The Origin OB-49 bifolding door review

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Nick Dardalis

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The original Origin bifolding door, now called the OB-72 has remained one of the best-selling and best-known folding sliding doors on the market.  The OB-49 is the slimmer offering available from Origin with fantastic styling, product quality and even thinner at the all-important door mullions.  We carry out a full Origin OB-49 bifolding door review, telling you everything you need to know about this latest folding sliding door.

Origin OB-49 Bifolding Door
doors with toplight

With its 110mm middle mullions, Origin OB-49 bifolding doors are some of the slimmest you can buy, with the added benefit of creating matching single and double doors. The renowned Origin product quality, fast lead times and brilliant colour and hardware options make this bifold a great buy.

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Pros

  • Only made by Origin
  • 110mm mullion sightlines
  • Premium and Deluxe handle options
  • Widely available nationwide

Cons

  • Needs triple glazing for low U-Values
  • Better bifolds available in the steel look

Origin OB-49 bifolding door review.

origin ob-49 bifolding door in new home

Introduced in 2019, the Origin OB-49 bifolding door, is sleek, slim, very attractive and has all the fantastic quality, functionality and desirability of the thicker, classically styled original OB-72 model. Origin’s manufacturing quality, lead times, marketing and brand reputation brings together a modern bifolding door with some of the slimmest mullion dimensions and a contemporary overall styling.

Despite being a thicker profile, the OB-72 remains available, and there are many valid reasons to consider it still, one of which being its matching front door, garage doors and open corner design the OB-49 doesn’t offer.  The OB-72 also offers natural oak and golden oak woodgrain finishes, again something not available with the Origin OB-49 bifolding door.

The Origin bifold remains one of the best folding sliding door propositions for replacement or new build projects with both doors having the same high quality hardware, smooth-glide action, incredible personalisation options and the legendary Origin customer service.

Some of the best bifolding doors on the market have remained unchanged over the years. The Schuco ASS70, Reynaers folding doors, Centor, Solarlux and others all continue to offer great propositions for a new folding door in the home.  Sunflex has the mid-range SF55 model, which is another excellent proposition, made in Germany and also high-tech and slim.  However, the market has changed when it comes to new patio doors for the home.  Sliding doors are back and as popular as a bifold.  Steel replacement systems are very on-trend.  So what does the new Origin OB-49 bifolding door offer as a proposition compared to some of the already excellent brands on the market? We’ve picked out four good reasons to consider the latest Origin product as part of your home renovation project.

Thin bifolding door sightlines.

The door industry markets the sightlines of its bifolding doors heavily.  On the one hand, sightlines are one of the best reasons to choose aluminium over upvc products.  However, looking at the overall product proposition remains important and not just sightlines.  How the doors slide and fold, the quality of the hardware, the guarantee and the overall product proposition is what matters more.

However, if a slim bifold is what matters to you, then Origin OB-49 bifolding doors don’t disappoint. They now come with sightlines of just 110mm at the door mullions compared to 154mm for the OB-72 model.  And they now come in the top ten slimmest bifolding doors, even beating Schuco and Sunflex.

Thinnest aluminium French Doors and single doors.

Bifolds also make ideal single and double doors. The benefit of this is matching door profiles and handles. When you need side or back doors, many installers offer a conventional hinged residential door system. It is well worth exploring having other single and double doors made from bifold profiles, especially where these doors are next to the bifolds or giving you folding and hinged doors looking exactly the same. The other benefit of having hinged doors this way is they can usually come wider and taller than the other hinged door systems.

On a set of French doors in the home Aluk doors offer a 209.5mm sightline where the doors lock in the middle.  Smart systems give you a 166mm sightline. An Origin door will provide you with 110mm.   The overall 49mm sash combined with the frame provides you with neat proportions on a single door too.

Therefore, if you’re looking at a new back door or set of French doors, there narrow sightlines of the Origin bifold, made as hinged doors gives you very good looking slimline doors.

The Origin OB-49 bifolding door as a steel-look product.

the origin ob-49 bifolding door in the steel look to a house extension

The current trend for doors and windows in the steel-style suits both traditional houses with old metal windows. Also ideal for this latest generation of doors is new extensions wanting industrial-styled doors, New York screens and residential windows.

Up to now, only Aluco bifold doors and the Visofold 6000 bifolding door, offer a steel-look bifold with a stepped or heritage sash. Every other bifold door marketed as ‘steel look’ is an otherwise standard door with nothing but bars applied on the glass, giving the grid-like pattern. This means any bifold can be customised in this style.

However, the OB-49 can be considered for the benefits of the Origin product generally including its colour-matched gaskets, the Origin manufacturer guarantee and the range of colour and personalisation options. If you don’t want the more genuine Aluco or Visofold product, or you want other Origin windows and doors for your project, the Origin OB-49 bifolding door is slim enough to pull off the steel look.

Make your existing Origin bifolds thinner.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the new Origin OB-49 bifolding door uses the same outer frame and components as the existing OB-72.  Therefore, one quirky upgrade to a current set of Origin doors is to make them thinner.

It is entirely possible to replace your existing door panels and glass with new panels and glass using the thinner system.  There is a fair cost involved in doing this, but if you were so inclined, it’s possible to do this and upgrade your doors to the new thinner model!

Origin OB-49 bifolding door compared with the OB-72.

The current and retained OB-72 model remains a well made, high quality bifolding door with a 72mm sash profiles and a more traditional chamfered appearance. The OB-49 uses the same frame and components having a 49mm frame, square beads and an overall square look to the door profiles. The slide and fold action remains the same as does the quality, the locking systems and other features found in Origin folding sliding doors.

The OB-72 being a larger door also offers bigger door sizes and an open corner option, whereas the new slimline bifold does not.

FeatureOB-49OB-72
Sash Width49mm72mm
Door Mullion sightline110mm154mm
AestheticSquareChamfered
Maximum panel sizes1200×30001200×3000
French and Single Doors
Open Corner Option 
Woodgrain Colours 
Typical U-Value triple glazedDown to 1.1 Wm2kDown to 1.1 Wm2k
Midrail Option ✓
Colour-matched gaskets
Yale standard handle 
Low threshold option
Triple Glazing

Some features found on the classic OB-72 bifold are not available with the new slimline product.

The open corner option is not available, but a fixed corner post option is.  This new door only comes with a Hafi premium handle, and you can’t have the Yale option. This is not a disadvantage as not only do the Hafi handles look better, they look especially good on this slimline door. Nor can you have a locking slave door handle. Woodgrain options we understand are not available with this product too.  Should you choose a single or double door set, these don’t come with the midrail option.

The door sizes are smaller with this new door, but for replacing old patio doors or a new extension, the heights available meet the vast majority of customer requirements.

Other bifolds to compare with the OB-49 from Origin

It’s worth mentioning the Smart Systems Visofold 6000 again as this has recently launched with a new sash section specifically for a steel-look option.  Check this out, it really does work well.

Other bifolds with similar dimensions include the Sunflex SF55 model, with just 5mm difference in the door mullion sightlines.  There are a lot of great features on this door and it’s worth considering too.

Origin OB-49 bifolding door review. Summary and Conclusion.

origin

For years, consumers wanting a slim bifolding door needed a Schuco or similar German-made product. Origin has pulled one out of the bag with their new bifold where many recent new models looked to replicate the 120mm sightlines of the Schuco ASS70 model. Origin went one better, reducing the aluminium profile right down beyond industry expectations.

The Origin OB-49 bifolding door has all the quality of the OB-72 with standout aesthetics.  Homeowners benefit from a brand new door with style and maximum glass area for better views — the trade benefits from the legendary Origin service with fast lead times and reliable service all-round.  Loyal Origin installers now don’t need to point customers looking for a slimline door to alternative systems.  So if the chamfered and bigger sizes of the classic Origin were not for you, there is now an excellent alternative.  Best of all is the colour choices, personalisation options and Origin manufacturer guarantee.  There is, of course, the full range of Origin windows, sliding doors and front doors giving an entire brand and single-point guarantee for the home too.

While this review focuses on the bifolding door, the availability of single and French doors is a ‘twist of fate’ that it surpasses so many other door brands for aesthetics with more options such as the colour matched gaskets.  Yes, there are minor compromises when using a folding system as a hinged door, but for aesthetics and brand kudos, the OB-49 is hard to beat.

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Andrew DOBSONAndrew DOBSON
16:42 30 Oct 23
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Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
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guard Charlieguard Charlie
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Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
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