Update 22 July 2016
If you look at the comments below you will find a couple that are very anti-DeKu. I have made it very clear in my blog that I do not support DeKu or have anything to do with them other than buy some of their products fifteen months ago. If I was a DeKu stooge I would remove the comments!
My decision to go with this company was a personal one based on the choices available to me IN ISAAN. There is no use telling me about better companies in Pattaya or anywhere else that are either outside my budget or couldn’t provide an installation service. What I write about in this blog is what I personally experienced building a house in Isaan. DeKu were part of that process so I share MY observations of how that worked for me. Others may find the DeKu product to be rubbish but I have been using their windows and doors for fifteen months now they still look great and work well, with a couple of reservations that I cover in the blog.
You are obviously not going to just take my words as the sole reason to add DeKu to your new home inclusion list and I would recommend a psychological evaluation if you did 🙂 Explore the options and choose the best that works for you. If you have some sensible feedback on alternatives then leave a comment so that others can check them out. Finding reliable information is one of the challenges to building here.
With all the doors and windows installed I thought it was an appropriate time to review the whole process and give you my conclusions on DeKu as a company to deal with and their product. I have added this as a separate post because I know of several people following the blog who have a particular interest in this subject.
I will start the post by including the information I shared in Week 18 HERE when we visited the DeKu showroom and factory in Pattaya so that all the relevant details are in the one area.
On Tuesday, build day 122, Gaun and I left early for Udon Thani airport to catch our flight to Bangkok for the reasons I wrote about last week HERE. My tasks at the Australian embassy quickly completed we caught a taxi to Pattaya and moved an appointment to meet Peter, the CEO to DeKu German Windows, from the previously arranged Wednesday morning to that afternoon. I wrote about our time in Pattaya, excluding the DeKu visit, HERE.
The DeKu showroom is super easy to find. Turning left at the freeway T junction at Pattaya, it is in the first group of office buildings on the left hand side.
Peter met us there and we finalised the order. The windows/doors should be constructed within two weeks and installation sometime in the third, which is a pretty good outcome if it happens. A 20th of March window install completion is what I am planning for and will report how close we get. For those of you who have been through the building process you might remember how you suddenly have a real house once the place is sealed from the outside. Until then it is like a big open sala.
I had also requested to see DeKu’s factory just to get a better idea of the type of operation they were running. To this point everything had been done via the internet and I didn’t even know whether there was a company producing windows at the other end. As I was going to be handing over 200,000 THB I wanted to confirm that this was a legitimate business.
I am pleased to say that DeKu do look as though they build windows and doors, which is good news for my build!
The product itself looked and felt very solid and I was happy with the double glazing glass 6-9-5 profile, which is ordered in and not built by DeKu. 6mm green tinted, 9mm space and 5mm plain glass, a total thickness of 20mm.
I was less impressed with my first look at the insect screens which felt a bit flimsy and didn’t slide as smoothly as I would have liked. I am basing this on my Australian experience, where of course all windows and doors have them fitted and mostly use small wheels at the bottom to provide effortless opening. I will reserve judgement until the DeKu ones are installed.
Back to the latest news.
When I left DeKu it was on the understanding that the windows would be ready in a two weeks and installation done in the third as I mentioned above. In my mind I was was thinking later rather than earlier so it came as a shock when I got an email from Peter on Sunday the 15th, just over two weeks from when we paid the deposit, that his truck was leaving Pattaya that night and his team would be on site the next morning. It was one of the high points of the build. In today’s world where people over-promise and under-deliver it was quite special to have the promise become a reality.
True to his word the truck turned up early the next morning having driven the 12 hours from Pattaya with a installation team of three. In Australia the workers would have to have a day off to recover but here the guys got straight into unloading as the truck was heading back South as soon as the windows were off.
The truck empty it headed off for the return 12 hour trip, travelling somewhat lighter this time.
The installation team had three different roles. The head guy was a young man called Jet, who came up from Pattaya a three weeks earlier to measure up the window and door spaces. Only 19 years old he has been with the company for 3 years. His job was to do the actual install and get everything aligned and working smoothly. The other two were newer additions to DeKu. One focussed on doing the silicon filling around the windows and the third guy generally helped out in a more minor way.
The first job was to fit the frames and screw them into place.
You can see from this photo that the frames are sitting on the external tiles that have been extended into the window opening to accommodate them. The floor on the inside is at a slightly higher level to overcome any possibility of rain water getting inside.
The benefits of having someone actually visit the site to measure up became evident once the frames went in. The window openings looked accurate but most weren’t a consistent size. In this photo you can just see the packing that has been added to the top of the window.
The frames were soon in place and then the windows were slotted in. They were all in place day one.
As you can see from the photo above these are chunky units, which would put some people off. I like the look as everything else in the house has been built to a heavy duty standard. Just look at the thickness of those walls as an example.
The double glazed windows are really heavy and wonderfully solid units. They slide very smoothly on their tracks but need a good effort to get them going.
I have included some more detailed photos of the “workings”:
The windows have been designed so that the handles can’t bang into the static frame when open.
The only slight issue I would have is that the locking points are installed on the edge of the window frames. They are good quality stainless steel units but the result is not as integrated as I am used to where the locking points are inside the frame and hidden.
The insert screens that I had some concerns about during our visit to DeKu in Pattaya have worked out fine. They have small metal wheels on the bottom to run them across the window frame. I still think good quality silicon wheels would provide a smoother result but these are no hardship to use. We will see how they hold up longer term.
Apart from the windows themselves the most impressive part of the process was the install itself. It took the three guys three full days to do nine windows/doors. This was not because they were slacking off, just that they were taking an enormous amount of care along the way. If ordering from DeKu make sure you get Jet. He is a real asset to the company.
Post silicon any overspill was carefully removed, the frames and glass cleaned before they left and they even provided their own bags for the rubbish and cleaned up each day. I have just had two air conditioners installed and everything was left as it dropped by the installers. A very different philosophy.
In conclusion I am totally happy with the outcome. The product was delivered on time, it is great quality to my eyes anyway and the installation was a pleasure to watch. Not many window suppliers who offer double glazing will install outside of the major centres of Phuket, Bangkok or Pattaya so this factor on top of the others listed make DeKu well worth considering if building especially in Isaan.
DeKu have offered no incentives for this review and unfortunately I paid full price 🙂
I will report back on how the windows perform in the longer term. What I can say is that we have slept in the house a few times and the double glazing is a great success in reducing the noise and well worth the extra expense. I will let you know how the house performs temperature wise once the workmen move out and we can shut the place up during the day.
DeKu’s website can be found HERE.
If you want more information leave me a comment.
Thanks for reading.