What is board and batten siding?

Monday, June 25, 2018

“Board and batten” siding was originally simply a practical way to apply lumber to a barn or house for siding during the 19th century. Boards eight to twelve inches wide, or more, were nailed up vertically and butted together side-by-side, or spaced slightly apart. A much narrower wood strip, usually about two inches wide and called a batten, was then nailed over the butted joints or gaps between the boards to protect them from leakage due to driven rain. The overlap of the batten also reduced air leakage through the wall cavity. 

    Nowadays, board and batten is used to obtain a rustic, traditional look for house siding, which is especially appropriate for the Craftsman style. The individual boards have been replaced by plywood siding with battens nailed vertically at intervals to approximate the spacing of old-fashioned boards. There is also a plywood siding called “reverse board and batten” (shown above), often referred to as simply “RB&B,” that has vertical grooves about the same width and spacing as battens. The grooves create a similar pattern of light and shadow as board and batten.

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To learn more about exterior walls and structures, see these other blog posts:

What is the average lifespan of a house foundation?

What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?

What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling? 

What is the difference between soil subsidence, heave, creep, and settlement? 

How much ventilation is required for the under-floor crawl space of a home? 

 What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?

What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall? 

How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?

What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder? 

What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?

Should I buy a house with a crawl space? 

Why is my stucco cracking?

There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong? 

What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out?

How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?

What is engineered wood siding?

Should I buy a house that has had foundation repair? 

What is a "continuous load path”?

Should I buy a house with asbestos siding?   

How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not? 

What do you look for when inspecting vinyl siding?

Why is housewrap installed on exterior walls under the siding? 

How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?

Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael? 

How can I tell if the concrete block walls of my house have vertical steel and concrete reinforcement?

Should I buy a house with structural problems? 

What are those powdery white areas on my brick walls?

What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?

How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?

What are the common problems of different types of house foundations? 

• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

How can I tell whether my house foundation problems are caused by a sinkhole or expansive clay soil?

        Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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