How to install rough-cut cedar board & batten siding

Written by robert howard
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How to install rough-cut cedar board & batten siding
Rough-cut cedar is a rustic, traditional building material. (Chopping board image by Pomidors from

Rough-cut cedar board and batten siding is a simple, traditional style of siding. First the siding boards are fastened to the framework of the house; then narrower battens are fastened over the seams between the siding boards. The finished siding pattern creates a weather-resistant shell over the exterior of your house. Board and batten siding is typically oriented vertically and fastened to horizontal blocking or furring strips. Rough-cut board and batten cedar siding should be painted or stained to protect the wood for moisture and ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Chalk line
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Corrosion-resistant nails
  • Circular saw
  • Primer or stain
  • Paintbrush, roller or sprayer

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  1. 1

    Determine the baseline for your siding and mark it with a pencil. You want the base of the siding to fall below the point where your house meets the foundation, but at least 6 inches above the ground. Consult the siding manufacturer's specific instructions regarding how high from the ground your siding should fall. Use a level and chalk line to extend this baseline around the perimeter of the house and refer to it as you fasten your siding.

  2. 2

    Prime or stain all of your siding before you install it. Apply a single coat of exterior primer or wood stain to all surfaces of the boards, including the end cuts. Let the finish dry completely before installing the boards to the house.

  3. 3

    Apply the siding boards to the house. Drive corrosion-resistant nails every 16 to 24 inches apart and fasten the boards to the horizontal blocking or furring strips. Don't overdrive the nails. Overdriving nails can cause warping and damage to the siding. Fill overdriven nail divots with a dollop of polyurethane caulking.

  4. 4

    Use a circular saw to cut your boards to fit around window frames and underneath sloped or horizontal eaves. Stain or prime your end cuts to increase water resistance.

  5. 5

    Apply your battens over the seams between your installed siding boards. The battens should be wide enough to overlap the seam and cover at least ½ inch of the siding boards on either side. Drive corrosion-resistant nails through the battens and the boards, and into the underlying wall blocking or furring strips.

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