Board and Batten Siding: A Do-It-Yourself Siding Project


Board and batten siding is a great choice for a barn, garden shed, or stable. It can give the building a rustic, informal look, and can be left natural, stained, or painted. You may end up liking the look so much that you want to install it on your home, but an outbuilding can be a good place for a do-it-yourself siding beginner to learn.

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Tips for Installing Board and Batten Siding for the Do It Yourself Siding Beginner

Many people choose cedar for their board and batten siding, but you can use just about any wood. Cedar is easy to work with, and it is available FSC certified, which makes it a green building product. Your boards can be any width, but 10 inch wide boards is a popular choice, and using 3 inch battens with the 10 inch board is an attractive combination.

The exterior walls of most buildings are framed 16 inches on center. You have the option of installing blocks between the vertical framing members of your building, or nailing 2 inch furring strips on the exterior of the building. Blocks or furring strips should should run horizontally with 16 inch spacing. Apply your finish to your boards and battens prior to nailing them up, and when you are ready to begin installing siding keep these tips in mind:

  • Install your vertical boards about 1/2 inch apart
  • Nail your vertical batten over the gap between boards
  • Use stainless steel nails, about 2 inches long for boards and 3 inches for battens
  • Nail into your furring strips or blocks
  • Use cedar corner trim boards at the outside corners of your building

When you have decided on a pattern, it can be a good idea to lay it out on the building with a pencil and tape measure prior to installing siding. Adjust it if you need to even out the width of each end board. By the time you have finished your project, you should feel like a do-it-yourself siding pro.

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