How to Install Board and Batten Siding

Board and batten siding consists of wide wooden 1x boards attached to the sheathing of a house and more narrow 1x boards(batten) overlaying the seams. It's as easy a process as any other exterior and can be quite beautiful.


  1. 1
    Remove your current exterior siding down to the vapor barrier if you are dealing with a remodel. Decide now if you are going to replace the soffit. Either remove it at the same time or take care not to damage it.
  2. 2
    Replace any damaged vapor barrier or OSB/plywood sheathing you encounter.
  3. 3
    Most of the time walls will be inset to a brick or stone façade. If your board and batten is set in like this, you will need to install angled metal flashing to channel water away. This requires a roll of coiled metal flashing, a press brake, and shears. Bend lengths of the metal to slightly greater than 90 degrees with each side being at least 3 inches (7.6 cm). The side that will be resting on the stone or brick, bend a small 45 degree lip down to further help direct the water away from the house.
  4. 4
    Allow the flashing to rest naturally against the façade. Do not force it down. Attach with staples. Where pieces overlap, apply clear silicone caulk on the bottom piece before setting the next piece over top of it.
  5. 5
    Find the center of your wall and mark it. Cut to length and attach one of your wide 1x boards aligning the center of the board to the line you just marked on the wall. Use a level to make sure the first board is plumb or perpendicular to level. If you have added flashing as described in the previous steps, make sure to leave a half inch gap between the board and the top of the metal resting on the brick or stone. This keeps water from siphoning into your boards.
  6. 6
    Take the width of your wide and narrow batten combined and subtract an inch. For example if you are using a 1x8 and a 1x3, your number here will be 10 inches (25.4 cm). This leaves half an inch overlap on each side for your batten to cover.
  7. 7
    Measure from each edge of your previously attached 1x board to the respective corner of the wall at the top and bottom. Make sure that they are close to the same measurement. Also make sure that you will not have a gap in the boards close to where you will be putting your corner trim. That would put a batten up against or overlapping the trim. If that is the case, decrease the gap between your boards until you end up with a sufficient distance between them giving you equal separation from the last piece of batten and the corner trim. You won't have to adjust much. Small increments add up to great distances across long walls. Make sure any windows or doors do not have the same issues.
  8. 8
    Once you figure out the size gap you need, cut two blocks the width of that gap. These will be spacers you put up to the edge of an attached board and wedge your next board up against. This saves time, keeps the boards level, and keeps the gaps even.
  9. 9
    Attach each board using the blocks as spacers, and making sure your nails are close enough to the edge to be covered by the batten.
  10. 10
    Determine the overlap for your batten on one side. In the example in step 6, that number was a 12 inch (1.3 cm). Start at one end of your wall and start marking off that distance on either side of your gaps. Do this both at the top and bottom.
  11. 11
    Cut your batten the same length as you cut all your boards. Attach them flush with the bottom if there is a small discrepancy. You can caulk minor gaps in the top. Make sure the nails are driven all the way in without marking up the batten.
  12. 12
    Finish all the walls the same way and attach your corner trim.
  13. 13
    Go back and caulk any gaps at the top and allow it to dry.
  14. 14


  • If your board and batten wall meets a stone exterior wall at an interior corner, it will be necessary to scribe the contour with a compass on your final piece of batten.
  • Press brakes can be rented at most equipment rental places.

Things You'll Need

  • Treated 1x board and batten
    1. 8 galvanized ring shank nails
  • clear weather proofing exterior caulk
  • exterior paintable caulk
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 4 foot (1.2 m) level
  • Hammer/Nail gun
  • Skill saw/Chop saw

Article Info

Categories: Build Design & Remodel Own Home