French balcony glazing
The farther we go from the Soviet past, the more we begin to look like Europe. This also applies to clothing, furniture, and repair. Balconies were not ignored. Today they cease to be storage rooms, turning after renovation into a continuation of a room or a small terrace. This is achieved thanks to the modern glazing of balconies and loggias, especially not so long ago, in the fashion of its French variety.
What it is?
In the classical sense, the French balcony is a window from the floor to the ceiling (window-door), decorated outside with a wrought iron grille. The platform on such structures, if it exists, is no more than 40-50 cm., In order to put the foot. The French balcony looks very attractive, but at least functional: place the flowers in pots or, standing in the doorway with a cup of coffee, enjoy the surroundings.
But the Russian soul rarely accepts small forms, and our interpretation of the French window comes into Russian reality.
Initially, French windows (window-doors) were installed in private houses and cottages for easy access to the garden or to the terrace. Now such windows often appear in apartments, where they are put in place of a balcony block, because they fit perfectly into the style of a wide variety of rooms, expand the space and let in much more light.
But more recently, French-style balconies can often be seen on the facades of modern high-rise buildings and even Khrushchev-style houses. Russian balcony with French glazing is a window blocks of aluminum or metal-plastic structures to the floor, installed on the site of the dismantled fences. It transforms a usual balcony or a loggia to unrecognizability.
Thanks to the French glazing, the light in the room becomes larger, the space visually expands and a wonderful view of the surroundings opens up.
Making a balcony in this way, you can give free rein to your imagination and come up with your own version of glazing.
These can be window-doors (hinged or sliding), designs of double-glazed windows of various sizes or their alternation. And if you wish, the lower part, the one where there was a balcony fence, can be made in different variations:
- Leave clear glass;
- Make a frosted glazing;
- Toned glass;
- Put the stained glass;
- Install plastic sandwich panels.
To facilitate the care of a large glass surface in the lower part, you can install the transom, and at the top - alternate hinged windows with blind frames.
Since the French glazing provides not only a panoramic view from your balcony, but also opens its interior to the eyes of passersby, it is possible to install any version of the blinds you like.
When the blinds are down, the glass does not get dirty, it is less dusty and hides the owners from prying eyes.
French balcony glazing is becoming more and more popular not only because of its excellent aesthetic qualities, because it looks great on any facade, but also very significant advantages.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of a balcony with a French type of glazing include:
- Increase the amount of natural light, because the light comes into the room through the panoramic windows all day.
- Expansion of the closed area of the room due to the dismantled parapet and the lack of interior decoration.
- There is no need for external decoration, because the French glazing itself will become a decoration of the house.
- Increasing the viewing angle due to panoramic glazing. The dream of how nice it is in the morning or in the evening to go to the balcony with a cup of your favorite drink and admire the opening view becomes a reality.
- Heat and noise insulation when using quality materials. This is an important quality in a big city. You can arrange an extra room and use it all year round.
- Durability and safety. Glass and aluminum profiles do not burn. For added security, an additional wrought fence is installed outside. It also serves as the decor of the French balcony.
- A wide selection of glazing combinations that allows you to please the tastes and desires of the owner and designer. And choose the most comfortable to use window frames.
- Installation work is short and does not require welding of structures.
The balcony of the French type of glazing and some unpleasant sides are not deprived:
- It is not recommended to install a solid glazing in a house where there are small children. Although it is possible to install special locks (the so-called protection from children) on the frame and an additional wrought fence outside.
- Glass will not hide from prying eyes everything that happens on the balcony. Cleaning will have to do more often. Although frosted glass and blinds can correct the situation.
- A very big minus of glass is that it is quickly contaminated, and you can’t hide fingers, dust, or various stains on it. Therefore, the French balcony requires constant care.
- The cost of the installation is quite high, especially if there are additional components over and above the main kit (laminated PVC profiles, tinted coating, colored or stained glass, etc.).
- Since the dimensions of the glazing are large, it is impossible to avoid overheating in hot weather and strong cooling in winter. Care should be taken of the possibility of airing and a system of warm floors.
- The large mass of the structure, which does not allow to install this type of glazing on weak balcony plates, especially in the houses of the old building.
Features and subtleties
The main difference between French-glazed balconies is the absence of the usual parapet-fence (metal, brick or concrete) and its replacement with double-glazed windows.They are installed directly on the inside of the balcony deck, retreating inward a few centimeters, or on its very edge, if expansion and reinforcement of the balcony slab is envisaged. This is done around the perimeter of the balcony and in all its height.
The most common types of French glazing are:
- Full frame (frameless). This type of glazing is especially suitable where you want to create the maximum visibility, while maintaining the visual effect of the lack of glass. With the washing of such glasses cope any, because they are folded according to the type of book sheets. This makes it possible to fold all the glass, fully opening the room, for example, for ventilation. This type of glazing seems very light and elegant. From the facade looks very elegant.
- Group (sectional). Choosing a sectional type of glazing, you can choose the arrangement of window frames and their size to your liking. There are various options: in the middle - the doors, on the edges - two-section windows, alternation of hinged frames with deaf, on top - opening windows, on the bottom - deaf. Frames can be swinging open and sliding apart.There is where to roam the imagination of the customer.
How to choose: warm or cold?
Balcony with French glazing can be both warm and cold, depending on its purpose.
For cold glazing use aluminum profile, which is able to protect the balcony from the weather and pollution. It will have a great look, but it will be cold in the winter. Such glazing is cheaper because it does not have to spend money on insulation and heating appliances.
The cold balcony is suitable for homeowners in the southern regions of the country, for old houses with weak bearing balcony plates or for such houses where it does not adjoin living quarters.
For a warm balcony using PVC profiles. Installation of such structures is more complicated; it is required to calculate the ability of the supporting plate to hold a heavy structure.
If you plan to turn the balcony into an extra room: an office, a gym, a relaxation corner, you need to warm the floors and the front wall of the house.
Often the warm French glazing involves the removal of the structure for some distance, so as not to lose precious centimeters of the balcony area.
Plastic windows retain heat much better and protect from excessive noise.
If the bearing support allows, it is recommended to install multi-chamber double-glazed windows with a thickness of at least 7 cm, which will save on heating. The variant with single-chamber double-glazed windows is possible, then it is necessary to make sure that there is a special film covering the glass to save heat.
Accessories of double-glazed windows require particularly careful selection, their service life largely depends on its quality. Rollers for sliding windows or doors should be made of a material that can withstand heavy loads and negative environmental effects. Sealant for frames is preferable to choose from transparent polymeric materials, since its service life is longer.
Some owners of French balconies specifically install heaters (radiators, convectors). This will be an additional protection against cold and condensation on the glasses.
Installation of French glazing should be trusted only to professionals. It is clear that only a qualified specialist can correctly make calculations regarding the wind load on the structure.He will also determine whether it is necessary to reinforce the carrier plate, make measurements, advise accessories, a way to open windows. Masters from trusted companies offer quality finishes, can make built-in lockers to the balcony and give good advice to owners regarding the possibility of realizing all their wishes.
Special attention to glass
And in this issue, customers have a choice of French glazing. Given the recommendations of experts and reviews of happy owners of balconies with panoramic windows, you can list some important factors concerning the glass itself:
- It is necessary to choose a glass of special strength (anti-vandal, shockproof) with a thickness of at least 6 mm.
- In order not to devote the whole district to some aspects of your life and not to feel like an aquarium fish on your own balcony, you should prefer opaque, stained glass or mirrored glass, at least in the lower part of the structure.
- Tinted glass can kill two birds with one stone at a time: protect the room from overheating and bright sunlight, and the owners from curious glances.
In addition, curtains and blinds can perfectly fit into the interior of the French balcony, performing not only a protective function, but also an aesthetic one.
Experience shows that a balcony with French glazing can be installed in almost any home. It will not spoil the appearance of the building or its interior. And it will be a decoration of any house, its highlight, however, requiring constant care.