Horizontal House Clapboard Trim-Board Question


Hello:
Regarding those horizontal "trim boards" you sometimes see on the very bottom edge of a horizontal clapboarded house:
I guess they are put there to make a nice "finished" appearance.
Having new siding being put up on our typical 3 bedroom split.
Having trouble deciding if we want these boards, or not. Thought I'd ask -
Any opinions on ? Do most houses, when new siding is put up, use them ?
Do they collect water on the top edge, or is it just better to Not have them and allow the rain water to run off more easily ?
Also, I guess the most important question: Should flashing be used around (the top) of this board to prevent rain water from collecting, or seeping in, there ?
Thanks, B.
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Although in the past they may have served a function I'm not aware of, currently such boards are usually decorative. The exception might be in cases where you have to build out the siding to get an overhang over something below (like foundation insulation). Yes, they collect water and worse, provide a point of entry for water, so they need to be flashed. Most new houses don't use them, partly because vinyl and fiber cement don't really lend themselves to fancy trim details. Unless you really have a look in mind, just run your siding right down to the bottom.
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