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Origin Doors

< Advice Centre

Comparing aluminum to other bi-fold door materials

Aluminum vs the alternatives:




Very strong material. Frames can be powder-coated to add extra strength. 10-year warranty with Origin.

Reasonably tough, but can warp, allow water to leak in or become contaminated.

Durable, but can degrade in strong sunlight and extreme weather can lead to warping.


More expensive than PVCu but less than wood.

More expensive than aluminum.

Cheapest option.


Very low maintenance.

Require some regular maintenance.

Low maintenance but difficult to restore to original look once discolored from dirt, mold and sunlight.

Thermal efficiency

Very good thermal efficiency. Origin bi-fold doors can lower your bills by an average of 12%.

Reasonably good thermal efficiency.

Varies greatly between manufacturers.

Hurricane proofing

Hurricane rated doors available.

Hurricane rated wooden doors are available, however they are far less effective than aluminum.

Hurricane rated doors are not available in PVCu.


Wide range of finishes. Aluminum doors can be created with woodgrain finishes.

Modern wood frames are often available in a wide range of colors.

Only available in standard white.

Powder coating and finishes

High-strength, scratch-resistant powder coating available on the  best quality aluminum doors.

Wood will only be powder-coated if finished with aluminum cladding. Otherwise they will normally be painted and varnished.

No specialist finish available.


Aluminum is very strong so frames can be thin, allowing for larger panes and the best views.

Normally thicker than aluminum.

Wider frames are needed and only smaller panes of glass can be accommodated, obstructing the view.

Corner available


Available, though aluminum normally suits this better.

Not commonly available as cannot support building foundation.

Flexibility of shape and layout

The most flexible in terms of layout. Aluminum is a very flexible material and can be manufactured in custom sizes and shapes to suit unusual openings.

Less flexible than aluminum.

Less flexible than aluminum.

Incredibly durable

Aluminum frames are very strong and last for a very long time. Origin offer an industry-leading 10‑year warranty but you can expect your doors to last longer than this if cared for properly. The frames are further strengthened by a highly durable, scratch-resistant powder coating finish that won’t fade over time. This tough powder-coated surface is also guaranteed to last for 10 years.


Though PVCu is the cheapest option available, you pay for what you get. Out of the three materials covered above, it is the lowest quality and is likely to wear out quicker than both aluminum and wood. Aluminum is normally cheaper than wood and comes with more benefits.

Thin sightlines

Aluminium can achieve very thin sightlines (where the two door frames meet between the glass panes), maximizing the view out of your bi-fold doors. Wood bi-fold doors can’t really be manufactured to the same thin width, meaning your view can be obstructed. PVCu have the widest frames and cannot handle large panes of glass, meaning the view won’t be as good as alternatives.

Very low maintenance

Aluminum won’t warp or rust. The powder coating finish means it won’t get scratched. The only maintenance required is wiping with a soapy cloth every so often. Timber frames often need re-treating over time and the parts can need lubrication too.

Very good thermal efficiency

Aluminum frames can offer unrivalled thermal efficiency if you purchase the highest quality bi-fold doors. Origin Bi-fold Doors are thermally broken and Energy Star certified.

Hurricane- and weather-proof

High-quality aluminum bi-fold doors will be hurricane and weather-proof. The Origin Bi-fold Door has passed the High Velocity Hurricane Zone testing standards, meaning it can withstand the strongest wind and rain.

Wide range of available finishes

Origin Bi-folds are available in over 150 RAL colours including woodgrain finishes, meaning you can achieve the aesthetic of timber without having to compromise on strength and maintenance.

Customization and flexibility of layout

Since aluminum is a very flexible material it can be manufactured in a wide range of sizes and shapes. At Origin, we offer customized doors in various configurations to suit your needs. Find out more here.

Aluminum options:

Standard aluminum vs thermally broken aluminum

Aluminum varies in quality. Cheaper aluminum bi-folds won’t necessary offer all the benefits of high-quality aluminum bi fold doors. To achieve good insulation, you should choose thermally broken aluminum doors. Origin Bi-fold Doors are made out of prime billets rather than melted-down scrap metal. Find out more about quality aluminum here.

Aluminum clad

Some wooden bi-fold doors will come with aluminum clad finishes to help prevent wear and strengthen the doors. Though these improve standard timber doors, the internal frame is still made of wood and so doesn’t benefit from the strength that pure aluminum offers.

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