Belly bands are an important part of modern housing. While largely decorative, horizontal cladding (a protective covering) is commonly used and makes an attractive addition to a house. It is also referred to as trim, banding or exterior cladding.
Belly Band Definition
A belly band is the nontechnical or informal term for decorative cladding that runs horizontally around a house or building. It usually runs around the building at about the height of the first or second floor.
Decorative Belly Bands
In modern houses and buildings, there is no structural reason for a belly band or protective cladding. Belly bands are installed on modern houses only for aesthetic reasons. They often draw the viewer's eye to the windows or gable trim.
Structual Belly Bands
When a belly band is used for practical reasons, it serves both to support and seal the bottom section of a wall that is partially clad. Belly bands are often used to cover the ends of vertical cladding, protecting it from weather exposure. A belly band is more commonly called a band board.
Belly Band Materials
Exterior trims like belly bands are usually made from wood or unplasticized polyvinyl chloride. While wood is less expensive, it does require quite a bit of maintenance, and tends to warp and rot. Vinyl is offered in many colors and is easy to install and maintain.