It just so happens that our smallish cottage style/cabin home in the Colorado mountains has a decent attic space--but not quite so decent so as to accommodate a second level expansion (which we sorely need). The dearth of headroom has us thinking about attic- and shed-style dormers and the like. Until today, that is, when I've just become acquainted with Fakro's innovative, transformable open air skylight, or balcony window.
Open air balcony window. Manufactured by Fakro.
Fakro Opens the Indoors to the Great Outdoors with the Balcony Skylight
Honestly, all I know of skylights is that they may add a bit of welcome light of a dreary winter's day but they leak like the dickens come Spring. With Fakro, however, the age of the permeable skylight is over and the era of the Balcony Skylight has begun.
The first feature to recommend this innovative product is its double sash design. The slick opening mechanism allows a double casement-style aperture, meaning that both sashes open at a perpendicular angle to the pitched roof, thus creating a maximal open-air space and unimpeded view.
But that's really just the beginning of Fakro's presto-chango transformability, as the more substantial coup involves the built-in slide rails that project out and abut the lower sash, thus forming a miniature balcony out of the proverbial thin air.
The clever design can't really turn a minimal attic into a usable living space, but it can take an existing space and make it appear to be substantially larger. Such is the effect of bringing the indoors out, with the quick click of Fakro's easy opening mechanism and at minimal expense of both time and money.
About the Manufacturer: Since 1991, Poland's Fakro has manufactured the most innovative, highest quality roof windows. Perhaps more familiar to Western ears and eyes as skylights, these functional products share with that anachronism but the locale of their installation. Fakro's roof windows are not mere plastic translucent vehicles for passage of light, but in fact fully functional portals that allow users to engage with the great outdoors. The full line includes arc windows, top hung and pivot windows, escape windows for safe access to roofs, and the classically clever Balcony Window, "an innovative large roof window in which the open sashes create a balcony."