Cladding battens

28 May 2013
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United Kingdom
I have constructed a timber frame wall to become a utility room, currently the outer face is marine ply. I will place a breathable membrane on this then treated battens to which I am attaching horizontal upvc cladding.
My question is should I place a top and bottom batten horizontally as well as the vertical ones and if so will they need holes in to allow any moisture to escape / breath?
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I think as the cladding is not 100% air tight or if you fit it upside down the water would pour in so no definitely no more holes than absolutely necessary.
You should maintain an air cavity to allow moisture to evaporate, so you would not normally have a horizontal batten.

You should fit an insect screen at the bottom, and depending on the design at the top too

At the bottom, you need a proper drip detail to prevent water entering the bottom of the frame - a metal preformed flashing or lead which projects out from the frame and acts like a sort of sill. A minimum 15mm continuous gap should be maintained at the bottom

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