Curb Appeal4 min

Board and Batten Siding Style Transforms the 2020 This Old House Idea House

The modern farmhouse trend is hard to miss. For many homeowners, TV renovation shows have put this style on their must-have design lists. With features including shiplap walls, board and batten style siding, exposed wood beams and other barn elements, modern farmhouses provide a cozy, clean twist on a historic aesthetic. 

Since 2015, the This Old House Idea House has been inspiring homeowners with new design ideas and innovative products through a unique concept house. For its sixth annual Idea House, This Old House capitalized on the popular modern farmhouse design trend by utilizing LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products to bring the project to life.

A Distinctive Take on a Modern Trend 

The 2020 Idea House is a 3,700 sq. ft. home in Norwalk, Connecticut, overlooking the Long Island Sound, including stunning architectural features like vaulted ceilings, a covered porch and patio with an outdoor kitchen, a plunge pool and more. The home’s exterior features board and batten style siding and an attached barn-style portion clad in traditional cedar. Instead of the typical white modern farmhouse style siding, the Idea House features a deep brown color alongside black windows to create a rustic aesthetic.

The project was led by builder (and homeowner of the 2020 Idea House) Jerry Effren of Greyrock Companies, whose small, family-owned company has been in the industry for 40 years. While the home was designed after historic farmhouses, Effren kept recent trends in mind when he put together plans for the 2020 Idea House.

“We wanted the barn to stand out and look as if we’d found it and renovated it into a more contemporary structure,” Effren says. With the barn as the focal point of the home, the rest of the structure was built around it. To complete the farmhouse look, Effren says, “Board and batten was architecturally appropriate for what we were trying to achieve.”

Completing the Look with LP SmartSide Trim & Siding

Photo Credit: Xpress Rendering

Not only did LP SmartSide products fit the modern farmhouse style, they were flexible enough to be customized to the home’s exact needs. Effren worked with LP to get the products required to execute the build. “Battens can often complicate the soffit installation,” he explains, but LP was there to help. “They have plenty of different sizes and products to assemble the trim package we needed.”

The longer lengths of LP SmartSide products also helped complete the board and batten look, especially at the home’s gables. Thinking back, Effren notes, “The product came in 16-foot lengths, which really helps on the gable end of the house so there isn’t a seam.” Fewer seams often mean a cleaner look on the home overall, which makes LP SmartSide products a great choice for creating a crisp farmhouse look.

Engineered for Durability and Quality

Known for efficiency, Effren chooses premium products for his builds that reflect his dedication to getting the job done well. Throughout the Idea House project, Effren appreciated LP SmartSide products’ engineered design. “It’s important these days, with concerns about humidity, mold and pests, that the technical side of these products is well examined. Whenever you have an engineered product, every aspect of it is very well thought through,” he mentions. “It takes the guesswork out of it.”

Engineered not only to work well together but also to stand up to the elements (including resisting moisture issues in the coastal environment), Effren says by using LP SmartSide Trim & Siding he has peace of mind that the product will last far beyond the initial finishing of the home.

Effren sums it up simply: “It’s an easy maintenance, efficient, engineered product that looks great.” 

Inspired for More Siding Design Ideas 

After building the 2020 Idea House in a modern farmhouse style, Effren looks forward to using LP SmartSide products on future builds. As the Idea House took shape it was easy for his installers to learn how to install siding in a board and batten look, making the process seamless. Effren believes customers will be requesting to replicate the 2020 Idea House aesthetic with LP SmartSide products after they see it. 

To see the 2020 Idea House in action, tune in to This Old House this fall. Check your local listings, and stay up-to-date on the project’s progress here. In the meantime, read how LP SmartSide products helped modernize an 1840s Greek Revival in New Canaan, Connecticut, for the 2019 Idea House here.

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