be regularly maintained.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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