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Battle of the Architectural Jargons: Difference Between Millwork and Casework



At BluEntCAD, we often hear from enthusiastic customers who are working with us on millwork and casework projects asking to explain the difference between casework and millwork. We decided to take out our thinking hats and get to work.

Custom millwork and casework are two important wood-working categories which rarely get the attention they deserve. Although both millwork detailing and custom casework share similarities under the umbrella of carpentry, a few distinct differences make them unique.

Architectural millwork detailing

Simply put, millwork refers to building a product completely or can be called as woodwork which is manufactured in a mill. Some of the common millwork objects include doors, trim, molding, crown molding, wall paneling and so on. However, millwork does not include siding, ceiling or flooring even though, they are made of wood. Your ordinary millwork that was mass-produced has been replaced with custom millwork.

So, what is custom millwork?

Anything in the world preceded by custom means specially built or developed. Having said that, custom millwork is made-as-per-order woodwork which serves both practical and decorative purposes. Custom millwork is typically designed for decorating and furnishing a particular space. Depending on the size and requirement, custom millwork can either be minimal or have heavy ornate elements to suit the personal style of customers. Since custom millwork is developed according to the wishes of the customers, it is usually more expensive than run-of-the-mill furnishing pieces.

Custom Millwork Services


Talk about casework now!

Literally speaking, casework is making boxes. It can be best defined as the assembly of box-shaped features including cases, cabinets, bookcases, racks & drawers, or storage spaces. Casework is not custom made and is generally used for modular purposes. How casework is assembled is also what makes it different from custom millwork. Customers are usually provided pre-fabricated pieces of lumber that are assembled to create the final product.

The main distinction between Casework and millwork is that casework is stock goods. Any ready to purchase shelving, cabinetry and storage furnishing is casework. Think IKEA! Casework pieces are not made to fit the needs of your space. They are manufactured with specific measurements and dimensions. Casework is mass-produced and this is why it is less expensive than custom architectural millwork. Moreover, casework is partially, if not completely assembled cabinetry. Email UsGet in touch with our experts to know more about Millwork and CaseworkE-mail:
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Getting the basics right: Why millwork and casework differ

The major factor which differentiates the two is that millwork is custom-made, whereas casework is not.

This is the real difference between both woodwork types. Custom woodworking pieces such as custom wood paneling designs and furniture, commercial cabinet designs, custom storage are all part of custom commercial millwork and they are built on millwork shop drawings created according to customer needs and property requirements. For any finished product to be considered as millwork, it has to fit into space.

So, how do you budget custom millwork?

The standard thumb rule is that you should multiply the cost of materials at least twice or thrice to calculate the total cost of finished millwork.

Sounds great…

But, which is better – Millwork or Casework?

The battle between millwork vs casework is an old one. Both types of woodworking have unique advantages (or disadvantages) for the construction project and, oftentimes, contractors end up using both on a single project.

Casework offers quick storage options. They are ready-to-use and are offered in several varieties, finishes, and budgets.

On the other hand, custom commercial millwork is unfinished and there is scope for further customization based on your specific tastes and individual requirement.

Millwork and Casework

Casework is mostly preferred by rental building contractors and hotel properties. You’ll find them in hotel lobbies, corporate offices, gyms, malls and many such commercial places which have a high footfall.

Custom millwork is more expensive and private homeowners are usually the ones who go for it. It highlights your individuality and adds considerable value to your home or project.

Whether you want casework or millwork, the decision lies on your budget, the kind of property you are thinking of developing and what is your construction timeline.

If you have time, high-end budget and want your home to reflect your personal style statement, go for custom millwork.

Custom millwork will give you:

  • Massive customization options
    Architectural millwork can be done for literally any industry and property under the sun. At BluEntCAD, we’ve worked with clients who wanted custom millwork drafting done for the Healthcare, Retail, and Hospitality industries as well as for commercial residential and industrial real-estate purposes. Apart from this, we have worked on custom cabinet drafting, custom library drafting, custom kitchen drafting, and custom home office drafting for American Architectural Inc., Glass and Mirror contractors ASI Limited besides several other esteemed clients.

    Custom Cabinet Drafting & Custom Library Drafting

  • Bold and Beautiful: The aesthetic appeal of made to order millwork is hard to miss!  Since millwork is built with customer-specific requirements, it adds a personal touch to the interiors of your building. You can get custom wood panel drafting and custom cabinet drafting to create beautiful wood pieces with intricate designs to accentuate your house interiors and exteriors.

    Custom Wood Paneling Drafting

  • Quality to your taste With casework, you do not get to choose the kind of wood or texture and finish you want your furnishings to have. This is addressed with custom millwork. With millwork drafting company, you get what you want in the finished product. It’s up to you how you want it to look and you can provide these shop drawings to the millwork installation company of your choice. This brings the quality control in your hands. You can tweak it the way you feel is best suited to your taste!

If the budget and time are on a leash, then modular casework is the right way to go.

With modular casework:

  • There will be quicker installation times
    Casework is shipped in ready-to-install cases; cutting the installation time to nearly half of millwork installation. Most of the clients that require custom casework drafting from us have bulk orders and demand for easily installable cases.
  • You can repair, reconfigure and reassemble different parts! Since modular casework can be disassembled and reattached, it is easier to repair or replace than the traditional millwork. If you are not too picky, then casework fulfills the furnishing purposes of your property wholesomely. Moreover, casework is not fitted on the floors or walls. This makes them easy to relocate and rearrange. Custom Casework Drafting
  • Your requirements are specifiable Custom millwork drawing is time-consuming and tedious. It is rarely done without a few revisions. However, modular casework drawings can be easily created over by local casework drafting company. Or, you can create casework models with BIM software, to get the intended design.

Contact BluEntCAD today for modular casework design or custom millwork drafting. We specialize in working with local businesses, startups, law firms, hospitality, and recreational businesses as well as real-estate contractors.

You can send us a message or drop by our office anytime to discuss your next project.

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