Faced with building two opposing eyebrow dormers across a narrow, stress-skin foam panel gable roof, Narragansett, R.I., builder David Baud and collaborator Mike Rand came up with a SIPS-inspired approach.

They cut dormer face profiles from 3/4-inch-thick medium-density overlay (MDO) plywood and glue-nailed them over 2x lumber blocking to create two custom sandwich "headers." Then they stood the headers parallel to each other, 12 feet apart on the shop floor, and joined them by a series of flat 2x4 "purlins" spaced about 8...

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