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The Homeowner’s Guide to Board and Batten Siding

Joe Roberts

Published on March 20, 2024

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The Homeowner’s Guide to Board and Batten Siding

Curious about installing board and batten-style siding on your home? Read this guide to learn about the costs and benefits of this stylish siding option.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

Read about our editorial process here. Want to use our cost data? Click here.

It typically costs between $7,864 and $14,309 to install board and batten siding on an entire home’s exterior. This makes this vertical siding style more expensive than traditional horizontal cladding. However, board and batten siding can be made from a few different materials, and the exact prices depend on what the siding is made from.

Despite its relatively high costs, many good reasons exist for installing board and batten siding. It offers a unique look that helps a home stand out from its neighbors and increases its curb appeal. The board and batten siding design also makes it highly weather-resistant, and depending on what it’s made from, it can also be very low-maintenance. 

To learn more about board and batten siding, keep reading. We’ll break down the price, benefits, and drawbacks of this stylish type of siding.

Hire a local siding contractor to give your home the board and batten look

The pros and cons of board and batten siding

Pros
  • + Versatile aesthetic appeal
  • + Durable, weather-resistant design
  • + Good insulation for energy efficiency
  • + Easy upkeep (dependent on material)
Cons
  • - Lengthy installation times
  • - Relatively high costs

How much does board and batten siding cost?

Board and batten siding generally costs about 10 percent more than horizontal siding options made with the same materials. This is partially because board and batten siding requires furring strips for mounting, whereas many horizontal siding options do not, so additional material costs exist.

Board and batten siding installation also takes a bit longer than traditional lap siding installation, so there are some extra labor costs. Also, if you want to remodel your home’s appearance by replacing some old exterior siding with board and batten siding, you’ll pay extra for the demolition and removal of your old cladding.

As we said, board and batten siding can be made from several different materials. These include vinyl, wood, plywood, and aluminum. The material costs for board and batten siding vary depending on which material it’s made from.

Board and batten siding project costs by material type

Material

Average installation costs (1,500 square feet)

Average replacement costs (1,500 square feet)

Wood

$10,783–$19,618

$11,452–$20,837

Vinyl 

$7,456–$13,566

$8,434–$15,345

Engineered wood 

$6,356–$11,564

$7,047–$12,822

Aluminum

$9,242–$16,814

$10,219–$18,594

Fiber cement

$5,485–$9,980

$6,608–$12,024

Board and batten material options explained

In addition to affecting siding installation and siding replacement costs, the material you choose for your board and batten siding will also affect its durability, lifespan, warranty length, energy efficiency, and upkeep requirements. Here’s a quick breakdown of the qualities each siding material brings:

  • Wood siding: Historically, board and batten siding was most commonly made from woods like cedar, pine, and redwood. Siding made from real wood features natural wood grain textures that homeowners love, and it can help give your home the modern farmhouse style that many homeowners adore. Wood siding can last up to 40 years, but it requires a lot of painting and maintenance to prevent moisture and termite damage. 
  • Vinyl siding: Vinyl siding is a popular option because it is affordable, low-maintenance, and lightweight, though it usually doesn’t have the same rustic look as real wood, and it doesn’t last as long. On average, vinyl siding needs to be replaced after 20 years. Vinyl siding can also melt and warp when exposed to high outdoor temperatures. 
  • Engineered wood siding: Engineered wood siding is usually much cheaper than siding made from real wood, and it can typically last much longer, sometimes up to 50 years. Depending on its treatment, it may also require less upkeep. The only downside is that it usually doesn’t look as good. 
  • Aluminum siding: Lightweight, rust-resistant, and more affordable than wood, aluminum is a great siding option for many homes. It also offers supreme protection from fire and insects. Aluminum siding typically needs to be replaced after 30 years, though it can last as long as 40 years with proper maintenance. 
  • Fiber cement siding: Fiber cement is made from various materials (including cement, sand, and plant fibers) that are poured into a mold to form siding planks. This durable and low-maintenance material can last up to 50 years, and in many markets, it can be more affordable than vinyl. James Hardie’s “Hardie Board” is one of the most popular fiber cement siding options.

To learn more about the costs, benefits, and shortcomings of these siding materials (and others), check out our complete guide to house siding

Benefits of board and batten siding

In addition to adding stylish charm to a home’s exterior, the construction of board and batten siding also makes it highly energy efficient and resistant to inclement weather conditions.

This is because this style of siding is made with two defensive components: boards—wide, vertical planks—and battens—narrow strips of wood that cover gaps between the boards. Because the battens seal up the spaces between the boards, it’s very difficult for moisture or heat to get in from outside.

This design can help the siding last much longer, especially if you choose durable materials like fiber cement or aluminum. It can also lower your energy bills by preventing thermal transfer with the air outside. This will even help your whole HVAC system last longer by reducing strain on its components.

Why (and where) you should install board and batten siding

Board and batten siding is versatile and can be used on many different home styles. The siding’s vertical orientation can complement a modern home design by giving each wall a more clean and dramatic look than horizontal lap siding. The siding may provide a traditional or rustic farmhouse look on a different home, though, especially when made from natural wood.

Because the siding can be crafted from such a wide variety of materials, it also comes in a broad assortment of colors, and you can paint over siding made from wood, fiber cement, and aluminum. This allows you to find siding that perfectly matches your home’s other exterior features, like your roof’s shingles.

You don’t even have to go all-in on vertical siding! Many homeowners use horizontal siding on their home’s first level, then clad their dormers with board and batten siding for visual variety.

Board and batten siding’s wide variety of applications make it a great choice for just about any home. 

Why DIY board and batten installation is a bad idea

Especially handy homeowners can sometimes install their own horizontal siding with good results, but board and batten siding should always be left to the pros, even though it costs more. This is because vertical siding is more difficult to install than horizontal siding, and it takes more technical skill to place and size accurately. 

When incorrectly installed, board and batten siding may leak, warp, and fall off a wall prematurely. Additionally, DIY installation will usually void your manufacturer’s warranty, leaving you to cover any repair bills.

Once all is said and done, DIY installation may cost you more for repairs than you initially save on labor costs, so it’s better not to risk it.

How to hire a professional board and batten siding installer

You now know how much board and batten siding can cost, its benefits, and how to use its stylish appeal to your advantage. If you’re ready to start meeting with contractors who can install your new siding, we can help with that. Fill out the form below to contact qualified and licensed siding contractors in your area.

Hire a licensed pro to install your board and batten siding the right way

Board and batten siding FAQ

What is board and batten siding made from?

Traditionally, board and batten siding was made from wood. However, modern board and batten siding can be made from various materials, including vinyl, aluminum, and fiber cement. These materials can offer unique benefits like enhanced weather resistance, long lifespans, and relative affordability. 

Why is board and batten siding more expensive?

Board and batten siding is typically 10 percent more expensive than horizontal siding because it requires additional materials. Its installation time is usually slightly longer, resulting in extra labor costs.

Does board and batten siding increase home value?

Yes, new siding will always increase the resale value of your home. However, the style of the siding usually isn’t as important as the material it's made from where resale value is concerned. If you want to increase your home’s value as much as possible, opt for board and batten siding made from high-end materials like wood or aluminum. 

How long does board and batten siding last?

When properly cared for, board and batten siding can last longer than horizontal siding. However, what the siding is made from is arguably more important than the style of the siding. For example, horizontal siding made from aluminum will almost certainly last longer than board and batten siding made from short-lived vinyl. 

Can you install board and batten siding yourself?

No, you should not attempt to install board and batten siding yourself, even if you’ve successfully installed a different type of siding in the past. Because it’s installed vertically and requires additional furring, board and batten siding is much harder to install than horizontal lap siding. Trust us, you should leave this one to the pros.

Written by

Joe Roberts Content Specialist

Joe is a home improvement expert and content specialist for Fixr.com. He’s been writing home services content for over eight years, leveraging his research and composition skills to produce consumer-minded articles that demystify everything from moving to remodeling. His work has been sourced by various news sources and business journals, including Nasdaq.com and USA Today. When he isn’t writing about home improvement or climate issues, Joe can be found in bookstores and record shops.