Get that vintage look with board and batten vinyl siding

Board and batten siding, favored by early settlers, alternates wide and narrow vertical panels to create the distinct architectural style found on many centuries-old homes, barns and other structures. Board and batten vinyl siding is typically used to side a whole house, or to accent sections of a home to make a more creative design using the siding's unique pattern of decorative overlapping lines.

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CertainTeed, a leading manufacturer of all types of vinyl siding, offers board and batten siding in lengths of 10 feet or 12 feet 6 inches. Longer panels, the company says, help eliminate seams and transitions on walls. The panels are designed to imitate the look of rough-sawn cedar. Unlike real wood, however, vinyl siding panels are virtually maintenance-free. Since the color runs throughout the siding panel, it never needs painting. Board and batten vinyl panels are also much more fire-resistant than their wooden counterparts.

Comparing vinyl vendors

There are several well-respected U.S. manufacturers that make board and batten vinyl siding, including Alcoa/Mastic Home Exteriors, the Royal Group and NAPCO. The leading manufacturers tout siding panels in thicknesses of .048 inch or better, which allows siding to better resist scratching and denting. Thicker siding also has greater rigidity and won't sag over time. Board and batten siding typically has a 7- or 8-inch profile, which is the space between the decorative overlapping lines. Most vinyl siding products sold today are built with a high degree of reliability, so when comparing the offerings of siding manufacturers pay close attention to the gauge (thickness) and the profile (overlap).

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