Custom millwork and casework: What is right for your next project?

The term “carpentry” is used as a catch-all for all woodworking. Under this umbrella there are two categories; millwork and casework. Often these two forms of carpentry are used interchangeably, but the reality is that they have big differences.

Whether you’re building a new house or remodeling your existing house, it is important to know the reason one choice might fit your need better than the other. Obviously budget is a key factor, with preference and style playing a role as well. Here’s what you need to know:

Millwork is any type of woodwork or building product produced in a mill, such as Big C Lumber’s Custom Millwork & Cabinetry Facility. This could include anything from doors, trim, mouldings, crown mouldings, and wall panels – among other items. In the case of our facility, everything we manufacture is custom-made to fit the specifications of your project.

Casework refers to making boxes. Think bookcases, cabinetry for the kitchen or bath (or any area of a home or business), and storage spaces. For commercial purposes, casework includes display cases used in retail, restaurants, etc., and items such as the counters and greeting areas you would see in an office or medical facility. Casework that is available on a retail level includes the same type of items (bookcases, cabinetry, storage units) but it is made in standard sizes. More of a one size fits all philosophy. At the Big C Lumber facility, everything we make is custom. Let’s say you have an older home where out-of-the-box kitchen cabinets won’t fit your space exactly. Here you would need to use “filler” pieces – or spacers – to make up the difference. (New homes that are custom-built usually don’t have this problem, the space is made to accept standard cabinets). Our facility will build the cabinets to fit your space exactly, no fillers or spacers would be needed.

With these differences, obviously you’ll pay more for custom pieces – but you are getting higher quality with that customization. The time and attention that is put into every piece that comes out of a custom mill is worth the higher price tag.

Which one is right for you? Consider these points:

How important is this project? Is it a major remodel, updating a single room, or a new kitchen? What is my budget?

Most homeowners usually do not install custom pieces of cabinetry in their home because of the availability of affordable semi-custom pieces. Custom cabinetry is usually reserved for higher end builds or for commercial applications. However when a specialized piece is needed to fill a specific space or unusual need, a custom made piece might be the only way to go.

When you’re building or remodeling, your contractor can help you decide. At Big C Lumber, our staff is ready to advise you based on your needs. Whether it’s totally custom, or a semi-custom cabinet from one of our suppliers, or a standard “box” cabinet – you have choices!

To discover more about our Custom Millwork & Cabinet Facility, click here: