An Origin Door or a Schuco Door?
The Aluminium Trade Supply website was pleased to help an enquirer that contacted us with the following question:
I do hope you can help. We are about to install 3 sets of bifold doors into our property, and I would like to speak to someone independent about the relative merits of Origin vs Schuco.
Interestingly the subject line of the email stated “Best Bifolding doors”
Update July 2016.
Since this original article was written the bifolding door market has grown substantially but the interest in these two bifolding door brands remains as strong as ever. We’ve since written a more detailed review of Origin and Schuco Doors.
So what is best?
It’s unfair to compare just two systems. There are some other fantastic bifolding doors on the market, however this website has been asked to compare Schuco and Origin doors many times and more often than any other system. This is statistically a very popular Google search as well.
This wasn’t a particularly tricky one to answer for the lady as both systems have great features to talk about and their own advantages and disadvantages. For example the Schuco doors could be regarded by some as the more contemporary looking product owing to their more flatline appearance, however the hardware available with the Origin Bifolding doors and it’s quality is one of the best in the business (she agreed).
Other advantages of Origin bifolding doors is that they are all manufactured by the same company in the same factory, under the same high quality methods, procedures and systems. Schuco Doors are manufactured by a network of fabricators.
The Schuco product is brilliantly engineered, slimmer, can go taller, different aesthetics to the Origin product, with many perceiving the Schuco door as “high end” “german engineering” and so forth.
Similarly the Origin bifolding door is a fantastic product, a hugely popular bifolding door with massive brand awareness, terrific running gear and hardware all round. What is important? The aesthetics of a product or fantastic hardware that is a joy to look at and to use?
When a property requires windows as well as bifolding doors some customers may choose the system that offers both bifolds and windows to keep everything under one installer and one system. Schuco have a massive range of windows, doors, screening and much more. Origin have also recently launched a unique flush sash aluminium window.
The customer then asked the question “where can I see the products side by side?” – well we know unless a company supplies both products and chooses to showcase both products in a showroom that is unlikely. My advice was to simply go see the products, look at the profiles in situ, look at the finished product and make notes or take photos. Additionally, if she was conversant with section drawings, obtain them on both systems and study the detail, study the specifications, deal with a knowledgable installer and make an informed decision.
What the customers will rarely know is about dealer support from manufacturers to installers. However here if she did, on the face of it Origin would probably come out on top, but even if she did, does the excellent Origin service and quick lead times to its dealers really affect the end user? If a job goes wrong and it’s quickly put right then yes, but in the normal scheme of things with a 4, 6, or 8 week lead time by most installers and with things always going right, probably not.
Then came the questions about manufacturing quality, paint quality and pricing. Clearly there appeared to be discrepancies in the pricing of the two products but without the customer knowing how the supply chain works, whether additional discounts are on offer from the suppliers and so forth, all you could really comment on was the individual margins of each business. However, that did not reflect on say, the Schuco product being worse because it came in cheaper (as was the case here). Both systems have fantastic support, quality powder coaters and so forth. Nothing to worry about here.
One thing Schuco fabricators cannot match is the industry leading “your lead time not ours” service that Origin have pioneered.
The 20 year market leading guarantee from Origin really did not matter to this particular lady – her comment was “companies can go bust in years to come”. Whilst disagreeing and reassuring her of what a great strong company Origin is, it suggests guarantees are perceived by different people in different ways. They matter to some and not others.
The bifolding door market as we know has mushroomed in recent years with everyone pitching for bifolding door business. Exhibitions like Grand Designs or Ideal Home Shows and so forth have a plethora of bifolding doors on display with companies often showing their respective products next to each other.
Such awareness today of bifolding doors only serves to raise questions like this as more end users become more aware, more knowledgable and with the industry shifting the onus on brand awareness to the end user from the installer to the manufacturer in many cases.
We think the customer has made her decision with our help, followed by a thank you email to the website:
Just to say a huge thank you for your comments – and to wish you luck with your website – probably just what the industry needs!
Very kind regards
Have you dealt with both Schuco and Origin Bifolding Doors, which do you think is the better system? Or is there a system you regard as better than both of these?
Aluminium Trade Supply is currently working on a comparison on the major bifolding door systems available in the market today and the results, reviews and opinions will be published soon.
Please leave a comment below and we welcome your questions if you’ve anything specific you’d like to know about these or any other bifolding door.