There are many decisions to make when designing your new detached garage. Aesthetically, matching the siding of your home to your new structure is usually top of the list.

Vinyl and fiber-cement siding are the most common options for homeowners to choose; both of which have come a long way in color choices and quality.

When making the decision between the two, it is important to consider the different features of each: durability, maintenance, and cost.

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding is made up of a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers to create a wood-like finish. Most often available pre-painted or stained, this siding can be painted to any color of choice.

Durability: Being made of cementlike material, this siding is more prone to chipping and cracking over time and is hard to the touch.  Unable to withstand higher winds, it can however, stand up to mild hail.

The warranty on fiber-siding averages 30 years between the manufacturers.

Maintenance: The maintenance of fiber-cement can be rather time consuming. To ensure that the appearance of the siding remains colorful and pleasing, regular caulking will be necessary as well as repainting to maintain the color you desire. Cleaning the fiber-cement siding can be done with a hose, on a regular basis.

If planks of the fiber-cement need to be replaced a contractor will potentially need to be contacted to replace and repair the damaged planks.

Cost: Purchased in long plank boards or staggered shingles, fiber-cement siding costs approximately $10 a square foot to install. As the quality of the planks increase, so will the cost.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is made of PVC, a material that can expand and contract as temperatures changes. While vinyl siding has come a long way, it is still limited by color choices based on the manufacturer.

Durability: Due to its ability to expand and contract, vinyl siding can stand up to water damage and will not crack and chip due to weather. If not insulated, however, the hallow space between the siding and wall is more susceptible to impact damage, such as hail.

Vinyl siding can also handle higher wind, making it an ideal solution to areas that experience a greater number of storms.

While fiber-cement is typically warrantied for 30 years, vinyl warranties vary between 25-40 years.

Maintenance: Vinyl siding requires an annual cleaning with a hose or pressure washer to maintain its appearance. Replaced more easily, this option does not require a contractor to repair or replace a piece of siding.

Cost: Basic non-insulated vinyl siding can cost anywhere between $5.50-$7.50 per square foot to install. Premium siding with insulation can average anywhere between $7.50-$12.50 a square foot.

While there are many options on the market today, it is important to consider your needs and over all aesthetic design. Easier to maintain and install with a greater warranty, vinyl siding might be a “budget wise” choice. Where fiber-cement siding has better durability and curb appeal, the maintenance and cost may be a long-term deterrent.

Whatever you choose, Heartland Garage Builders will work with you to ensure that your siding needs are met.

If you are interested in a free consultation and estimate, contact Heartland Garage Builders at or 224-326-2698.