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Starter course cedar shingling...

 This may be in this forum but having a hard time searching, so forgive me if I am repeating.

I am going to be reshingling my house w/ cedar shingles, weaving the edges. 

On my way to work I watched a high end contracting company put cedar shingles on the exterior walls of their business.   First they did the weaved edges and they used 2 shingles at the bottom as is traditionally done. Then instead of a starter course on the rest of the wall, they put up what looked like a 4"-5" clapboard where the "starter course" of shingles would normally be connecting the weaved ends & I think put shingles on top of this board.  I am not sure if this was just to produce a slight flare at the bottom or if this was used to replace the starter course so I went up to the building and tried to determine how many layers there were at the start of the shingles.  When I reached under it felt like the first course of shingles was applied maybe a 1/4- 3/8 inch below the board and the board served as the starter course.  It did not feel thick enough to have a clapboard and 2 layers of shingles and it wasn't overly flared at the bottom. 

Is this an accepted method now? What are the pros, cons of this method?  Would the water get trapped at the top of the clapboard? Am I just better off doing the traditional 2 layers of shingles to start?

Thanks so much... I just want to do this right the first time and I am not sure if methods have changed.


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