Balcony in the attic vs roof window. What to choose?

Build a balcony or not? Investors can often find it difficult to make a decision on this issue. It is worth considering an alternative solution to a traditional balcony before final decisions. The question in the title may come as a surprise. 

Both the roof window and balcony have their advantages, but can roof windows be an alternative to traditional balconies at all? The answer is ‘Yes’. And that’s because the window in question is a balcony roof window, which is a window that turns into a balcony. 

The balcony window in one frame has two opening sashes. The upper top hung sash opens upwards, while the lower sash can be tilted forwards. The window opened in this way ensures easy access to the balcony recess.

The roof window transforming into the balcony looks very innovative, but the FGH-V U5 Galeria, as this is the name of this window model, is not only an interesting technological innovation.  It is, above all, a very practical way to make maximum use of the space within the attic. Therefore, we prepared a comparison to confront this unique roof window with a traditional balcony. 

Why have a balcony in the attic?

Balcony – build it or not? This is a very important question for anyone planning to build their own corner.

On the one hand, costs are a significant factor and we always want to reduce them rationally. On the other hand, we want to feel as comfortable as possible in our own house. There is a reason for saying that ‘a house without a balcony is not a house’.

Contact with the environment, breathing fresh air and relaxing contact with nature – these are very important aspects contributing to our good well-being.

All the more so as we spend as much as 90% of our time in closed spaces. More and more frequent staying in offices, houses or even cars means that we have less and less contact with nature. A balcony incorporated into the attic space is therefore a good idea, but it does not always have to be typical.

Balcony in the attic vs roof window. What to choose?

Image 1 - Balcony window FGH-V Galeria and AMZ Solar

An innovative alternative for traditional balcony 

A balcony in the attic involves the installation of glazing and the invitation of a large amount of beneficial, natural light inside. This advantage occurs both in the case of a balcony window and a balcony in a traditional form.

A roof window that can serve as a balcony is a top quality product. The most impressive thing is the open balcony window and its ease of use.

When we take a closer look at the Galeria balcony window by FAKRO, we can see that it stands out with innovative solutions even in its class. The point is that unlike other balcony roof windows, FAKRO-branded Galeria roof window comes with rails that are concealed under the flashing elements once the window is closed. As a result, they are not exposed to dirt accumulation or mechanical damage.                                                           

Another important benefit is aesthetic external appearance. Rails remain completely invisible when the window is closed and do not spoil aesthetics of the roof. The FGH-V U5 Galeria is a window with a double-chamber glazing unit featuring excellent performance.

Roof window vs balcony in the attic. Advantage comparison.

Let’s compare the balcony roof window, namely the FGH-V U5 Galeria, with a traditional balcony in the attic.

Solution​ Advantages
Traditional balcony Usually provides additional space for the user
Arrangement option
Balcony roof windowbalcony roof window Simpler and cheaper roof construction
Better use of interior space
Less cleaning, the entire floor area is inside and not exposed to weather conditions
Low costs and easy maintenance
Modern and minimalist building design

Traditional balcony

Usually provides additional space for the user

A traditional balcony within the attic space provides an additional area for household members. Thanks to balcony panels, we have an extra floor surface to go out on. Some people also use the balcony to hang laundry or to store bicycles or other items.

Option to arrange additional space

The balcony in a traditional form can be filled with flowers or decorative lanterns. This allows us to create our own corner and fully enjoy the proximity of nature.

Balcony roof window

No need for roof expansion
Building a balcony in the attic requires designing a larger and sometimes also more complicated roof truss. Roof windows, including balcony ones, can be installed even in the simplest standard pitched roofs, without the need for modifications and saving on materials. 

Regardless of whether we decide to build a balcony or not, we may later regret the decision made. Depending on our decisions, we can stay without a balcony or with an extra space in which we have invested a good deal of money and now we don’t use it. A balcony roof window can be an ideal solution in this situation since it does not have to rule out any of the possible options. The FGH-V Galeria can be a balcony whenever we desire it. When we close it, the balcony simply transforms into a window – a wonderful glazing that provides excellent illumination of the interior, which can be opened upwards or forwards, just like other roof windows. By virtue of that, we never deprive ourselves of the choice whether we want to have a balcony or not.

Better use of interior space
The slanted room area within the attic is not a fully valuable space. By installing a balcony roof window we gain comfortable access to this part of the floor as later on by opening such a window we can easily enter it.

Less cleaning
A traditional balcony is an extra floor area located outside. Entering such a surface often requires putting on shoes as the floor is dusty, dirty and cold. The balcony window let us enjoy the balcony while standing in a warm and clean room. Many people rarely spend time on traditional balconies with some just going there for the purpose of cleaning them up. Having the balcony window allows us to make better use of the interior surface and take pleasure from the contact with nature in the most comfortable way.

Low costs and easy maintenance
All building components require maintenance, renovation or simply replacement with new ones from time to time. Renewal of the balcony usually involves renovating the balustrade by cleaning and repainting it, sometimes the canopy or even the surface of the balcony panels must undergo renovation. All these operations generate not only a lot of work, but also high costs. Maintenance of one or even several balcony windows takes less time and is less expensive. 

Modern and minimalist building design
Modern design is about cleanliness and minimalism. As with the design of clothes, cars or smartphones, the architecture is focused on the purity and simplicity of forms and colours. Subdued colours and simple shapes are classic and elegant, creating timeless style that always looks good. The use of a balcony window, with rails hiding under the flashing elements, is associated with maintaining the simplicity and aesthetics of the entire building shape without unnecessary additions.

A balcony window within the attic space is an eco-friendly solution. One of the reasons for this is the minimalism of the balcony in the form of the Galeria window by FAKRO. A smaller amount of material for the construction of such a balcony, compared to a traditional balcony,  means less energy-intensive and environmentally harmful production of building materials. Cleaning or maintenance are also less time-consuming and expensive for a balcony roof window than for a traditional balcony. This results in the lower consumption of chemical cleaning and preserving agents.
Balcony in the attic vs roof window. What to choose?Image 2 - Balcony window Galeria  FGH-V with roller blind ARF

Balcony window – what accessories to buy?

The FHG-V U5 Galeria balcony window can be equipped with internal shutters or external awning blinds available upon request. FAKRO AMZ awning blinds fitted on the outside of the window are particularly recommended.

They offer up to 8 times more effective protection from heat on hot sunny days in comparison with internal blackout blinds as they reflect considerable amount of solar radiation before it reaches the glazing.

Balcony in the attic vs balcony roof window. Summary

The decision to choose a traditional balcony or balcony roof window always depends on the investor and his preference. Factors such as investment costs, building appearance and legal requirements should also be taken into account. FAKRO FGH-V Galeria balcony roof window is undoubtedly an innovative product with a number of advantages.

Prestige, universality, comfort and other benefits mentioned here make the FGH-V Galeria a very attractive product and definitely worth buying compared to traditional balconies in the attic.