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Millwork vs. Casework: A Detailed Study of Differences and Comparison

Millwork vs Casework

Millwork and Casework, the two often interchanged terms, are closely interwoven with the building architecture and construction. Despite the exchanged usage of these two terms falling under the umbrella of carpentry, they have distinct application from CAD drafting and manufacturing perspective.

An offshore expert millwork drafting service company near you, can differentiate these two at the very fundamental level and have the competitive draftsmen. They partner with furniture manufacturers, kitchen cabinet makers and custom cabinet manufacturers in developing high-quality shop drawings at affordable prices.

What constitutes millwork?

Millwork or millwork design refers to finished building products or woodwork produced in a mill such as doors, crown molding, wall paneling, display counters, custom kitchen cabinet drafting, etc. However, the elements that are integral parts of the building itself, such as ceiling, flooring, or siding etc. are not included here, although made of wood.

As far as custom millwork CAD drafting is concerned, it encompasses building products that are usually intended for decorative purpose (architectural ornamental products) and are generally Engineered-To-Order or bespoke. The draftsmen take the size requirements and complementing the customers’ personal choices; drafters study the architectural drawings and prepare the necessary shop drawings to millwork construction companies.

Custom Millwork Drafting

Millwork Drawing from Architectural Plans

What is casework?

Casework as the name signifies; is all about manufacturing the boxed furniture such as cabinets (display and storage), racks & drawers, bookcases, storage spaces, kitchen drawers, etc.

Ideally, casework construction doesn’t include furniture that is custom made and usually finds applications in modular usage. The central idea of any cabinet maker or other furniture manufacturing company [or the casework CAD drafters] is to deliver the pre-fabricated building products [or casework CAD shop drawings] that can be assembled at the site for the final end product.

Casework Shop Drawing

Casework Drawing and Models from Architectural Plans

The Difference between Millwork and Casework

Major difference between the two is that millwork is custom, while casework isn’t. Casework pieces are not made to fit the spaces, they are rather made after taking the specific geometrical dimensions of the space. There, of course, can be multiple variants and customization of colors, surface finish, etc. can be done at the end of the user in case of casework. Since casework can be done in mass-production, it is usually less expensive. Another catch for casework is it is usually mass-produced; while millwork is only made for a specific space of the building and the same geometrical drawings cannot be reused for another project.

Custom Door Design

Custom Door Modeling and Designs

Casework or Millwork: Which is preferable?

From the aforementioned arguments for differences between millwork and casework, it is apparent that both have got unique advantages and disadvantages to offer for any building construction project to be declared as ‘complete’. Casework, on one hand, provides consistent, quick storage options and comes for immediate use. It is very crucial in case of retail shops like food chain shops or restaurants.

And for architectural millwork, it is convenient and allows customizing the CAD drawings as per the individual project needs. Mainly, it adds value and quality to the completeness of the project and thereby enhances the interior or architectural space as a whole.

Since both, casework and millwork, have their own set of peculiarities, it is hard to say which one to undertake. One deciding factor could be how simplified the production shop floor activities can be with the final aim of cost reduction and utility. With this in mind, casework is modular and economical which makes it a more viable choice.

But from a customer’s perspective, casework is accommodating to the manufacturer’s product and millwork drafters’ ideas. Thus, if the customer’s need is to have a tailored design, millwork is a better alternative. Millwork is also important while accounting for woodworking when there is a specific size needed as in kitchen cabinetry.

Differences Between Millwork and Casework

Custom Sketch for Kitchen Cabinetry and Millwork

Costing: Millwork vs Casework

As stated above, casework is simpler as against to millwork that is custom made and hence the latter is costlier. Let’s understand that costlier here means the cost of manufacturing per piece but also offers better quality. It needs time and detailed attention of CAD drafters in deciding the space decoration, utility, and uniqueness.

Thus it is extremely important that the quality of shop drawings is of the supreme standards which can be attained by partnering with millwork drafting service provider. Mantelpieces or armoire are the most appropriate examples. Thus, when projects are grand, price becomes the governing factor.

For smaller projects, customers usually tend to opt for casework as it allows picking up from the readily available factory products which are relatively available at affordable costs as against the custom made. But this also means that the final product quality is not at par with the millwork products.

Thus, at first glance, it might seem that casework is an inexpensive option, but evaluating the other parameters will lead to a conclusion that the architectural aesthetics available in molding and trim of room is unparalleled in millwork. It all boils down to the end customers’ project needs.

Bringing it all together

Both millwork and casework find application to project including commercial offices, retail stores, parks, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, upholstery for furniture items, lightings, display counters, racks and shelves, mantelpieces etc. Both have their own importance.

Now that you know the fundamental differences between Millwork and Casework, there still are several parameters based on which you can differentiate both the so closely linked services. However, the end decision relies largely upon the ultimate application of your project.

Characteristic
Millwork
Casework

Custom Made
Yes
No

Dependence upon Architectural Drawings
Yes
No

Changing Designs for each Project 
Yes
No 

Adjustment to Manufacturers’ need
No
Yes

Mass-Production
No 
Yes

Final state of the product 
Finished Product
Modular Product [Semi-Finished] 

Installation Time
Time Consuming
Quick

Quality
High
Low

Costs 
High
Low

Retrofit
Difficult
Easy

Millwork and Casework both form a very significant part of the building construction project. Hence, it becomes crucial for the architects, builders and manufacturers to ensure the correctness and quality of shop drawings both.

Building a long term relationship with a professional millwork drafting company for developing CAD shop drawings to get the best quality and display the uniqueness of your space to be the market leaders.

Gaurang Trivedi

About Author: is engineering consultant at TrueCADD. Besides, donning multiple hats, as a website manager and marketing in charge, he also oversees the editorial content, coordinating and managing the website, its news sections, blogs and social media promotions as well.

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