French balcony glazing is becoming an increasingly attractive option for most apartment owners. Another name is door-windows. For this technology, window structures made of metal-plastic or aluminum from floor to ceiling are used.
Glazing using French technology turns an ordinary city balcony into a cozy suburban terrace where you want to enjoy the beautiful view, spend evenings and meet the sunrises. At the same time, the balcony becomes attractive not only from the inside, but also from the street.
Features, advantages and disadvantages
Panoramic French glazing involves installing a window instead of a balcony block to the floor.
Given this, the lower part of the structure can be made of frosted or transparent glass with tinted glass or plastic sandwich panels.
The main advantages of French glazing include:
- filling the apartment with natural light, which saves money on electricity;
- in this case, the decoration is not used and it is possible to push the glazing to a distance, so the territory of the balcony expands not only visually, but the useful area actually increases;
- saving on interior and exterior decoration;
- high-quality windows to the floor have excellent heat and sound insulation properties;
- a beautiful balcony with clear glass does not want to turn into a warehouse of unnecessary things.
The disadvantages of French glazing include:
- the cost of this option is much more expensive than standard glazing. The price is affected not only by the dismantling of existing structures, but also by additional options: heat-reflecting film, laminated PVC profiles and colored glass;
- Under the influence of direct sunlight on a hot day, the balcony overheats, and quickly cools in the winter. Therefore, it is necessary to use high-quality glass that does not transmit ultraviolet radiation and retains heat. And also take care of installing a forced ventilation system for the summer period and heating for the winter;
- To maintain an attractive appearance, such windows require more thorough care and cleaning. In this case, the window area increases at least twice;
- there is no privacy - passers-by on the street and neighbors from the house opposite can watch what is happening on the balcony;
Installation of windows instead of the balcony block to the floor is not possible for each balcony.
There are many disadvantages, but the advantages have their own weight. And if the decision to change the balcony is made - then it's time to act. First you need to study the weaknesses of the issue - a balcony slab, choose a design, and then proceed to the stage of collecting the necessary documents.
Types of glass and structures
A panoramic view is created using holistic structures. At the same time, a rather attractive view opens with a divided window block.
Panoramic glazing is divided into two types:
- solid block without frames;
- sectional structures with aluminum profile or plastic fittings.
Window blocks must be particularly reliable with a thickness of at least 7 mm and withstand vibration and shock. Window structures made of PVC profile do an excellent job with this function. Plastic double-glazed windows must have excellent soundproofing characteristics. In addition, multi-chamber structures reduce the amount of heat loss by about 3 times. But, having a lot of weight, with the wrong choice of design, can lead to the collapse of the balcony.
As an alternative, a single-chamber glass unit with an inert gas in the form of argon between the glasses and with an energy-saving film can be used to reduce heat loss.
There are two types of designs:
- Cold glazing is a more affordable option and is made of aluminum profiles. Protects from rain, wind, dust and provides some sound insulation. In winter, the room will remain cold.
- Warm glazing - performed using double-glazed windows and PVC profile. For this option, it is necessary to strengthen the balcony slab, to insulate the front part and the floor. The cost of warm glazing is significantly different from cold. But a definite plus is the possibility of combining a balcony with a living room.
If the loggia is located separately from a single balcony structure, then two options are possible: frameless glazing or installation of an aluminum profile with subsequent glass fastening. Windows on the "French balcony" can be sliding and tilt-and-turn.
Another feature of glazing - when you open two shutters to the sides, the opening is completely freed and there is no vertical stiffener. Thus, the structure is mounted on frames and secures two windows to each other. The sides of the balcony can be made of frosted glass or plastic panels.
On the side with the sandwich panel, you can place a storage system.
The supporting frame of the structure is made of metal, for example, aluminum. The type of profile is selected based on the climate. For regions with warm winters and light gusts of wind, an aluminum frame is used, and for northern territories with a sharp continental climate, a metal-plastic bag is used.
For warm glazing of the balcony, it is necessary to insulate the floor according to the principle of heating pads. A cable is laid on aluminum foil with a synthetic or natural coating, a screed is poured on top. After complete drying, a "liquid floor" is applied and a floor covering is installed (tile, board or other option).
Warm floors will maintain a comfortable temperature during the cold season. And condensation will not form on the windows.
Which balcony can I use?
French technology glazing is applicable for cottages and high-rise buildings. The decisive moment is the condition of the floor slab. At the initial stage, a number of calculations are carried out, and all typical and atypical loads for each structural element are determined separately.
The glazing project must not interfere with fire communications.
At the same time, a balcony for French glazing can have different shapes:
- standard rectangular;
- without a platform - a miniature balcony.
Legal aspects of glazing in an apartment
To glaze the balcony using French technology in an apartment building, you must have permission of certain authorities. If the dismantling of the balcony structure does not affect the strength of the supporting structures and the reliability of the building, then obtaining a repair permit will not be difficult.
List of documents:
- BTI passport and certificate of ownership.
- The written consent of the owner of the building or of the operation service.
- The conclusion of the technical service about the possibility of making changes to the layout.
- Balcony glazing project - compiled by a licensed design organization.
- If the building belongs to architectural monuments or is included in the list of historical buildings, you must obtain the written consent of the relevant governing body.
- Notarized consent of all adult residents and owners of the apartment.
A full package of documents must be submitted to the municipal commission for consideration. Substitution of structures without permission entails litigation options.
When installing a window structure, the usual parapet of concrete or metal is missing; it is replaced by glass or plastic. Sophistication of the balcony can add artistic forged vertical fences of a convex shape.
Such glazing is absolutely safe for children and animals and reliably protects the apartment from unsolicited guests.
Before installing the structure, it is necessary to verify the strength of the floor slab and, if necessary, develop methods of strengthening. The wind load for the structure is also calculated and the optimal option and the required number of double-glazed windows are selected.
Window slabs are very heavy, so panoramic glazing cannot be done on some balconies with collapsing floor slabs. For the old "Khrushchev" and "Stalin", in which it is impossible to strengthen the plate to the required level, glazing with an aluminum profile can be used, which has less weight.
Glazing a balcony with the removal to a distance and increasing the area is more a necessity than a whim . Especially for owners of narrow loggias, because the insulation of the front part will "eat" the available area. And when strengthening the slab there is an opportunity to increase the bearing capacity of the entire structure. And the glazing is performed along the edge and extends the area of the balcony by several centimeters.
The following video will reveal the secrets of choosing French glazing on the balcony.
Window Design Options
The balcony can complement the interior of the room or be an independent separate room with its own character. A variety of colors, materials and textures will help to fulfill any task. Plastic constructions can be both white and with natural wood shades. In this case, the glass can be completely transparent or covered with a tinting mirror film with gold, bronze, blue, green or red frames.
The following methods will help to hide the balcony space from the eyes of strangers:
- Reflective film, which has excellent light transmission, will relieve the balcony of prying views from the street.
- Sandwich panels will significantly save money on glazing the balcony, while this design seems more secure. Plastic constructions hide the life of apartment owners from prying eyes. The only disadvantage is the fact that plastic interferes with the creation of a panoramic view.
- Stained glass on glass is one of the most expensive glazing options. For convenience and safety, a transom is installed near the lower part of the structure.
- A film with one-sided visibility in the daytime will not allow viewing the room from the outside, and everything will be visible from the apartment. Broken glass does not shatter into fragments, but remains fixed on the adhesive surface.
The use of such a film will be relevant:
- for residents of the first floors;
- if on the contrary a few meters is an apartment building;
- The balcony overlooks the sunny side.
In addition, it is possible to use various kinds of dimming with adjustable infrared transmission capacity . Or double-glazed windows with shutters - an excellent option that does not require additional care. The movable elements between the glasses are securely closed and will not get dirty, and covered with a layer of dust. Vertical blinds or curtains also provide privacy.
French balconies will add more light and space, and will hide personal life from unnecessary looks, which is especially important for residents of a modern metropolis. An ordinary small balcony in an apartment building can be turned into a terrace with blooming greenhouses, a mini gym or just a corner for relaxing and enjoying the view.