Where'd My Skirt Go?


Where to locate the skirt board? The skirt board (also called the belly band, band board, sometimes water table) is a wide horizontal trim detail that encircles a house and often separates two different styles of siding. For my workshop, I’m thinking of combining board & batten and metal sheeting or shingles.

Judging by the photos and advice I’ve found online, there are several options for locating the skirt.

Here, the band is located ~4 feet high. Shingle over clapboard.

This band is located generally at the transition between first and second floor, but runs through the high windows on the first floor. Shingle over shingle.

Band here is same finish as upper floor. Clapboard over vertical standing-seam metal.

This one takes a jog from about 3-1/2' to ~4-1/2' high as it approaches the street-facing side. Panel over vinyl.

This band separates the two floors, but is raised to sill level on second floor. Shingle over board & batten.

Three different positions here. It is crosses the windows at left at about 2/3 their height, drops down through entryway, and bumps way up to the second floor window sill at right. Board & batten over shingle.

No skirt board used, but the break between siding styles occurs about 12" below the top of the door.

Break occurs at ceiling/floor location. Timberframe over brick.

Break is halfway up doors and low windows. Clapboard over cultured stone.

Half and half by order of some precious architect. Vertical wood over poured concrete. Check out the ultra narrow window at lower right. Can you say useless?

Siding break at the floor/ceiling level. Reclaimed vertical wood over clapboard.

Belly band located about 12" below top of windows and doors. A curious secondary band follows under the eaves and around the front. Shingle over clapboard.

Horizontal bands located at floor breaks and probably correspond to the dimensions of the sheathing.

Band set at top of the garage door trim and small windows around the side. Shingle over clapboard.

Band located to wrap around deck. Clapboard over block/clapboard.

Band located halfway up front door. Stucco over clapboard.

So, what did we learn? There are two pretty good options for locating the skirt board. One, put them at a height approximating the transition between one floor and the next. Two, locate the band at 2/3 to 3/4 the height of the windows and doors. Board & batten and shingles is a good looking combination.

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