Board and batten: vinyl siding versus wood siding

The beauty of board and batten siding has made it a popular choice for centuries. Today, board and batten offers a very traditional look for a home, but can be an expensive option. Is board and batten wood siding better than board and batten vinyl siding? Let's compare the two.

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Traditional wood versus board and batten vinyl siding

Made of wide boards placed vertically, with smaller strips placed over the gaps between the boards, board and batten has long been common on agricultural buildings, such as barns or sheds. The mounting popularity of the style as a nice departure from the typical horizontal siding on homes in the United States has caused a vinyl form of board and batten to hit the market.

Should you opt for traditional wood or go with vinyl? Here are a few points to ponder:

  1. Initial cost. The initial cost of wood siding depends upon the type of wood you use.For 1,250 exterior square feet, CostHelper estimates the cost of pine, spruce, or fir at $6,500 to $7,500, while the cost of cedar can run between $7,000 to $8,500. The same amount of vinyl siding can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $8,750 installed. Both wood and vinyl siding can last up to 30 years.
  2. Maintenance. Vinyl siding needs only the occasional cleaning and cursory visual inspection. Wood siding requires regular sealing or painting to protect it from the elements. Over time, the cost of maintenance on your traditional board and batten siding can add up significantly.
  3. Beauty. Board and batten vinyl siding can look just like the real thing. Typically, high-end siding will look more like real wood than the low-end, discount brands. Still, some homeowners prefer the gradual graying of traditional wood siding over the rich, constant color of vinyl.

Whether it is made of vinyl or real wood, board and batten can be a gorgeous addition to any home.

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