Frieze Board: A Complete Guide For Homeowners

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When it comes to perfecting the exterior of your home, the beauty is often found in the details. Frieze board trim can often go overlooked during the design process, but it’s a fine and critical detail that actually makes a big difference in the overall appearance and performance of a home’s exterior.

There are many uses for frieze board trim, which allows homeowners to approach this building material with creativity. Regardless of how experimental you tend to be in home construction projects, choosing the right frieze board materials and installing it correctly are essential to getting the most out of this building element.

Take a look at some of the options available when choosing frieze board, how to install it correctly, and the repair and maintenance involved when using frieze board on your home’s exterior.

What Is A Frieze Board?

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Frieze board is a type of trim that is available in strips. Offered in a variety of materials and styles, these strips are used as a way to finish and beautify seams and corners on the exterior of a home. One of the most typical applications of frieze board is along the seam where soffit and siding meet. Instead of having the two materials meet edge to edge, frieze board serves as a way to bring these two edges together with a more secure finish, offering better stability and protection while also providing a much more attractive appearance.

While this is one of the most common applications of frieze board, this type of trim can also be used for another reason: style and detailing. Frieze board trim is available in many designs, from super basic and streamlined to more decorative and ornate. Homeowners have realized that frieze board trim looks great in many other areas of the home – inside and out! Not only does frieze board serve as a practical tool, but it is also used as a decorative element.

Why Is Frieze Board Important?

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Though it may be tiny compared to the rest of the home’s construction, frieze board trim has a very important role in a home’s exterior. In fact, frieze board plays double-duty, serving as a necessary finishing touch that protects vulnerable seams and as a decorative element that can add visual continuity, dimension, and a finished appearance to the overall look of a home.

Without frieze board, the exterior of a home can be left with gaps and seams that are unprotected against external threats, including rain, rodents, wasps, and more. Having frieze board correctly installed in these areas – especially between the soffit and siding – can help protect the siding from exposure to excess moisture buildup, which can eventually lead to mold, in addition to causing siding panels to warp, rot, or crumble over time.

Choosing the Right Frieze Board Materials

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While many first-time homeowners assume that frieze board trim is only available in cedar or other wood-based trims, there are actually many other materials that are now used for frieze board. In addition to classic wood options, some newer innovations include engineered wood or wood that has been specifically treated to perform more dependably and hold up over time. Aluminum and fiber cement frieze board are additional options that are now commonly available.

When selecting the right frieze board, consider how the look will integrate with the rest of the home’s aesthetic and how much maintenance and/or repair you’re comfortable committing to. Some building materials, like fiber cement, are stronger than classic options, like cedar, which can be susceptible to moisture, insect damage, and color fading. On the other hand, fiber cement will be a much heavier option that most likely requires a bigger investment and specialized installation.

Finding a Good Frieze Board Trim

There are many options available on the market today, so don’t rule out any frieze board types until you’ve fully researched the requirements, cost, maintenance expectations, and durability. Be sure to ask the companies specific questions, such as:

·       How many years will this frieze board trim last?

·       What is the cost and process of installation?

·       Is this material susceptible to water, sun, or insect damage?

·       Can this frieze board trim be painted?

·       Does this frieze board come with a warranty?

By asking direct questions, you’ll be able to measure up your favorite options based on concrete information.

How to Install Frieze Board

Frieze board is installed using a trim board hook as a starter strip. The trim board hook should be lined up flush with the edge near the seam and fixed firmly with a nail. Most frieze board trim is constructed with a small lip that will clip into the trim board hook easily and securely. For frieze board trim that exceeds four inches, a backer board is recommended.

Frieze Board Repair and Replacement

Depending on the material, sections of the frieze board may need to be replaced due to insect damage, warping, or rotting. While repair and replacement can be expected with wooden frieze board trim, it is much less common with stronger materials, like fiber cement and engineered wood. This should be taken into account when selecting a material type.

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