When determining which contractor, and which material, for siding your home, compare the warranties. Coverage provided by the warranty is a good gauge of the quality and workmanship you can expect. Before going with any one brand however, it is a good idea to check for reviews regarding the manufacturer and product-line.
All contractors are required to cover the entire project for 1 year from install. After that, the manufacturer's warranty will kick-in. This is true for all warranties.
Most manufacturers will provide a basic 10 or 15 year warranty. Such warranties usually cover only the cost of materials and only in case of a defect, are pro-rated over the 15-year period, and will be void if not properly installed and maintained. It will not cover tear-off, trim, or any other parts or labor that will be necessary to repair or replace the siding. The materials and labor covered are often less than half of the total cost of installing new siding, and pro-rating will bring that coverage to 50% of that, after about 7 years.
This warranty rarely covers more than manufacturer defects, and is voided by faulty installation. Again, most contractors will only cover faulty installation for the 1-year period required by law. This means that if they put a nail in the wrong spot, and you get a leak, or find a crack or warping, 14 months later, you'll be paying out of pocket, and probably quickly finding more problems.
Many manufacturers will offer a longer term warranty for most of their products, covering 25, 30, or 50 year periods. Like the Basic warranty, the first year is covered by the contractor. Most such warranties include a full repair/replace period, where the manufacturer will take care of everything. That means they'll select and hire the contractor, and repair or replace what's needed, after an inspection finds a materials defect. They then usually prorate for the remainder of the coverage.
This is the most common warranty provided for quality siding products, and it can be hard to get much better coverage.
Even if the material provides such coverage, it is important to make sure you select the right contractor to get the installation taken care of. Most siding with this kind of coverage is designed for climate in specific regions, and for home exteriors of a certain size and construction. If any of the design specs don't match up, or the installation doesn't follow every one of the manufacturer's guidelines, the warranty will be void.
Only a very small number of manufacturers can provide full-coverage warranties. Such coverage is often rare enough, that many homeowners are surprised to learn it even exists. These manufactures can provide warranties which cover the entire cost of the replacing the siding for the entire life of the siding material. Specific product lines, installed only by contractors certified and vetted through the manufacturer, can come with 30-Year, transferable, unlimited, 100% coverage of initial cost.
This kind of coverage means that even if the contractor screwed up in 2005, you bought your home in 2007, and it started leaking in 2025, the homeowner doesn't pay a dime. Trust and security like that can be a big selling point to prospective buyers in the future, and peace of mind for anyone owning the home.
Many manufacturers come close to this ideal, offering 5 or 10 year full-coverage, and 50 year prorated coverage of materials. The only manufacturer we're aware of that can provide full-coverage for 30-Years, for all costs, is Hardy. It might be worth giving them a look.