"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Narrow boards, wider battens
To keep the rain out and the heat in it may be a good idea to caulk along the edges. Use caulking that is flexible and can be painted.

Board and batten wood siding should be inspected at least once a year. Any damage or loose sections should be made good immediately to prevent water damage which will lead to bigger problems.


Board and Batten Siding

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Board and Batten wood siding.

Mention the words board and batten and most people will associate this type of siding with old barns and rustic country cottages.
Board and batten is a vertical type of siding that uses solid wood boards of up to 10" (25 cm) wide. The boards are spaced ½" (13mm) apart and this space is covered by battens. Some people think that wide boards and narrow battens give a good appearance, see picture to the right. For my own workshop I used 1x6 inch (25x150 mm) boards and 1x3 inch (25x75 mm) battens, image lower left. Battens should overlap the boards by ½ inch (13mm) or more.
- Boards and battens should be stored outside and covered with a tarp, for at about two weeks to help the wood to get acclimatized before you install them. By doing this the boards will shrink a fair bit and will split less when they are installed.
- Install horizontal furrings or nailing strips spaced 24" (61 cm) or less. Treating them first with a preservative is a good idea.
- Install the vertical solid wood boards spaced ½" (13mm) or more apart.
- Install the battens.

Wide boards, narrow battens

Most experts recommend to nail the battens not to the boards but instead through the gaps between the boards and into the horizontal nailing strips. This will reduce the chance that the nails will split the boards or battens. However, for my workshop I nailed through the boards and into the furrings by 'dulling' the tip of the nails to prevent wood splits, see next tip.
How to dull the tip of a nail.
1- Place the nail where it has to go and give it a soft tap to mark its location.
2- Now hold the nail upside down and hit the point of the nail with some force and two things will happen (a) the point has been dulled and (b) the nail head has broken the wood fibres and left an indentation.
3- Drive the nail home (all the way in). I have used this method for decades to prevent wood splits when nailing close to the end or side of a piece of wood.

Concave or convex side of boards facing you?
Check each board or batten end to check if the board has a crown. If the board has crown , install it with the convex side (the 'crown') facing you to ensure a snug fit against the wall.

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