Is the Origin window the best aluminium window?

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Nick Dardalis

Are Origin windows good since their launch in 2015, with an additional slimmer window in the range and even more new aluminium casement windows on the market today? Overall the Origin aluminium window remains an excellent choice for many good reasons.

Brilliantly made, some of the best colour options on the market and remains exclusive in only being made by one company and that’s Origin. Here’s an update on how Origin’s window stands with even more competition and customer choice available.

origin windows in a surrey house
Origin Window Installation by UK Windows of Surrey

You can read a review of Origin windows, but In this updated article, we revisit Origin and their aluminium windows offering.

Origin Windows are only made at the High Wycombe based Origin factory and available as a fully fabricated product to Origin Dealers or the trade. The technical specifications of the Origin window are impressive as are the design features.  But what can the Origin Twin Flush window really be compared against? Does it have a like for like competitor? We give some background information around the Origin Window.

Information about the Origin brand and products.

Taking the Origin bifolding door as an example we know from the traffic and enquiries to this website that a direct comparison is made between the Origin bifold and the Schuco bifold.  But don’t just take our word for this, one needs only to look at the many Origin dealers that offer both products in their showrooms. It seems fairly set in stone that when comparing two bifolding doors it’s Origin and Schuco. So what about the Origin Twin Flush Window?

Does the Origin Window have a direct competitor?

At the time this article was first written in 2016, only Origin had an aluminium flush casement window.  Today there are other options from Smart Systems with their Alitherm 500 product.  Stellar Aluminium Systems is brand new and also provides a very good flush casement product. In 2020 Aluk also came to the market with a flush casement version of their 58BW window suite.

Therefore, the aluminium window market needs to consider two sectors – the trade and the consumer. Obviously price comes into the equation for both sectors. The Origin aluminium window it should be stated is not the cheapest aluminium window in the marketplace, but Origin is not selling to the budget-conscious customer.

There are other aluminium systems that fall victim to cut pricing.  There are trade fabricators fighting for business in a growing aluminium market. Low pricing and heavy discounting are now becoming evident in the aluminium sector – something that has been prevalent in the PVCu window market for many years. Trade fabricators and installers that buy-in fabricated windows make a choice in what is their target market.

We have the trade press advertising trade suppliers offering cut-price windows and bifolding doors for those that want cheap aluminium windows. There are also fabricators set up to serve the higher end market where quality is far more important than price. The Origin window is not offered as a cut-price window.

Origin offers a window that is unlike any aluminium systems on the market.  The most common windows found in double glazing showrooms all over the UK are typically AluK, SAPA, Smarts, Schuco, Reynaers. These are the products that today serve the vast majority of the domestic window market.

All these long-established aluminium systems companies offer a range of windows that are actually more versatile than the Origin window. This is because they offer a choice or outer frames such as slimline, extended leg, profiled or flat. They also offer a choice of vent section such as slimline, profiled, flat or heavy-duty.  There’s a further choice of mullion sections, ancillary profiles and adaptors to integrate their windows with curtain walling, cladding or their other systems.

However, in 2016, none of the established aluminium systems has the aesthetics or design of the Origin Window. In 2020, there are other brands.

aluminium window in a bedroom
Origin offer a quality and unique flush casement window. But what an it be compared to?

Origin Window Aesthetics and Design.

The flush casement arrangement of the Origin aluminium window is what sets it apart from the traditional aluminium window design. Windows traditionally feature the vent section overlapping the frame. Not only does this aid weather performance but it also creates a tight seal.

The Origin window has a flush casement on both the inside and outside faces. In order to achieve the weathertight seal, a series of legs and upstands on the outer frame and vent section make this possible. These sections act as rebates when the vent closes onto the frame. They are further enhanced by a bubble gasket on the inside leg of the outer frame that meets the extended leg of the vent section.

On the outside of the window, a 5mm upstand exists on the outer frame that the leg on the front of the sash will close up against. This Detail exists all round and helps to create a weather-tight window.

Should the Origin Window be compared to the Luxury PVCu brands instead?

residence 9 window in a cottage.
In the absence of a flush casement aluminium window, is a competitor the Residence 9?

At the high quality end of the PVCu market are Residence 9 and the Liniar Flush sash window. Both these products are excellent in their quality and design and also feature a flush sash arrangement on the outside only.  In our view, the Residence 9 is the better window of the two.  

There is, of course, the obvious difference between the materials themselves and how aluminium windows are made compared to PVCu.

As no other aluminium window offers the flush casement arrangement found in traditional windows should we, therefore, compare this to PVCu? It’s the PVCu windows that have a similar flush sash detail.  But if we compare both windows the differences in their flush casement arrangement, the design differences are clear to see.

Both the Liniar Flush Sash Window and the Residence 9 luxury window offer a flush casement arrangement on the outside only.

The frame detailing on these well-engineered PVCu windows offer a rebated sash on the inside. Weathering on these is achieved with a combination of design, frame rebates and quality gaskets. The back of the frame features an upwards sloping rebate. Unlike the Origin Window this is designed to stop any water ingress from the outside should any water get past the gaskets.

Both designs of windows are good, but the Origin window shows how much more advanced it is in its design as it does not rely on this traditional arrangement of sealing a window whilst providing a flush sash on the outside. Arguably it’s only a matter of time before the Origin design could be replicated on future PVCu and aluminium windows to offer the flush casement arrangement on the inside.  

This remains to be seen given the phenomenal growth of Residence 9 since it’s launch in 2012. Therefore for a consumer that definitely wants a flush casement window they have a choice in PVCu and only one option in aluminium with the Origin window.

Sightlines for the Origin Twin Flush Aluminium Window.

The Origin aluminium window is not the slimmest aluminium window on the market when taking into consideration the frame to vent detailing. However it has not been designed as a window to replicate the lines of old metal or Crittall windows. It’s also fair to mention that other aluminium systems don’t offer the twin flush arrangement which obviously has a bearing on the overall frame sizes.

  • Frame Depth 80mm
  • Frame and sash sightline 88mm
  • Mullion and sash sightline 145mm with vent both sides.

If we compare the Origin Window to other aluminium systems in the marketplace the sight line differences are evident.

SAPA Crown 75mm system.

The SAPA Crown casement window offers:

  • Frame Depth 75mm
  • Frame and sash sightline 75mm
  • Mullion and sash sightline 103mm with vent both sides.

Smarts Alitherm 800 series window.

The Smart Systems Alitherm 800 window offers

  • Frame Depth 70mm
  • Frame and sash sightline 73mm
  • Mullion and sash sightline 112mm with vent both sides.

The above dimensions would vary depending on the frame, mullion and sash options chosen for the SAPA or Smarts windows as a number of frame and vent options are available. Origin only offer one set of profiles.

Residence 9 PVCu window.

As the Origin window only has flush casement competition from the PVCu sector it’s also useful to consider the sight lines with a Residence 9 window.

The Residence 9 window offers

  • Frame Depth 100mm
  • Frame and sash sightline 112mm
  • Mullion and sash sightline 168mm with vent both sides.

The Origin Twin Flush window has no direct competition.

It’s difficult to ‘road test’ a window unless there are like-for-like aluminium window alternatives and in our professional option there aren’t. Origin as a company has had several industry firsts in all the time they’ve been trading and offering fabricated products to their dealers.

The industry-leading 20-year guarantee, the Origin lead times and the way their products are provided to the trade really have no competition. Origin offer colour matched handles to their windows that few can. The Origin vents domestically at least can be made larger than all PVCu systems and the majority of aluminium systems without using a heavy-duty sash.

It’s also worth mentioning how Origin Windows are supplied and that is only by Origin themselves. This is different to other brands made by a network of fabricators, all separate and different businesses.  It is up to the consumer to decide if an exclusively made window only by obne company is a good selling proposition for them.

However, those of us in the trade know that there are good and bad fabricators all over the UK. Established and hugely successful trade fabricators such as Duration Windows, CDW Systems, Affordable Windows and others prove that buying bar length and accessories from systems companies and setting up to manufacture and supply the trade and the window installer is a successful business model. 

Things do go wrong in manufacturing and especially when you’re dealing with special colour aluminium windows. The trade wants errors to be corrected quickly so they can install and get paid. The consumer wants to see a fast resolution to mistakes with their windows as well.

Is the Origin Window the best aluminium window?

aluminium windows in suburban home.
The Origin window has no direct competitor for the residential window market.

The Origin window is very well made with the excellent design although its sightlines are thicker than other products on the market.  We also say frequently throughout this website that there is no ‘best’ product.  

Price,  specification, functionality and other factors all mean different things to different people. Modern aluminium window systems today all meet or exceed industry standards, are secure, weather-resistant and offer the required window energy ratings.

On this basis what is the best system? Design and engineering is all well and good and helps create a quality brand as is the case with Origin. Some will also hold the view that clever design can often be a hidden feature that the average homeowner won’t always be aware of or be told about and probably never see it.

Our view is that window aesthetics and service has a huge part to play in what consumers want to buy and what installers like to sell. Origin have a massively loyal dealer base and strive to look after it. In our work with window manufacturers and installers based all over the UK we have yet to hear negative feedback about how Origin serve their dealers.

We rarely here about bad service. Compare this to feedback from manufacturers that complain about inconsistent service from systems companies. Examples include low stock, lack of available painted material and other complaints. This demonstrates the reality of the aluminium supply chain and systems companies sometimes failing to react to customer demand throughout the supply chain. This is something Origin has managed to avoid falling victim to in their business model.

Therefore the Origin window is a very appealing proposition for consumers that that love its aesthetics and the trade that enjoy the always reliable service that they get selling Origin products. The Origin window aesthetics or sightlines may not appeal to everyone. It’s also not the cheapest.

Conclusion and summary

Origin now offers two versions in their range of aluminium windows. There is the new OW-70 slimline window in addition to the twin-flush window, now called the OW-80.  You also have other flush casement windows on the market to consider.