How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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What is board and batten siding?
Sunday, June 24, 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 The individual boards have been replaced by plywood siding with battens nailed vertically at intervals to approximate the spacing of old-fashioned boards.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:
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