Decko Doors of Terrebonne, Quebec is one of Canada’s leading manufacturers of high-performance patio doors, something Quebec homeowners, developers, and contractors have recognized for many years. Now the company is gaining traction beyond the province’s borders, delivering customized patio doors to clients within 12 to 20 days of receiving the order.
To find out what the buzz is all about, we spoke with Philippe Lavoie, General Manager, who’s been with Decko Doors since 2007, and who told us about the company’s somewhat humble beginnings in the ’90s.
Decko was founded in 1992 in Saint-Nazaire, Lac St-Jean. Over the next ten years, the company steadily grew and opened an assembly plan in Terrebonne in 2001.
The acquisition of Decko by Soniplastics in 2005 allowed to merge into a structure that offers great standardized product with cutting edge market innovations. The Terrebonne plant expended in 2006 and 2008 and then moved to a new location in 2011. The plant recently expanded in 2020 and now boasts over 100,000 square feet, where 90 employees work in a bright, clean, modern environment, where doors are manufactured on demand and health and safety are priorities.
Entry of Soniplastics
“We received a lot of research and development support at the time of the acquisition, which allowed us to re-design and standardize the doors,” Lavoie says. The result was to coordinate these products with the window extrusion manufactured by Soniplastics.
The acquisition was mutually beneficial because it meant that Soniplastics now had a complete product lineup, while Decko Doors, which retained its name, benefitted by gaining access to new markets.
“We had a huge growth in sales,” Lavoie says. “The acquisition helped Decko Doors gain new customers since Soniplastics had a lot of customers we didn’t have. Window manufacturers who purchased window extrusion systems and entry door components from Soniplastics could add patio doors, in order to complete our product line offering.”
The most recent development at the Decko Doors manufacturing facility is the introduction of automation and robotics, with a variety of applications, beginning with an automated frame assembling machine. “In addition, we have an automatic insulating glass line to build the insulated glass units (IGUs) and we just acquired another automated glazing assembling line,” Lavoie tells us. The company’s uptake of automation is scheduled to continue for the next five years.
Patio door classics
Decko Doors currently produces three product lines, which meet Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council standards and are tested for wind and water resistance, both in the laboratory at the Soniplastics facility and by a third-party laboratory.
The company’s Classic C and Legend S both feature a white PVC sliding door, a solid wood frame, and insulated glass panels, differing only in their design, with the Classic C more contemporary and the Legend S more colonial. The third line is the Hybrid, where the sliding patio door combines the qualities of aluminum and PVC and features a durable, elegant, contemporary design. The door frames come in standard sizes of 9, 10, or 12 feet high and 5, 6, 7, or 8 feet wide, but can be customized to order, while the systems can contain 2, 3, or 4 panels, depending on the overall width.
The Ecopure, an all-vinyl patio door that will have the same standard sizes and insulated glass units, is presently in development and undergoing structural testing.
The made-to-order doors feature a wide range of customized options. They include double energy glass, triple clear or energy glass, integrated blinds, interior PVC covering, aluminum frame extension and sills, PVC brick mould, choice of lock (key lock, security bar, multipoint lock, or kick lock), choice of exterior and interior colour, grills, terrace panels, false bars, side panels, and transoms.
With the environment in mind
Both Decko Doors and sister company Soniplastics are concerned about their environmental impact and carbon footprint. “We use water-based paint on the frames as opposed to oil-based, and we offer triple-glazed windows as an option, which is currently beyond Energy Star’s requirement of double glazing,” Lavoie says.
“We recycle all the vinyl and send it back to Soniplastics, which has the equipment needed to do the regrind and extrusion. We do the same with cardboard and leftover aluminum and steel reinforcement. Nothing gets wasted or goes to the landfill.”
Happy employees, good products
We’ve all heard about not buying a Monday car, built by workers with the post-weekend grumps. Such is definitely not the case at Decko Doors, says Lavoie.
“Some of our highly skilled production workers have been here for more than 10 years and they enjoy being here,” he says. “There’s a lunch counter, recreational facilities, and occasional special events, but more importantly, I think everyone respects each other, works well together, and there’s great communication between the departments. We have a new production manager who came on board three years ago, and he’s involving people a lot more in creating ideas to improve the process—and listening to them,” Lavoie shares.
“What I like most about working here is the unmatched customer service we offer,” he continues. “We’re easy to work with and easy to reach. Everyone is focused on pleasing our customers, whether working with them to develop a custom product, manufacturing and delivering it promptly, or following up with after-sales service.”