Below we share the pros and cons of board and batten siding with what it is, durability, cost, materials, best type, and how long board and batten siding lasts.
Board and batten siding has been an important element in home building and it has only increased their relevance and functions in the field. Introduced over centuries ago, this type of wood siding has made its mark as effective protection for your exterior walls against water damage. And it had only improved throughout the years.
Now, board and batten siding is a staple in many American homes, bungalows, and large mansions alike. With its popularity and trend, it is not surprising to consider it for your home too. To learn if it’s worth checking out, explore its definition and what it can bring to your home by discovering the pros and cons of board and batten siding.
What Is Board And Batten Siding?
A board and batten siding refers to small pieces of wood that have become one of the most common and popular siding options in America. Compared to the larger wooden planks, board and batten have a simple yet distinct aesthetic that can showcase a stacked look.
Board and batten siding consists of thin wooden strips (battens) and then alternated with wider wooden pieces (boards). The combination of these two wooden pieces is responsible for the siding’s stacked and layered effect.
Dated back hundreds of years ago, board and batten siding can be traced way back to the time of the early settlers when they had access to sawmills. They used wooden boards for siding and then the battens to cover noticeable gaps and seams on the barns to help keep the heat inside during winter. Since then, its use has evolved over time.
Board and batten is similar to shiplap siding. But unlike shiplap which uses boards of the same width, a board and batten design uses two boards of different widths, with one smaller alternating board bumping out from the surface.
If you’re going for a barn look, board and batten siding is exactly what you need. And if you need to solidify your decision, how about exploring the pros and cons of board and batten siding just to be sure?
Board And Batten Siding Pros
Board and batten siding is popular with homeowners for a reason. To highlight the possible reasons for this choice, here are the top advantages you get with board and batten siding.
Trendy and Visually-appealing Look: Board and batten siding have a trendy aesthetic because of their barn look. If you’re looking for an interesting and refreshing appearance for your home, it is also worth considering. Its layered and stacked look can draw attention with its homey and rustic feel.
Highly Versatile: Using board and batten siding is possible for many homes however different they may be, from beach houses and bungalows to townhouses and mansions. It can also be used for traditional and modern homes alike.
Applications can also be accomplished horizontally, vertically, or both. You can even pair it with other materials like stone, bricks, and shingle types of wall cladding.
Adds To Your Home’s Curb Appeal: If you’re open to the possibility of selling your home in the future, increasing its curb appeal is a great move to take. And yes, you can do this by using board and batten. More than just its rising popularity, it also offers a unique appearance you won’t see in most homes and can easily catch the attention of home buyers.
Easy Replacement: Board and batten are also easily replaceable, which means that you can make sure that it is in excellent condition without having to spend too much on maintaining it.
Available In A Variety of Materials: While board and batten siding is traditionally made of wood, it is now offered using other materials like vinyl. Besides recreating the barn look, you get to benefit from the positive characteristics of vinyl at the same time.
Durable and Weather-resistant: Board and batten siding are guaranteed to be weather-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions, from heavy rainstorms, high winds, and hurricanes. This means you won’t have to worry about the siding wearing down because of exposure to these elements.
It also offers protective qualities and an insulation barrier that helps your home against extreme temperature and water damage.
Long-lasting: When installed and maintained properly, board and batten siding can last for a long time. They can even last decades with excellent maintenance that can extend their lifespan.
Board And Batten Siding Cons
Besides considering the advantages you can enjoy, check the disadvantages to balance your decision to be unbiased. Here are the drawbacks you have to take into account.
Time-consuming Installation: Installing board and batten types of house siding is time-consuming and so if you’re going to work on it, make sure to schedule enough time for the project. It is a labor-intensive task and you need to be detailed when installing the wooden strips and boards one by one.
While it is not a complex process and easy to do, you will need to properly and meticulously install each piece. And the more boards and battens you need to install, the more labor-intensive the process gets.
Availability May Be Difficult: There are many materials board and batten siding are made of but if you’re looking for a specific texture or color, this might be a challenging task to accomplish. One factor that can affect its availability is your location.
Can Be Costly: Board and batten materials are affordable but the meticulous and labor-intensive process can make the project costly, especially if you’re dealing with a big area and a high number of pieces to install. You can always make it a DIY project but make sure you have enough time for it.
May Be Outdated: Since board and batten siding dates way back in history, the aesthetics may be considered outdated for some homeowners. And while it may be a rising trend today, there is always a possibility of this trend acting as a passing fad.
May Warp Over Time: The material used for board and batten siding is prone to warping over time and after a few years, it won’t fit back into its original place and would need replacement.
Cost Of Board And Batten Siding
Board and batten siding is an expensive project to undertake. Even with all the pros and cons of board and batten siding, it can still set you back between $1 to $9 per square foot, depending on several factors including the following:
• Type and quality of wood/material used for the siding
• Overall board and batten dimensions and size of each piece
• Difficulty and complexity of installation
• Insulated feature or not
If you want to have an idea of what to expect when it comes to the cost of materials, here is a summary you can check out.
|Kind of Board and Batten Siding
|Cost (per square foot)
|Wood board and batten siding
|$1.50 to $5.50
|Vinyl board and batten siding
|$1.00 to $5.00
|Steel board and batten siding
|$3.00 to $9.00
|Fiber cement board and batten siding
|$1.00 to $6.00
Cost To Install Board And Batten Siding
While the materials used for board and batten siding are affordable, the installation fee can rip your pocket apart. The installation can range from $4,000 to $14,000, depending on the complexity of the task and how large the project is.
On average, the installation fee falls around $9,000 so if you are not prepared for this amount, making it your own DIY project is the best thing to do.
The materials you will use for the board and batten siding will also affect the difficulty of the task. While wooden board and batten siding is easy in terms of workability, it’s a different scenario if you’re going for vinyl.
Vinyl can be difficult to shape and cut it will require you to use a power saw. So if you don’t know how to use this saw, you will end up cutting it by hand or relying on a professional to do it for you.
Board And Batten Vs Lap Siding Cost
Besides considering the pros and cons of board and batten siding, you can also choose lap siding for your home. The cost of each siding is a bit similar in terms of the materials but there is a glaring difference when it comes to installation.
Here is the summary of the comparison of cost for board and batten siding and lap siding.
|Board and Batten Siding
|$1 to $9 per square foot
|$1.50 to $9.50 per square foot
|Installation (1,500 sq. ft home)
|$9,000 on average
|$8,250 on average
Does Board And Batten Add Value To The Home
Board and batten siding definitely adds value to the home not just because of its aesthetics but also the literal monetary value of the structure. The unique and refreshing barn look of board and batten siding makes it a favorite for many homeowners and home buyers.
It can definitely add character to the home and make it stand out with its high-end appearance. And with the rising trend of this siding, it is an element that homeowners will be happy to look for.
Another factor that makes board and batten siding a positive element to have is its versatility. It can easily be matched and mixed with other styles, from traditional homes to contemporary and modern ones.
This type of siding is also an expensive project to take so it will definitely be an added value to the home, as well as the fact that it is incredibly durable and weather-resistant.
Is Board And Batten Hard To Maintain?
The maintenance of board and batten siding is not a difficult task and repairs are easier to be accomplished since the damaged boards and battens can be taken out and replaced. You won’t have to worry about water damage and rotting though since it is weather-resistant.
It also won’t be affected by weather elements like heavy rainstorms and hurricanes. Painting and staining your board and batten siding will also be required if you plan to extend its lifespan.
For authentic wooden board and batten siding, more maintenance is required since real wood demands more meticulous care and so would have higher maintenance costs. Vinyl board and batten siding require minimal maintenance and so minimal maintenance cost.
How Long Does Board And Batten Siding Last?
Board and batten siding can last for a long time with proper installation, care, and maintenance. This type of siding can last as long as 25 years and there are other factors you can take into account that can extend this lifespan. If you want your board and batten siding to last longer, here are some tips to follow:
• Choose a material that can last long: Fiber cement is more durable compared to vinyl and wood so may last longer.
• Stain or paint the board and batten siding: The siding can be protected better once stained or painted that you can extend its lifespan from 25 years to 30 years.
• Fix and repair any moisture damage on the board and batten siding as soon as you see it: Prevention is better than coming up with a solution so before it warps due to settling moisture, fix the damage as soon as you can.
• Caulk around the door frames, window frames, and other joints: Make sure to maintain the tightness of your board and batten siding by paying attention to the joints susceptible to loosening and expanding.
What Is The Best Board And Batten Siding?
The best board and batten siding is the option that’s ideal for your needs and situation. If you don’t know what to choose among the types available in the market, consulting an expert or a contractor may be a good step to consider. If you want help with options thought, here are some you can explore.
Wooden Board And Batten Siding
There is something exciting about authentic wood siding and while it may be difficult to maintain, the rustic look it offers is something very aesthetically-pleasing to look at. Some exterior wood siding types, like redwood and cypress. can last for a lifetime while engineered wood and pine boards can last around 20 to 30 years.
This type of siding is easily workable and can be sealed, painted, and stained without worries. It is also the more affordable option (for engineered wood). Some wood types though are more expensive and difficult to find. It is also prone to rot and termite infestation so requires higher maintenance.
Vinyl Board And Batten Siding
Vinyl board and batten siding are the most popular choice among homeowners because of their affordability and versatility. Despite being affordable though, the aesthetics look classy and you also have many colors to choose from.
This particular type of vinyl siding comes pre-painted and requires lower maintenance since it is disease-proof and you won’t even have to worry about termite infestation. The downside with this option is that it’s not as durable as other board and batten siding options.
This is true, especially since it is susceptible to damage from debris and weather elements. And however close it looks to wood, it is not as high-end in appearance as authentic and natural wood.
Steel Board And Batten Siding
Lastly, steel board and batten siding are also an incredible option to take into account. Like other sidings, it also looks closer to wood. This type is known to be very durable, long-lasting, and offered in a variety of colors.
It won’t be affected by damage from weather elements. In addition to that, it also requires low maintenance so that’s one factor you also won’t have to worry about.
The drawback with steel siding is that it’s expensive and can set you back $3 to $9 per square foot. Another disadvantage is that however closely it may replicate the look of wood, it still can’t have the rustic appearance of authentic and natural wood.
What did you think of these pros and cons of board and batten siding? Please share what you think in the comments section located below. See more related content in our article about a black siding house on this page.