Want to add a fresh and unique element to the outdoor appearance of your home? With everyone choosing to go horizontal with their lap siding, there’s been no better time than to choose vertical board and batten siding. The long, straight lines created by board and batten help draw the eye to the highest reaches of the building, giving it a stylized and sophisticated feel that will help your house stand out in the neighborhood. When you choose fiber cement board and batten siding, you get added benefits too.
The Appeal of Board and Batten
Dating back to the 19th century, the look of board and batten siding has always been a favorite of those looking for distinction. Although regularly used in barns and other rustic structures, board and batten compliment a number of architectural designs. Today, board and batten is paired with brick and stone exteriors to add curbside appeal. You might even find buildings that use both lap siding and board and batten to create an attention-grabbing exterior.
Why is it called “board and batten,” you ask? The name comes from the way the siding is laid. Unlike horizontal siding where the boards overlap one another—hence the term lap siding—board and batten uses two plank sizes. There’s the wide board that has a “batten,” or small strip, on the side that overlays the seam between larger boards. The band that is created adds dimension to the otherwise smooth vertical face.
Interestingly, the origin of the word “batten” is unknown. Some speculate that it’s a variation of “baton,” which is the stick that is used in gymnastics, conducting an orchestra, or passed between two runners during relay races. Others believe it is the same “batten” from the term “batten down the hatches,” that is used when ships are preparing for severe storms. Since the batten connects two pieces of the siding together, it is indeed a fitting name.
Using Fiber Cement Siding For Board and Batten
Homeowners that use the board and batten style have traditionally used wood to achieve a rural or rustic exterior. The disadvantage of using wood siding, though, is the tendency to warp, rot, and attract pests. Board and batten has a tendency to rot more quickly that wooden lap siding, because water can run straight down the boards, penetrating the seams and grains at a higher rate.
That is why board and batten homes fell out of popularity for a time.
But with the creation of fiber cement siding, it’s become possible again. Fiber cement siding comes with multiple benefits that made it a smart choice of wood, aluminum, or vinyl for a board and batten style.
Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding
There’s plenty of reasons why you should consider using fiber cement siding, including the following benefits:
- Class 1A fire rating – noncombustible material, highly fire-resistant
- Impervious to pests and termites
- Doesn’t rot or crack like wood
- Doesn’t warp or swell in heat and humidity
- Can withstand hurricane force winds
- Resists deterioration against UV rays
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable
- Paint lasts several times longer than other alternatives, like wood
- Can withstand impact against debris and hail, unlike aluminum
- Manufacturer warranties are long, often ranging for 30 years or more
As you can see, fiber cement siding is a wonderful choice for a board and batten aesthetic. To top off these benefits, fiber cement siding has plenty of options for getting the look you desire. Aside from having aluminum and vinyl looks available, you can choose a real-wood look that is complete with earthy, natural tones and wood grains. You can select a traditional 6-inch board that comes with a half-inch batten profile for a cabin feel; or you can choose a 10-inch board for a contemporary aesthetic. Another option would be smooth boards with a contrasting filler strip to off-set the main color.
Achieving The Look You Want
Fiber cement siding has multiple looks, textures, lengths, and colors available. There are panels that look like cedar wood. For those who want a smoother look, there are no groove vertical panels.
Presently, there are over 20 colors that can be applied as a pre-finish to fiber cement siding that are guaranteed for up to 15 years to never peel, crack, or fade. Some manufacturers, like Plycem, have wood grain or smooth finishes, 18 colors, and three different thicknesses to select.
Regardless of the brand or manufacturer you choose, fiber cement siding is resilient to damage for a number of sources, comes in a range of beautiful colors or can be painted, and is ideal for completing the board and batten look.
If you’re ready to add a new level of interest to the exterior of your home, consider moving from the typical lap siding to something more exciting, like vertical siding. Board and batten will help add curbside appeal, and fiber cement will protect your house for many years to come.
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