We are soon to be installing the "skirt board"....sometimes called the apron board.... onto the Duncan House. Likely you know a lot more about this than me, as it was all new to me. The skirt board is the big, wide board at the very bottom of the house that helps deflect the rain water away from the bottom part of the house. I think most frame houses have skirt boards. See the board circled in red below.
When we came to that part of the restoration, we simply went to the building supply and purchased normal 'skirt boards' that are used today in conventional houses., and installed them at the bottom of the house, just as they were supposed to be. And, that was fine until my historic architect arrived for a review. Oooops....they were not what the doctor ordered and they had to come down!
In place of the conventional boards, we had to have a wood working company cut special boards.
The Company cut the boards to specs out of big cypress logs. The newly cut boards are a full 1" thick (vs 3/4") and a full 12" wide (vs normal 11.5") They are all over 16 feet in length. Each of these skirt boards has a 'beaded edge' at the bottom, which is called a 1" bead. You can see a deep grove cut the entire length of the bottom of the board, then, below the 'grove', the board is rounded so that the water rolls around and then falls off.
Then, another new thing I learned involves a drip edge "water table" that goes just above the skirt board. This, too, had to be made. The ones we had to have made are extremely large, measuring 3" tall and 3" from back to front, with a slope going from 1/2 to 2 1/4. This is the 'beefy' piece that you see just above the skirt board in the photo below. It's suppose to allow rain water to drip well away from the under-structure of the house or the bricks of the piers. Notice that the skirt board extends down and covers a couple of rows of bricks on the pillars, as well as covering all the ugly interior that is now exposed and visible.
All this....the skirt board and the drip edge, are designed to keep water out of the under structure of the old house.
I've been assured that all this work at the bottom of the house will really make it look great....that is of course when it's all finished and painted.
Thanks for your interest in the restoration of the old Duncan House.