Sometimes a customer calls and says that they want some custom millwork. When we discuss their needs further, what they are really looking for is custom casework. So, what are the differences between millwork and casework?
The best way to describe millwork is simply, any woodwork that has been produced in a mill. There are many type of millwork applications, such as crown moldings and other molding and trim, doors, and even flooring and wall paneling.
Most millwork is custom made. For something to be considered millwork, the finished product must be built into the eventual space that it is going into. Millwork includes custom wood working pieces such as cabinets, restaurant seating, shelves, commercial storage, etc. Essentially, any work that is customized for a specific space. Otherwise, it would be considered furniture. Since millwork is custom designed for a specific space, and needs to be professionally installed, it can be more expensive than stand alone cabinets or storage systems.
So what is casework? Casework really comes down to making boxes. These boxes can be used for bookcases, cabinets, display cases etc.
I suppose that the main difference between millwork and casework is that casework is often a stand-alone item. It can be ordered in a set of dimensions and simply assembled and and placed in its spot. It is not built into a defined area. You can order casework like ordering a product. Simply choose from a set of standard dimensions and measurements. Casework is usually fully assembled or partially assembled. This makes casework less expensive.
In both cases, you can get a variety of woods and finishes, but the real difference between millwork and casework is if the product is designed to be installed into a specific area. If so, ask for millwork. Sometimes a good designer can make good use of casework into their designs for an attractive look while keeping costs down. Many projects call for a combination of both millwork and casework.
If you are re-designing a space and have questions about millwork or casework, contact us for additional help.