How Long Does Board And Batten Siding Last?

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 The exterior appearance and durability of a house are important factors, and the siding of a house can make a big difference in value. Board and batten siding is a classic American style siding traditionally used in barns, sheds, and farmhouses. It has been seeing a revival with modern rustic style aesthetics and is a great option for many homes. It’s a beautiful choice and very desirable in today’s market, but you may be asking yourself about the durability and how long they can last. We researched this matter to help you make the best decision for your home!

Board and batten siding can last for up to about 25 years by most estimates. The material chosen during construction will impact the siding durability. Proper installation and maintenance will also prolong the life of the siding. Generally, board and batten siding is a durable, long-lasting siding option that improves homes’ value. 

While it is seeing a surge in popularity, board and batten siding is still not as common as some other options, so that you may have some questions. We’ve researched this topic and encourage you to read on to learn more about how long board and batten siding can last and how to care for it properly.

A Scandinavian style apartment building with board and batten siding, How Long Does Board And Batten Siding Last?

A Great Value

Board and batten siding get’s its name from the way it is constructed. Wider planks called boards usually run across the side of the house vertically. Battens are the thinner, protruding parts that connect all the boards. The combination tends to produce a very visually pleasing texture when looking at a house.

This type of siding is great for adding resale value and curb appeal to most homes. The style was originally used on buildings like barns, and so it is being revived now with a modern rustic style. Not only are they visually appealing, but they are also very durable and come in a large variety of materials, textures, and colors. The material of the board and batten siding and its maintenance are the most important factors when it comes to durability.

Material Options Matter

Board and batten siding comes in four main material choices – vinyl, fiber cement, steel, and wood.

Vinyl

Vinyl siding is the most commonly used because it balances price with durability. It is not prone to warping or any rot or natural damage that wood is. Vinyl is the cheapest board and batten siding option, and it has great durability with practically no maintenance.

Wood

Wood siding is the most beautiful, and it complements the farmhouse aesthetic of board and batten design. It can last long but requires the most maintenance of all. You must treat the wood so that it does not have any problems or major damage over time. Of the 4 main materials, it is likely the most fragile.

Steel and Fiber Cement

Steel and fiber cement are among the most durable siding options available. The benefit of these is that they are not only strong, but they resist fire and storm weather as well. Steel can be more expensive, but it is the most structurally strong. Fiber cement is similarly strong as steel but cheaper than wood and steel. Steel board and batten siding can come in many colors and be stamped with all kinds of textures. Steel siding is very modern and desirable for new construction homes or renovation projects. 

Exterior view of white and gray board and batten three story home

Proper Installation And Maintenance

One of the negative aspects of board and batten siding is the installation process. Because of the involved nature of putting together the system to attach each piece, it can take longer to install. Naturally, the longer process will lead to higher installation costs. It is important not to cut corners with the installation since installing the siding is essential to durability. It is the first pillar to making sure your siding lasts as long as it can.

The next most important thing you can do is to keep your siding maintained. There are several ways to keep up maintenance on your board and batten siding. You can hammer in any nails that are coming out. If there is chipped or flaking paint, you can remove it or paint over it. It is best to repair any split boards as soon as you notice any damage. If there are any splits or cracks, they can grow over time and cause more damage. 

Board And Batten Benefits

All of the board and batten siding made from any of these materials can be designed to look like natural wood. This may help cut costs if you want the appearance of wood but the cost savings of vinyl boards. Another benefit that all board and batten systems have is that it is easy to fix small problems since each wood piece can be replaced. If any individual board or adjoining batten suffers some damage, that piece alone can be exchanged without much fuss. Because this kind of siding can be more expensive to install, the lower repair cost, once the system is in place, is helpful. 

Does Board And Batten Siding Leak? 

When installed properly, board and batten siding does not leak. Underneath the planks, there are additional waterproof layers added during installation. Some applications require the installer to add caulk between the battens so nothing can get through them. Only very simple and old board and batten designs can leak, and this was most common for less important buildings like barns and sheds. Any new installation of this type of siding is not any more likely to leak than other modern siding options. 

What Is The Best Wood To Use For Board And Batten Siding? 

The best wood to use for durable and strong board and batten siding is red cedar. It is naturally resistant to insects such as termites, and when properly treated, it can last for several decades. Western red cedar specifically has very pleasant warm tones that compliment the rustic or farmhouse look of board and batten siding. Cedarwood also has oils and resins that help prevent rot and decay over time, leading to easier maintenance. Pine, redwood, and white oak are some wood alternatives that also make good board and batten siding. You can read more about the use of pine wood as a siding material in our article, “Is Pine Good For Exterior Siding?”.

Can You Paint Board And Batten Siding?

Yes, you can paint over almost any kind of board and batten siding. If you’re using natural wood material, you may want to let the original tones shine through. Vinyl and steel siding is usually ordered in the color you prefer, but wood and fiber cement are more commonly painted over.

Before you paint over your board and batten siding, make sure to clean the surface, hammer in any loose nails, and caulk the battens for a good seal and paint surface. A common design trend is to pick a solid color for the siding and use white to outline the color with trim elements. For some more inspiration on how to paint your exterior siding, you can check out “6 Best Siding Colors For A Small House”.

A Classic Home Siding Choice

The board and batten siding has been around for a long time. This is because it works well at covering the exterior of homes beautifully and securely. The material choices you select and ensuring you use proper installation techniques will make any board and batten siding last for a very long time. Though the installation may have higher costs due to its time, replacing individual boards is cheaper than fixing some other siding methods. This classic siding choice has hung around and is growing in popularity again because it’s a great overall choice and can add value to your home. 

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