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Wood Siding Installation in Maine

Batten the Hatches-and the Boards

A drive through the country conjures up warm images of yesteryear and a time gone by with large farmhouses and painted barns dotting the landscape in a seemingly care-free way. The nostalgia that such architecture arouses has returned to the building world, and it is not just for barns anymore. Often called barn siding because of its prevalent use on North American farms, board and batten has made a comeback.

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Board and batten is a structural style that uses two different widths of board in its construction. Wide boards that are usually 12 inches wide are alternated with narrow boards, called batten, that are generally half inch wide. A batten overlays the seam created when two wide boards are brought together. The typical pattern for barn siding is wide, narrow, wide; however, the pattern can be reversed to narrow, wide, narrow. The pattern can be laid either vertically or horizontally. The possibilities are limited only by the builder's imagination.

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The versatility of board and batten makes it popular as both an exterior siding and an interior design element. It has a crisp, clean aspect that is refreshingly new and yet hails back to America's history. And because it is made to expand and contract with changes in climate, it is durable. Used on the outside, it creates a vintage facade that is both classic and timeless. The style can even be isolated to simple exterior elements, such as shutters and doors. Inside, it lends itself nicely to paneling, cupboards, and counters. Similar to Wainscot, board and batten can be used to decorate half the walls in a room or extend from floor to ceiling. The design is visually appealing without overwhelming the decor of the room.

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Installing board and batten is not that complicated, but it is time consuming and would definitely require a helper to install properly. A great advantage to using barn siding is the ability to add insulation between the outside walls of the house and the siding itself. It is simply a matter of measuring and nailing the pieces of wood to plywood or OSB board for added protection against wind and weather. Of course, just as with any siding project, there are professional installers. A rough estimate for materials and installation on a standard house is about $3,600 on the low end up to $6,000 for premium siding. Much depends on the cost of the wood being used. With so many design options and trim work possibilities, this vintage but definitely not rustic siding has much to offer. It's not just for barns and cottages anymore.

Board and batten may not be the typical style in home siding, but it is definitely rising in popularity as people look to the past for hope in the future. Soon it won't take a drive in the country to be reminded of the hard work and family values that made America.




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