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Irregularly spaced studs

kevinjm4 | Posted in General Questions on

I’m doing board and batten siding using 5/16” 4×8 sheets of hardiepanel and primed whitewood battens. So not the conventional/classic way of B and B when you use 10”-12” wide boards. I thought this method sounded a lot easier simpler cheaper and faster.

heres what I’m running into:
its my understanding my furring strips need to land on studs, and that wherever I fasten my panel the screws are to go through furring, and subsequently the stud as well. And no fastener shall go through board, miss furring, then go through sheathing as this will create waves in my wall…

but if I want evenly spaced battens, say 10”OC or 12”OC, neither really work at consistently finding a stud (it is my intention to use the battens to cover screws). Once in a while I’ll land on a stud, but not that often. All the interior walls perpendicular to the sheathing have been moved to change the interior bedroom layout, there are new windows in those new bedrooms, so my stud layout is very inconsistent, not nice and neat 16”OC. And the other three walls on this house are 24” oc studs, as this was an addition. I’m not too concerned about that now though unless I should be…

should I just try and catch as many studs as possible, and then on the other areas rely on 3/4” furring + 1/2” sheathing to hold up the rest?

I have not laid out furring yet.

wind is about 40mph in my area. 

is there anything that can be done to help my situation? Is board and batten just not the way to go here? We really wanted to make this work. 

thank you.

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  1. Expert Member


    I can't speak to your code, but ours allows the battens to be fastened to plywood sheathing as long as it is 1/2" or thicker. That's how it's done on every house in BC, and from a practical point of view I can attest that battens air-nailed with ring-shank nails aren't going anywhere. The only problem I can see is the manufacturer's warranty, which may preclude this method of installation.

    A house I built two summers ago had Hardi panels and battens. The only difficulty I encountered was getting a siding gun to drive through that much cement board without bending the nails. I ended up pre-drilling the battens.

    it's worth remembering that a lot of the c0ncern with fastening battens and siding is around their stability over foam.

    1. kevinjm4 | | #2

      When you said “I can't speak to your code, but ours allows the battens to be fastened to plywood sheathing as long as it is 1/2" or thicker.” - did you mean to say furring?

      I’m in king county, WA (4c) so probably similar code. I will be using Simpson fiber cement screws for the boards.

      And I’m not as concerned about the battens going anywhere, more about the panels, if they are attached to 3/4” furring, 1/2” plywood, but no stud.

      There is no rigid foam in this install.


      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


        The error was mine - I did mean furring not battens. Put your furring at whatever spacing the battens will be. If you miss studs it makes no material difference.

        That having been said, the majority of siding installations here that use Hardi-panels are rectangular with metal trim on all sides. These leave the screws fastening the panels exposed, and they don't look bad or cause any problem. My own preference would be to line everything up so they are covered, but I wouldn't sweat doing it either way.

    2. kevinjm4 | | #3

      Perhaps my explanation was a little bit confusing. I can see why you thought I was more concerned over the battens.

      The battens will just simply fall wherever the screws are. At least that’s what I want to do so I can easily cover the screws..

      So the most basic way to ask my question is this - if I want my battens spaces at 12”oc, but my studs are 16”oc, then only some of the time will my batten hit a stud which will also leave vertical rows of screws uncovered as well on the board.

      Hypothetical example: first 4x8 is hung and vertical row of screws are at 1”, 16”, 32”, 47” something like that. But my battens, spaced at 12”oc would only hit the first and last row of screws. (They’d hit 1”, 12”, 24” 36” 47”) I suppose I could space my battens to 16”oc, but that brings me back to my original post, which was about how my studs are not neat and tidy 16oc all the way across.

      So my original question is this - can I attach boards, using screws, sometimes NOT landing on a stud (for the purpose of maintaining consistent even spacing of battens). I don’t think this is a good idea, is there any remedy to this. Unless it really is perfectly ok - 3/4” furring and 1/2” sheathing behind every vertical row of screws - w/ or w/o a stud.

      1. Expert Member
        Akos | | #5


        There is a fastener schedule for attaching to sheathing:

        Check if it meets your local building code.

  2. tommay | | #6

    You should be able to hit 75-90% of your screws to studs so I wouldn't be to concerned. Using additional construction adhesive on the panels and joints may help ease your worries.

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