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I'm working on a model that is based on a cylinder and I have given it shape using a bevel and a subsurf modifier:

Model after modifiers

Based on the edited low-poly cylinder structure:

Model before modifiers

I want to cut some holes on the offset at the top of the cylinder which I made using an inset face and extruding the result, I have tried making the holes by making some inset faces on both sides of the extrusion, cutting the faces, and bridging the openings on the low-poly mesh and then applying bevel weight to keep the shape of the hole but this makes the section of the subsurf come forward due to the new geometry:

Low-poly holes shape issue

I have also tried adding a boolean modifier after subsurf but this breaks the topology and the smoothness:

High-poly boolean normals issue

This looks the closest to what I want to do, but the resulting normals would cause trouble when trying to use the model on software like Substance Painter to generate mesh maps for a low-poly version.

Is there some way to make the holes in a non-destructive way while keeping the cylinder's surface plain and smooth?

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you can use 3 modifiers like this:

enter image description here

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Ok, I agree with the previous reply, the person who posted it is quite experienced. However, here is another way of creating the same type of model.

enter image description here

In this version I delete the faces I want as the holes first, and then model the shape of the rim and the lid. I just keep on adding edge loops to control the shape of the object and add details. I can use the bevel tool, instead of the bevel modifier to add some edge loops. At the end, I don't need the boolean, I let the subsurface modifier do the work.

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