Board and Batten Siding: A Traditional Wood Siding Method for Home Exteriors


Board and batten siding, a traditional exterior siding type, is a popular choice for rustic dwellings and barns. This style, dating back to medieval Europe, consists of wide, vertical wooden boards split apart by narrow wooden strips called battens. These battens add dimension and cover gaps between the boards, adding character to the home. Installing board and batten siding requires little upkeep to maintain its rustic appearance for decades. This classic siding type is ideal for farmhouse, cottage, and craftsman-style homes.

 The boards can also expand and compress in response to temperature changes without warping or buckling. If properly placed, board and batten siding can last for over 50 years, providing value for any home. Its durability and timeless style make it an excellent choice for rustic homes, and its natural, textured appearance compliments various home designs, including cottages, farmhouses, and cabins. Consider this siding approach for exterior repair needs.

Board and batten siding has been used for millennia and has both benefits and drawbacks to consider:

Board and batten siding is also low-energy. Vertically, the overlapping boards are installed, with short strips of wood (the battens) inserted over the joints. This interlocking pattern aids in home insulation by limiting air infiltration.

Finally, board and batten siding offers a timeless appearance. The classic, rustic design works well with a variety of home styles, from cottages to farmhouses. The texture and shadow lines give dimension and visual intrigue.

Solid wood siding is more expensive and requires maintenance to prevent moisture or pest damage. Board and batten siding is limited in adjustability and requires professionals for proper installation. 

It also has environmental consequences, such as deforestation and sustainability. Wood is a natural and renewable building resource and sustainable wood from reliable suppliers can reduce environmental impacts. 

It’s critical to install board and batten siding correctly after you’ve opted to do so. Here are some best practices to remember:

Install the battens before the board siding to give a structure. Battens should be spaced uniformly, about 16 to 24 inches apart. For added strength, nail or attach them to the house with exterior wood screws and weatherproof wood glue.

After the battens are in place, measure the gaps between them and cut the boards to suit. Allow around 1/4 inch of space between boards for expansion. For the most accurate cutting, cut the boards a little longer and then trim them to fit.

Apply a stain or sealant before installation if you wish to adjust or improve the wood tone. Allow the wood to dry as indicated. Apply a topcoat sealer over the stain for maximum protection.

Nail the boards to the battens, beginning at the top. Drive the nails at an angle through the board’s inner edge and into the batten. Nails should be spaced 6 to 8 inches apart.

Apply a bead of exterior-grade caulk in the seams between boards and around edges to improve energy efficiency and weather resistance. Using a damp finger or a caulk tool, smooth the caulk.

When properly built, board and batten siding has a timeless appearance. Following these recommended practices will result in siding that looks fantastic and lasts a long time. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

The sturdy wooden boards insulate your home extremely well. They assist in reducing heat transfer through the walls, hence minimizing your energy expenditures. The vertical battens also create an air gap between the siding and the sheathing or weather barrier of your home, which adds insulation.


*Macaw Construction Services LLC provides free estimates to homeowners looking for home renovations. Requests from Realtors for appraisals to help a house tenant looking to make repairs or for a listing is subject to an inspection fee.