About Board & Batten Siding
Board and batten is a type of wood siding that alternates wide boards and narrow strips. It is often called “barn siding” because it is associated with traditional architecture such as historic barns or cottages.
However, board and batten remains a viable option for modern homes. It is timeless, durable and attractive. It also creates a unique look – you don’t find board and batten on every street, as you do with a product like vinyl siding.
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How Much Does Board and Batten Siding Cost?
Plan on spending about $3.50 to $6 per square foot for board-and-batten siding, including the cost of installation. Materials usually cost anywhere from $2 to $3.50 per square foot, while installation runs another $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot.
Board & Batten Siding Pros
- Durable – There’s a reason board-and-batten siding has been used for centuries: It is durable and long-lasting. The method of construction allows for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood over time, prolonging the lifespan.
- Weathers well – Board and batten can stand up to decades, even centuries, of harsh weather conditions when properly maintained.
- Improves resale value – Board and batten is pleasing to the eye, and it is likely to increase the resale value of your home.
Board & Batten Siding Cons
- Requires maintenance – As with any type of wood siding, board and batten requires periodic power washing, sealing, staining and/or painting. Experts recommend staining every five to 10 years or repainting every 10 to 15 years to keep the siding in good condition.
- Susceptible to damage – Board and batten can be destroyed by wood-eating insects like termites. It is also more susceptible to fire damage than metal siding.
About Metal Siding
There are two types of metal siding: aluminum and steel. Aluminum is more affordable, easier to install and will never rust. However, it does not hold up as well as steel in storms or heavy winds, and it does not retain the original color as long.
Of the two materials, steel is far less common because of its tendency to rust. Here, we’ll focus primarily on the pros and cons of aluminum.
Metal Siding Cost
Aluminum siding costs about $3 to $6 per square foot, including installation – slightly less than board-and-batten siding. Steel siding, on the other hand, is more expensive, ranging from $7 to $8 per square foot.
Aluminum Siding Pros
- Easy to clean – Metal siding is easily cleaned with a garden hose. Most of the dirt will wash right off.
- Low maintenance – Aluminum siding can be repainted to prolong the life and enhance the color, but it doesn’t require painting the way wood does.
- Impervious to pests – With metal siding, you never have to worry about an infestation of termites or other wood-eating insects.
Choosing a Siding Contractor
New siding goes a long way to boost your home’s curb appeal – if you choose the right contractor. A shoddy job can make your house look run-down, even when the siding is new. Here are some tips for finding the right crew:
- Request quotes from several local contractors. Keep in mind that the cheapest is not always the best. Eliminate any bids that come in suspiciously high or low and keep the rest in the running.
- Do some background research on the companies that remain. Are they licensed and insured? Do they have positive ratings with the Better Business Bureau? Ask for references, too, to find out what former customers have to say.
- Hire a company with experience. The quality of a siding job has a lot to do with the contractor’s level of expertise. Find out how long any company you’re considering has been in business. What is the average rate of turnover for employees? Does the company have experience working with the siding material you choose? Ask for pictures to prove it.
- Meet the contractor in person before agreeing to hire him or her. Does the contractor answer your questions thoroughly? Explain the process? Provide a start and end date for the project? A face-to-face meeting will tell you a lot about whether the contractor is knowledgeable and reputable.
- Ask for a guarantee. The siding manufacturer should offer some kind of warranty, but the contractor should also guarantee his or her work for a number of years. If the company doesn’t want to stand behind its work, move on.
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.