Board and batten shutters are one of the three most popular styles of exterior shutters. Simplistic in design, board and batten shutters can contribute to the appearance of most any building. The most common board and batten shutters add rustic charm to houses with a rough-sawn exterior. In contrast, board and batten shutters are can used on newer contemporary homes.
Exterior board and batten shutters have been used for years because they are relatively easy to construct and highly durable. Board and batten shutters are constructed using wide plank vertical board connected with horizontal cross members called battens. The vertical boards are positioned side-by-side and sized to create the desired width. The boards can be placed with no space between boards (closed weave), or with a gap of up to 1 inch between boards (open weave). Properly assembled, the boards extend the full length of the window.
Horizontal battens are placed on top of the boards. The most common configuration uses two battens, one near the top and one near the bottom. Occasionally the battens are located at the top and bottom of the shutter panel. However, most commonly the battens are spaced between 4 and 8 inches from the ends.
Board and batten shutters can be hinged to be functional. The exterior shutters would then swing open to the side of the window opening to allow access to the window. The shutters then can close for privacy, reduction of light, and security. Board and batten exterior shutters can even be used as hurricane shutters for effective storm protection. Unlike louvered shutters, board and batten shutters do not offer visibility through the panels or ventilation. Closed weave exterior shutters are solid, but open weave shutters may offer minimal versatility.
A multitude of patterns have been derived from the basic two batten shutter. Some styles incorporate three, four, or even five battens into a single panel. Other styles use diagonal battens to create a z-pattern shutter or x-pattern. Some shutters stagger the lengths of the boards resulting in a stair step appearance. The tops of board and batten shutters can also be rounded to create arch top shutters.
Shapes may be cutout from the panels to personalize the board and batten shutter. We have witnessed diamonds, fish, moons, sailboats, acorns, pine trees, pineapples, windmills, anchors, and flowers.
Wood is standard for the construction of board and batten shutters. Wood shutters can be operable or non-functional, and give the most authentic look and feel. Wood shutters need to be painted and maintained with care. Vinyl, while more plastic in appearance, require less routine attention once installed. Vinyl shutters can only be installed directly to the house or building, and cannot be functional.
Occasional misspellings include board and batton, board and baton, board on board, and board and baten.
Board and Batten Sources
ShutterLand Exterior Board & Batten Shutters – Solid cedar shutters
Ready Exterior Board & Batten Shutters – Vinyl shutters