I run a specialty millwork shop in Narragansett, R.I. Over the last 25 years, I’ve developed a strong working relationship with my oldest and largest customer, Baud Builders. One of the first things Dave Baud and I do when we review a set of plans for a new home is identify out-of-the-ordinary architectural components that can be built off-site in my shop. This approach takes some time-consuming tasks off the framing crew’s back, allowing them to focus on getting the basic building shell closed in.

That’s how we handled the front entry featured here — an arched-roof portico projecting between gambrel gables above a rounded deck. The front corners of the roof rest on composite columns standing on flared-skirt half walls. The gambrel eaves terminate on the portico roof, creating as complicated a junction of rooflines as you’re likely to...

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