If you’re ready to replace your exterior siding with something that’s both functional and visually interesting, you should consider going with a board and batten style. It’s different, it’s distinctive, and it’s even a little retro-looking (which of course makes it cool)! Plus, the vertical orientation of board and batten provides very effective protection for your home, as long as it’s properly installed.
So, what’s the story with board and batten? It’s actually a style of siding that got its start in America during colonial times. Log cabins were still in common use during that time period, but folks came to realize that building homes out of whole logs was not the most efficient use of lumber. It took a lot of trees to be able to construct a single cabin, plus it was also challenging to make log cabins air-tight against the cold winter winds. With the advent of more sawmills, colonists began building stud-framed houses instead, and they chose to cover the frames with side-by-side sawn boards or planks in a vertical orientation. These rough-sawn boards didn’t meet each other flush, so colonial housebuilders would nail a thin wooden strip or “batten” over the board seams to make the whole system more airtight. And thus it came to be known as board and batten siding!
Clapboard or “shiplap” horizontal siding emerged during this same time period, and eventually surpassed board and batten siding in its popularity for home use. Siding material options have since grown far beyond rough-hewn wood boards to now include manufactured wood composites, vinyl, fiber cement, metal, and more. And while horizontal siding is still the most popular siding orientation choice in America today, vertical siding continues to hold its own – and the board and batten style is actually making more of a comeback.
While horizontal siding is still seen as something of a default choice for residences in many areas, perhaps you’re not interested in settling for a “default” look for your own home. Here are a few reasons that a board and batten design could be worth considering for your next siding installation or siding replacement:
While board and batten is an old-school siding approach that’s been around for hundreds of years, it’s never completely gone out of style. It’s still very popular in Europe to this day, and is now seeing a resurgence of popularity across the U.S. as well. If you like the idea of combining old world charm with modern siding materials, then you might really like the look of board and batten for your home.
If you like the idea of customizing the look of your siding to make your home’s exterior even more unique, then including some board and batten makes a lot of sense. If fact, you’re not just limited to choosing just one or the other; you could opt to go with a combination of both vertical and horizontal siding! For example, if you have a two-story home, you could elect to put board and batten siding on the top level, and horizontal lap siding on the bottom level. You can also choose to mix up siding orientations to highlight and feature certain architectural features of your home. Who says all siding has to be run in one direction?
Finding some ways to help your home stand out is certainly a good motive, but it also pays to check out the rest of the homes in your neighborhood to see what kind of design benchmarks may already exist. If most other homes in your immediate area tend to follow a certain exterior pattern, you might want to weigh how bold you want to go in a completely different direction. We’re not suggesting that you can’t explore being creative, but you probably don’t want your home to stick out in an odd way, either. Realtors point out that if your home looks or feels a little out-of-place in comparison to other comparable homes in your area, that could actually result in reducing the market value of your home by a few percentage points. And if you live in an HOA, there may be some specific guidelines within which you have to operate, as well. All we’re saying here is that it pays to do your homework ahead of time where such things are concerned.
Looks aside, there are actually some real design advantages to choosing vertical siding orientation over horizontal. With vertical siding, rainwater sheds off more easily than with horizontal. More specifically, a board-and-batten style of vertical siding is even more watertight, since the batten strips serve to cover all the seams. As long as your board and batten siding is installed properly, there’s really nowhere for water to be able to collect! Maintenance and cleaning of vertical board and batten siding tends to be simpler and easier, too.
While board and batten is a great design for siding, you’ll next to decide upon a material option. Old-school board and batten was constructed of sawn wood, but wood certainly has its limitations. Wood requires frequent refinishing, painting, or staining, and wood is also prone to threats from moisture and pests. Looking for a more modern material that performs better and requires less in the way of maintenance? Here are three solid choices:
Norandex has been trusted by professional builders and contractors for over 65 years, and their Board and Batten premium vinyl siding can help to expand your options with a truly distinctive look! It’s available in a broad spectrum of colors, it’s backed by one of the best warranties in the vinyl siding industry, and it’s wind-tested to withstand gusts of up to 200 mph!
Alside is one of the most respected names in the home exterior industry, and its winning combination of natural-looking beauty and rugged durability makes it a popular choice for both home professionals and homeowners. Odyssey Plus comes in 28 standard and architectural hues, and is available in both natural grain and light roughsawn textures.
James Hardie is perhaps the most trusted siding brand in America, and their fiber cement siding is truly second to none. Composed of a combination of cement, sand, and recycled wood fibers, this fiber cement has the longest lifespan among popular siding materials. Another advantage of fiber cement over vinyl is the fact that it can be designed to match not only the look of wood, but the actual texture of wood as well. People can usually tell that vinyl is still vinyl, but they can’t tell that James Hardie fiber cement isn’t real wood!
No matter whether you’re looking for vertical or horizontal siding, and no matter which type of siding material you prefer – if you want a siding solution that’s both great-looking and long-lasting, then you’ll want to make sure your siding is installed correctly in the first place. And nobody does siding installation & replacement better in NC & VA than the Skywalker team!
We have extensive experience with installing vinyl, fiber cement, and other popular materials, and we possess all the training and know-how to do your job right! Skywalker is one of the highest-rated, most-awarded contractors serving the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro/Lake Norman, and Roanoke, VA areas, and we’re happy to come out and provide a free initial inspection and consultation. You can reach out to us online, or just pick up the phone and give us a call today at (336) 265-9595. We invite you to experience the Skywalker Windows & Siding difference for yourself!
Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.
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1518 Carlisle Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24014, USA
Call us at +1 (540) 212-7255
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