At this time, we are completely undecided on fall protection for our floor-to-ceiling windows.
The original plan called for windows with a built in divider and fixed glass at window sill height.
At this time, however, my wife was thrilled with the modern French balcony.
However, her enthusiasm waned considerably when we saw the high price of stainless steel grilles.
Now we are faced with a dilemma.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of these two options?
What would be the approximate additional cost for lower fixed glazing compared to French glazing?
We have transoms (about 1/3) installed in the bottom of our windows on the top floor. Also for exactly the same reasons. What we liked visually about the fall protection was priceless. Galvanized bars were out of the question.
So additional elements came into play – lintels. The price was neutral, as the grilles were not needed. Another advantage: The fixed glazing then of course was designed according to DIN 18008 as VSG (P4).
Thus, the optics are without interfering grilles. However, a white volume goes around evenly, which does not disturb the optics evenly.
Cleaning can be done with a ladder outside. This is not a problem. There is no need to open the windows to get air in if you have a ventilation system.
Galvanized grids + Normal windows = Sum X
Pretty grilles + Normal windows = sum X +Y
Windows with transom element and VSG without grilles = sum X
This was the calculation in our case. This meant that there was no need for a whole work step and some material, i.e. "grille attachment", after everything else was finished. Thus no one had to go out and do this.
We have floor-to-ceiling windows on the first floor with a fixed glazed bottom. I find the disadvantage is having to raise the blinds over the fixed glazing in the summer to let the air in. And, consequently, also the brightness. In the French balcony option, all you have to do is open the shutters a little to let the air in. Depending on how you respond to brightness. This may need to be taken into consideration.
French balconies can also be made of galvanized steel, which should be much cheaper than stainless steel.
I see a stucco problem with lower fixed glazing. How do you properly clean the windows, frame and sill from the outside? So we chose stainless steel French balconies, which we also really like visually.