If you're looking into ways to boost the exterior of your home, particularly when it comes to modernizing it, then belly band siding may just be the right choice. By adding belly band siding to your home, you'll be adding both traditional and cost-effective details to your home that could truly personalize your home.
Belly band boards (also known as beauty boards) are simply beautiful and intricate. From a performance and an aesthetic standpoint, they're wonderful for curb appeal and can truly add that little extra something that you may be looking for in house siding.
So, what exactly is belly band siding, and is it right for your home? Keep reading on to find out more!
What is belly band siding?
Commonly known as "beauty boards," the belly band siding is the decorative cladding that runs horizontally on the house. The decorative trimming runs around the building and tends to be the height of the first floor, but sometimes homeowners will opt for the second floor instead. It's traditionally Hardie plank.
Does belly band trim protect the home?
There are two different types of belly bands: structural and decorative. When it comes to decorative belly bands, this will not protect the home. In fact, when it comes to this siding, water can easily get behind, which is why flashing and barriers must be installed.
What's the difference between structural and decorative belly bands?
Since there are two different types of belly band siding, there are some differences between both. When it comes to decorative belly band siding, it lacks any protective cladding. It's only installed on modern houses for nothing more than aesthetic purposes. It's meant to draw the eyes around the windows or around the gable trim at the top. This can enhance the appearance of a home, but that's all there is to it.
A structural belly band, on the other hand, is used for practical purposes. This type of belly band siding means to seal and support the bottom section of a wall. While decorative belly hand or only horizontal, structural belly bands are typically vertical (but can be horizontal too). It's meant to protect the home from exposure to the elements, such as weather. Plus, the structural belly band siding is known as the "band board."
Where to use belly band siding
Have you heard of too much of a good thing? Sometimes, it's true, and this is especially apparent when it comes to belly band siding. While it can make the exterior of a home look marvelous, if it's overdone, it can cheapen the appearance instead. These are often used for large houses or apartments, as it's meant to serve areas where the material breaks between floors. These are meant to separate standard lap from shake; overall, it's meant to unify two boards.
Belly band siding materials
Since belly bands are siding, you can count on this coming in different materials. Each of these materials not only provides its own appearance, which could be used for homes but can impact the protection of the home as well.
Primed white wood
While primed white wood once had a reputation for easily rotting (which is true), the issue isn't so bad anymore. It's all going to depend on the brand itself. The brand Belco and their XT Trim is a prime example of belly band siding that offers beautiful wood without the stress of rot and decay. While each brand varies in warranty, Belco offers 20 years; even classic cedar wood can't make it that long!
While fiber cement siding is one of the more highly used sidings for homes, it's actually common for trim material too. Fiber cement trim for belly bands gives this unity within the design, which makes it a very attractive option. There are some pros and cons to using fiber cement for your belly board. For instance, it's 60% heavier than wood, meaning that installation costs are more expensive. Plus, for large buildings, those that are over 12 feet long, it means more areas that need to be caulked, which still means there is a risk for water damage.
Engineered wood for belly band siding is common; it's lighter in weight, meaning it's faster and cheaper to get installed. Plus, since engineered wood can reach as long as 16 feet, it means less caulking is needed. While there are benefits to engineered wood, there are some downsides to it as well. Since this is wood, it is vulnerable to water and other harsh elements, such as extreme heat. Wood swells, which means that engineered wood will never be able to revert back to its original state.
Considered to be the most traditional material for belly band siding, there's something classic about cedar. It's naturally resistant to decay, and the installation is a breeze compared to fiber cement or engineered wood. Plus, cedar is beautiful, so this trim is one of the best for enhancing the aesthetics of a house. However, cedar is very expensive and oftentimes can be challenging to afford. On top of that, it's not exactly eco-friendly, and it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find.
3 Benefits of belly band siding
Are there any benefits to belly band siding? Absolutely! Here are some of the benefits that you can expect if you choose to get this for your home.
Depending on the material you choose, you can expect it to be very low maintenance. Primed white wood isn't exactly low maintenance, but other options, such as cedar and fiber cement, are.
Adds a unique touch to the exterior of your home
Who wants to live in a house that's cookie-cutter when you can design something that's unique and true to you? Belly bands are a wonderful way to add that unique touch to a home without needing to make any drastic changes.
Overall, one of the main points of belly band siding is to enhance the aesthetics of the home, and it certainly does the job! Both decorative belly bands and structural belly bands can add that extra touch that you need to truly make the exterior of your home look grand!
Are belly bands worth it?
In the end, it's going to be up to you to decide if a belly band will suit your home. These lovely trims can truly add up and can bring something truly marvelous to a house! So, if you're looking for a way to add a small touch to your home or even trying to find a way to draw the eyes to the windows, then a belly band could be the right option! This is a great way to change your house without too many changes or without the high costs!