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Board and Batten what you might not know.

There are many timber weatherboard profiles available today but one that has been around since humans first covered a house with timber is the Board and batten, or board-and-batten  timber weatherboards.


The name tells you all you need to know it  describes a type of exterior timber weatherboard that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, called "battens."  The boards are usually (but not always) either 140mm or 190mm wide by 18 to 40 mm thick. The boards are placed vertically with the batten acting as a cweather overing strip along the join to keep the building weathertight. In New Zealand battens are usually 50 to 90mm wide with a 18 to 40mm thickness.

Historical Board and Batten uses:

Traditionally the timber batten would be placed over the timber seam between the wide boards, creating a stronger and more weathertight weatherboard profile. Traditionally it was inexpensive and easy to assemble, board and batten weatherboards were used for structures such as barns and garden sheds. In the past it was popular during the victorian era as a pragmatic method of adding architectural detail to buildings.

In the US board and batten  timber weatherboards are often called barn- timber weatherboards because many barns in north america are constructed this way. even today, this type of  timber weatherboards on a house exudes a comfortable informality. board-and-batten shutters, which use the batten as a horizontal brace, are also considered less formal and more provincial than louvered shutters.

Board and Batten changes today.

Today we see a new take on this weatherboard where reverse board and batten is used. Here the narrow batten is placed against the building and the boards are installed over the seams. This gives the profile a more contemporary look with a negative detail which is created which has a dramatic effect on how natural light creates shadows on the timber weatherboards.

Board and Batten use in architecture

Board-and-batten  timber weatherboards are often found in informal architectural styles, like country homes and churches and Americsn Barn style homes. Now we see beautiful mixed textures where board-and-batten timber weatherboards are combined with brick or stone exteriors and we see some combined with more traditional horizontal timber weatherboards.

An example of the contemporary use of board-and-batten  timber weatherboards can be found in northern california. architect cathy schwabe used the vertical  timber weatherboards on a readers' retreat cottage, and the result is a much larger-looking house than it actually is.

board-and-batten buying:

board and batten are sold by a number of retailers, in an assortment of widths, and in a variety of timber species. Remember that board and batten is not a construction material, it’s a profile which best suited to a stable timber and oftentimes the materials you choose will affect the overall final appearance. The Redwood Guys are experienced at making all profiles Board and Batten profiles. (give us a call!)  

Take time to consider if this style will suit your design as inappropriately using board and batten as  timber weatherboards on some architectural styles that historically would never have used it can leave you with a odd looking home. This is an informal  profile for weatherboards which can easily make a historic old house look like a misfit. Also, remember that board and batten became timber weatherboards because of how they are used—today you can buy board-and-batten  timber weatherboards and even products like shutters.

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victorian Board and batten Redwood
Architectual Barn home Board and Batten.
Contemporary Board and Batten Redwood
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