What does your contractor refer to as ‘millwork’?  

Read on to find out the definition of millwork.  

Whether you’re redesigning a room or building a dream home, you may have heard the term  ‘millwork’. It can sometimes be tough to discern what this means, as the definition has  changed over the years. Does it have to be wood to be considered millwork? What products  are included in this classification? Read on to find out.  

What is millwork?  

Millwork often refers to certain design elements within a home. Traditionally, the term  ‘millwork’ referred to any product created from raw lumber (softwood or hardwood) and  produced in a planing mill or sawmill. Product specifications are professionally planned by  Architects and Designers. The term first saw widespread use between the late 1800’s and  early 1900’s.  

In the modern age, the term ‘millwork’ now includes synthetic materials such as fiberboard,  plastics, finger-jointed wood, composite materials, particle boards, fiberglass, and some  components for wood-adhesive. Wood-based millwork products require finishing coats for  decorative application, but other materials may not. 

Products like base trim, doors, and chair rails are considered millwork. Occasionally, cabinets  may also fall into this definition, though contractors often separate them into their own  section.  

There are two categories of millwork: stock and custom. Millwork products can be either  functional or decorative. The products can be designed to improve energy efficiency, impact  protection, and fire safety. In some cases, millwork products can even be enhanced to deaden sound.  

Stock millwork  

Stock millwork refers to millwork products that have been mass-produced. These products  tend to be cheaper than ordering a custom build. The most common stock millwork products  are trims and building components. This leads to components of stock millwork products being  both interchangeable and low cost.  

Stock millwork is often the choice for the budget-conscious buyer. Generally, stock millwork is  inexpensive and can be installed easily even by the inexperienced.  

Custom millwork  

Custom millwork refers to any millwork creations that are produced with custom  specifications for a buyer. Custom millwork may also be referred to as architectural millwork.  The result is often an aesthetically pleasing, but costly option. Custom millwork is an  excellent choice for the buyer with a higher budget who wants a unique touch.  

What millwork option is right for me?  

When trying to decide between your millwork options, think about what is important for you.  If you are on a lower budget or need something easy to assemble, you might choose stock  millwork. If you have experience in installation, a higher budget, or want a unique touch, you  might consider custom millwork.  

A contractor can provide support in addition to installing your millwork for you. It’s a good  idea to reach out for a quote. Even if you choose not to get your millwork professionally  installed, it’s always good to know your options. No matter what you choose, installing new  details to your residence can make it feel like a home, as well as providing it with a fresh  look.