How to Install Board and Batten Siding

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Level
Pencil
Saw
Hammer
Galvanized Nails (a ring shank will hold better and longer)
Board and batten material

Board and batten siding is a home improvement project that can give your home a facelift. This kind of siding is done vertically and installed with the use of wide boards normally 6 to 8 inches in width arranged alternately. The seams will be covered with the battens which are usually 2 to 3 inches wide. Installing the board and batten siding is simple to put up and gives a traditional appearance to your home. When wood is used, yearly maintenance is required. Options other than wood include fiber cement and vinyl which require minimal maintenance compared to wood. Here are the materials along with the instructions on how to install board and batten siding.

Step 1 - Prepare the Area

Make sure that the outsides of the sheathing are covered in house wrap and windows are snugly sealed. When wood is used as the siding material, paint the area first so only touch-ups are necessary after the installation. This will save time on the work to be done especially when working on various stories.

Step 2 - Install Boards

The second phase of the installation is to start around the corners with a board that has been cut to its proper length. After, lay the board flat on the wall using a level to make sure that the board is tested. Hammer in two nails across the width of the board in even spaces at around 16 to 24-inch intervals running along the length of the board. The rest of the boards should then be installed in the same manner bearing in mind to leave a gap for expansions between the boards. If you are living in the Southwest, use a gap of about ¼ inch. If you are living in a humid environment, such as the eastern seaboard, a gap of ½ inch is recommended.

Step 3 - Install Batten

The final step is to install the battens after the boards have been put up. The battens should be centered over the expansion gaps. A nail should be hammered along the middle of the batten in 12-inch intervals along the length. The one-nail technique will allow the boards to expand and contract freely below the battens without the nails being pulled out. To create a sturdy and strong hold, screws may be used in place of nails although it would increase the cost of the installation as screws cost more than nails. Battens are used as trim for the corners.

When handling a power saw to cut boards, practice extreme caution. It is highly recommended to use safety glasses to avoid particles entering the eyes while working.