What Is Board and Batten?

By Amanda Lutz Updated May 13, 2024

Board and batten is a type of siding that provides an appealing and charming modern farmhouse look with its alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, also called battens. Board and batten can be incorporated as interior paneling, adding an inviting look to any room in your home, or it can be used on the exterior of your house to improve curb appeal and increase its resale value.

Whether you’re building your dream home or renovating your existing property, consider board and batten siding as a viable option. Our comprehensive guide will cover the materials used in this siding style, various architectural styles that use board and batten, and how much this project costs.


Materials Used in Board and Batten

From wood to composite, a variety of materials can be used in a board and batten design. Here are a few materials to consider for your home improvement project:

Other additional home siding options include fiber cement siding and engineered wood siding. Ultimately, the right type of siding for you will depend on your budget and your goals for your home’s interior or exterior. Talk to a home contractor or design professional to discuss your options.


Board and Batten Architectural Styles

With roots in the Victorian era, board and batten siding has evolved over the decades for use in a variety of architectural house styles. Here are a few architectural styles that often use board and batten in their design:

Cape Cod

Charming and relaxed, Cape Cod-style homes first became popular in the 1950s. These homes are compact, consisting of about a story and a half, and usually have small front porches and whimsical colors incorporated into the design. Historically, Cape Cod homes have incorporated clapboard or shake siding, but modern homes in this style have switched out that siding for board and batten.

Contemporary

While contemporary homes vary wildly in design, they tend to embrace a natural sense of unity and connection to nature. They often emphasize energy efficiency and sustainability and can feature board and batten styling in smaller, more focused areas rather than along the entire home’s exterior. If you live in a modern or contemporary home, consider starting with a single board and batten accent wall and seeing how it flows into the rest of your property’s design.

Cottage

With origins in Europe, cottages are defined by their small size, thoughtful finishes, cozy home decor, and inviting feel. It’s not uncommon to find board and batten siding as a primary part of a cottage’s aesthetic.

Craftsman

Craftsman-style homes are known for using earthy colors, intricate built-ins, and board and batten siding.

Farmhouse

A modern interpretation of the classic American farmhouse, farmhouses are no longer relegated to just small towns or rural areas. One of the most popular architectural styles in the present day, farmhouses often feature board and batten siding in common areas like the dining room and living room.

Victorian

The first resurgence of Victorian homes was from the early 1800s through the early 1900s. Board and batten siding was often incorporated into these homes as a way of adding visual interest without a great deal of fuss.


Cost of Board and Batten

Installing new board and batten siding will cost anywhere from $4,000 to 14,000.* In general, board and batten is more expensive than other types of siding due to the skill it takes to lay the panels or boards in the proper pattern.

Here are some factors that affect the cost of board and batten:

Before beginning your home siding project, outline your goals and desired outcome. Then, reach out to a siding or paneling professional. While you may be able to install a board and batten accent wall as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, a siding expert can tackle larger spaces. An experienced contractor will be able to offer insights and information on various board and batten materials and give you specifics on a project time line so you can understand what to expect moving forward.

*Cost data in this section via HomeAdvisor.


Our Recommendation

Almost any home style can effectively incorporate board and batten design, from modern farmhouses and cottages to stately Victorians and contemporary homes. Board and batten can be used to enhance almost any part of your home, but its connections to traditional architecture will imbue your home with a sense of character and charm that’s hard to beat.

A few factors that can influence the cost of board and batten include the size of your home, your design choice, any special customizations, and the labor required to complete the project. Since costs for board and batten siding and paneling can vary so wildly, talk to a siding professional before starting this project. A contractor can give you accurate estimates for material costs, labor required, and a project time line.


What Is Board and Batten FAQ

What are the disadvantages of board and batten?

Some disadvantages of board and batten are its cost and the time it takes to install. Because board and batten requires careful attention to detail during installation, you’ll likely pay more for labor than you would for other types of siding. It also requires a lot of wood, which can be expensive.

Why is board and batten so popular?

In recent years, board and batten has gained popularity because of the resurgence of the modern farmhouse style. It’s also popular because of its energy efficiency, low maintenance, durability, and versatility.

Why is board and batten so expensive?

Board and batten is expensive because it requires a greater time commitment than other types of siding or paneling projects and it requires a lot of wood to complete. This design is created by joining alternating strips horizontally or vertically, and doing this correctly usually requires the services of a professional contractor with experience with board and batten design.

Can board and batten look modern?

Board and batten can look modern, depending on the materials and specific design. One of the benefits of this type of siding is that it’s timeless, bringing texture and charm to any space regardless of the overall architectural themes of your home.