Fiber Cement Siding for Garage: Is It Worth It?

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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding?

Have you been toying with the idea of using Fiber Cement Siding on your detached garage? Fiber Cement Siding is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers to create a strong and durable material. Before you go ahead you need to ask what are the advantages and disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding?

In a nutshell the key advantages and disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding for a detached garage are:

AdvantagesDisadvantages
1DURABLE:
Resistant to rot, pests, and extreme weather.
EXPENSIVE:
More expensive than other types of siding.
2FIREPROOF:
Non-combustible (a safety advantage in a garage where flammable materials are stored).
DIFFICULT TO INSTALL:
Heavy & requires specialized tools and training for installation.
3LOW MAINTENANCE:
Low maintenance. Just needs regular cleaning & minor repairs.
INSTALLATION IS COSTLY:
Delivery & labor costs, due to higher weight, push up the installation cost substantially.
4FINISHING OPTIONS:
A range of finishing options so that you can make your garage pretty unique.
POOR INSULATION:
Lower insulation ratings when compared to wood.
5INCREASES HOME VALUE:
Can increase the value of a home and may qualify for energy-efficient building incentives.

For a clearer understanding of advantages and disadvantages of Fiber Cement Siding for a detached garage let me get into more details.

Advantages of Using Fiber Cement Siding for a Detached Garage

Durability

Fiber cement siding is a highly durable material that is resistant to rot, pests, and extreme weather conditions such as hail and high winds. Fiber cement siding can last for up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

Fiber cement siding is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, which are combined to create a strong and durable material. The cellulose fibers provide strength and resistance to cracking, while the cement and sand provide durability and resistance to weathering.

Non-combustible

Fiber cement siding is non-combustible. It does not burn or contribute to the spread of fire. This makes fiber cement siding a safe choice for a detached garage. 

A detached garage is considered to have a high risk of fire as many flammable materials, such as gasoline, paints and cleaning solvents are stored there.

Fiber cement siding is non-combustible because it is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. Cement and sand are non-flammable materials, and the cellulose fibers used in fiber cement siding are treated with a fire-resistant chemical. 

As a result fiber cement siding can withstand high temperatures without catching fire.

Low Maintenance

Fiber cement siding is low-maintenance. It only requires regular cleaning and some basic care.

  1. Inspect the siding regularly for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or loose areas. Repair any damaged areas as needed.
  2. Clean the siding periodically with a mild detergent solution and a soft brush.
  3. Check the caulking around the edges of the siding and windows and replace if necessary.
  4. Touch up any chipped or peeling paint.
  5. Avoid using high-pressure power washers, as these can damage the siding.

Finishing Options

Fiber cement siding offers a range of finishing options for those who want their garage to stand out and look unique. You can choose between:

  • Unpainted or Pre-Primed, and then paint it in the color of your choice
  • Factory Painted in a range of attractive solid colors
  • Factory Painted on Textured Finish for a natural wood-like or stone-like appearance

Need color & finishing ideas for fiber cement siding for your garage? Check out Legacy Pre-Finishing. Here is an example of their work.

Fiber Cement Siding for Garage
PHOTO CREDIT: Legacy Pre-Finishing

Increases Home Value

The combination of durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal makes fiber cement siding a valuable addition to your garage and home, increasing its value and appeal to potential buyers.

Fiber cement siding is certainly not the cheapest option, but it is cheaper than some other more expensive materials, such as wood or brick. It is an economical choice for homeowners looking to improve the value of their home.

Disadvantages of Using Fiber Cement Siding for a Detached Garage

Expensive

To be honest fiber cement siding is not the most affordable option. Vinyl siding is the most affordable & popular option for detached garages. Prices start at around $3 per square foot. Vinyl siding is lightweight, flexible, easy to install and requires minimal maintenance.

Relatively speaking fiber cement siding is expensive and price is in the $4 – $5 range. The final cost goes up to $8 – $12 because of significantly high delivery & installation costs. More on this in the next section.

In its defense, though, fiber cement siding will last three times longer than vinyl siding. The cost becomes more acceptable if you consider cost per year rather than just the initial cost. 

Difficult to Install

Fiber cement siding is more difficult to install compared to some other types of siding, such as vinyl, due to its weight and the specialized tools and techniques required for installation.

The average weight of fiber cement siding is about 2 ½ – 3 pounds per sq. ft. compared to ½ – ¾ pounds per sq. ft. for vinyl siding. The much higher weight increases handling and installation difficulty. 

Fiber cement siding also requires the use of special cutting tools, such as a circular saw with a carbide-tipped blade, to prevent chipping and breakage.

Installation is Costly

While installing vinyl siding is a DIY project, installing fiber cement siding is not. It usually requires to be installed by professionals who are trained in the proper techniques and have experience working with the material. 

This is because it requires precise measurements & cuts and correct installation procedures.  Fiber cement siding must be properly secured and sealed. 

Handling and professional installation of fiber cement siding is often more expensive than the material cost.

Poor Insulation

Fiber cement siding is a dense, solid material that does not have any inherent insulation properties. Wood siding, on the other hand, has better insulation properties.

If you are concerned about keeping your detached garage warm in the winter, you will need to add insulation to your garage walls. Insulation will help reduce heat loss and improve the energy efficiency of the garage.

Bottom Line

There are 7 popular siding options for a detached garage. The bottom line is that fiber cement siding for a detached garage is worth it as the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Even though the initial cost of installation is high, fiber cement shield is quite economical over its lifespan.

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.

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