I’m roughing in the opening for two skylights on either side of my house. I used a laser to get a level line across the span of the house (to get both openings on equal level).
The issue, as you can see in the pictures, is that the rafters aren’t square. I can level the lower header but that moves the frame out of square. There is only about 1/2” of play in the RO width and by the vertical laser line you can see that it would take much more than that to square and level the opening.
I suppose I could use a smaller skylight and build a square and level RO within this initial cutout. But is there a way to use the full size skylight I desire?
Hopefully I've made the issue clear, the pictures probably tell the story better than I can. TIA!

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2 Answers 2


Few things in real houses are actually all that level or plumb.

It won't matter a hoot if the opening is not level, and nobody but you will even notice that, unless you insist on telling them when they visit.

If it's not square (enough) to put the skylight into, it won't fit. So make it square enough to fit with the rafters you have, and let level go hang.


Indeed. You are overthinking. Here in New Orleans everything is out of square and level. It is more of an art to think of parallel lines and visual tricks. Use a tape and try to get equal lines between the obvious visual markers--- distance between walls and edge of skylight for instance. If not perfect try to split the difference. I call it the zebra effect: When you focus on one little thing you always see it, but as part of the whole it disappears into the herd and even old lions like me can't see it. When contractors came here after Katrina, many were flummoxed. Throw out your level I would laugh, we are building boats!

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