Board and Batten vs. Lap Siding: Costs, Installation, Pros, and Cons

When deciding between board and batten or lap siding, homeowners need to have some important questions answered. Is board and batten more expensive than lap siding? Which one holds up longer? Which one requires more maintenance?

To make the best siding choice for your home, it’s helpful to compare the options side by side, including the pros and cons, costs, installation, and maintenance. As you’ll see, the distinguishing factor isn’t always the style of siding, but the quality of the materials used that makes the biggest difference.

board and batten lap siding

Board and Batten Siding

Costs

Board and batten siding can cost anywhere from $1 to $9 per square foot. Why the huge range? It all depends on the material selected. Wood and vinyl fall on the cheaper end of the spectrum, while fiber cement and steel tend to be slightly more expensive. Though affordability may tempt homeowners to go with a cheaper material, remember that the price point often reflects the performance, which can make a more expensive product, like steel, considerably more valuable in the long run.

Installation

Traditional installation techniques can be extensive for board and batten siding, which requires thin battens to be secured along every vertical seam between wider boards. The sheer amount of fixed points — and ensuring that all beams are uniformly level and lined up — can mean board and batten installation takes longer than lap.

That’s why many homeowners prefer to go with an innovative siding provider that simplifies board and batten installation. TruLog provides preformatted board and batten panels that are essentially based on a lock-in installation model. The battens and boards are one and the same, making installation an entirely easy task that can be completed much faster.

Maintenance

Repainting may be necessary with wood or vinyl board and batten due to color fading from sun exposure, and wooden board and batten exteriors may require sanding and beam replacement due to rotting, chipping, or heat-warped panels. Wood-look steel siding is built to withstand the elements, so it remains entirely maintenance-free for the duration of its lifespan.

Pros and Cons 

Board and batten siding has been around for a long time — and for good reason. It has a particularly timeless aesthetic that makes it a versatile choice. From countryside cottages to suburban homes, board and batten looks great in any setting. 

Another benefit of this style of siding is that it has great resale value, mostly because of its timeless appeal. Many find the vertical layout of the siding to be charming, meaning it shouldn’t be difficult to attract potential buyers down the line.

With that said, board and batten does require a bit more labor during installation — that is, if a contractor is using a traditional installation technique rather than a modern, preformed board and batten style. Due to the increased surface area from the battens, this style of siding is more difficult to paint. Care must be taken to ensure that it’s covered completely. Repainting is only necessary when using a traditional material, like wood, which becomes irrelevant when selecting a modern, maintenance-free version of board and batten, like steel.

Lap Siding 

Costs

As with board and batten, lap siding has an extreme range when it comes to cost, depending on the material chosen. Lap can cost anywhere from $1 to $10, with soft woods costing the cheapest. Labor costs can also vary, depending on the style of lap selected. Remember, there’s more than basic lap siding — Dutch lap, clapboard, bevel, and shiplap may cost extra, depending on how a contractor assesses the workload.

Installation

Lap siding is fairly easy to install, though the material choice can complicate things, too. Heavier siding materials, like fiber cement, can often require specialized tools and multiple people for adequate installation. The style of lap may create extra work for contractors.

That’s the great thing about going with a preformed, lock-in lap panel, like those made by TruLog. They feature a bottom lock and nail strip as part of the lap board, which simplifies the entire installation process and makes it an easy task that most can accomplish without issue. Since the preformed lap panels lock into place, it’s also much more difficult to make mistakes during the installation process!

Maintenance

The maintenance involved in lap siding depends heavily on the material chosen. Wood and vinyl are likely to require painting down the line, which is much easier to accomplish on lap siding than it is on board and batten. Materials like steel, on the other hand, are designed to be maintenance-free.

Pros and Cons

Lap siding creates an iconic residential charm, making it popular in suburbs, cities, and rural areas. In comparison with board and batten, one of the benefits of lap siding is that it is much easier to install when using traditional techniques. It can also be installed and repainted quicker than traditional board and batten.

Really, the stylistic difference is the only notable feature when comparing lap siding with board and batten, and many people don’t actually consider it a disadvantage. Lap siding is a bit more common and subdued in style than board and batten, meaning it may not be as eye-catching. However, there are lots of people who prefer the simplicity of lap siding.

The Best Choice for Board and Batten or Lap Siding

There are certainly pros and cons to both lap siding and board and batten, but there’s one thing that should be clearly noted: the material choice will make the biggest difference in terms of cost, value, installation, and ongoing maintenance needs.

Homeowners can simplify things by selecting a more durable product, like TruLog siding. Built with the integrity of steel, but showcasing the beauty of wood-style designs, TruLog siding is a great way to win on looks, value, installation, and long-lasting performance. Homeowners can shop lap, board and batten, and many other siding styles in a gorgeous range of colors, all with the confidence of knowing they’ll have a heavy-duty material that maintains its form.

Contact TruLog today to discover all the beautiful yet durable lap siding and board and batten styles available.

Newsletter Signup

TruLog Product Catalog

In our free catalog, you will learn about the benefits of TruLog’s™ Steel Siding