• Co-op Concept & Fabrication

Custom Millwork vs. Casework: How Do I Know Which is Right for Me?

Custom millwork and casework are just two of the terms people often interchange. Even though they share a lot of similarities under the woodwork industry, both have distinct manufacturing perspective and their buyer persona.

Custom millwork companies in New York like Co-op Concept and Fabrication can help you differentiate these two at a fundamental level. We are able to produce premium quality custom millworks in New York by teaming up with skilled and professional architects, designers, and manufacturers. Learning the definitions and the incidences under which you would need one over the other can help you decide what is best for your project.


Millwork or millwork design is simply a woodwork that is manufactured in a mill. It is a type of wooden detailing that goes beyond a standard trimming. It typically comes in various styles and colors that can be hand-made or made from organized pre-made objects. Common objects such as doors, moldings, trims, and wall paneling. Some millwork needs to be customized to fit into a very specific space like bookcases and cubbyholes. It can appear in any parts of the house from living room to garage.


Custom Millwork, from the word itself, means “specially built or developed”. It encompasses products usually developed for design purposes. To start, draftsmen would take design preferences and structure, as well as size requirements. Depending on the project, custom millwork can either be minimal or decorated with complex patterns.


Casework is pre-made cabinetry that can be installed anyplace it is needed. For instance, bookcases, storage spaces, and cabinets. Ideally, casework CAD drafters or manufacturing companies will deliver the prefabricated products to be assembled on site for the end product.

Casework objects are usually stock goods and are mass-produced. Think of those stock products from IKEA like storage spaces and shelves; all belonging to casework. Custom millwork is way expensive than casework since it is bespoke.


Choosing between these two woodworking types is an old-time dilemma. Each of them has their own unique advantages that serves very important functions. May it be casework or custom millwork in New York, it is necessary to choose the right products for your needs. Most importantly, there are other factors you must consider such as your budget, design and layout options, and the area of installation.

Advantages of Custom Millwork

-Customization Options

You can have a larger room for customizations options when you go for custom millwork. There are certain clients we have worked with at Co-op Concept who wanted to have a more intricate design. The power of having more control over the design is just hard to miss, such as the interiors of your house or building. It truly adds a more personal touch to your designs rather than just assembling pre-made pieces.

-Quality Control

Woodwork quality can be less managed when you are under casework. With custom millwork, you can get to choose which texture you prefer, the furnishings you want, or the wood type you would like to incorporate. Any thing that best suits your taste will be accommodated with custom millwork.

-Professional Touch

Working with professionals who truly have skills and experiences when it comes to custom millwork helps transform your vision into a true masterpiece. You get to have an opportunity of hearing from a design perspective and/or millwork options that best suit your interior or exterior. Thus, an expert advice can help make it far less stressful. Involving a millwork specialist like Co-op Concept and Fabrication who have worked with several clients from various fields can add a more professional touch to your project with high-quality millwork.

Advantages of Casework

However, if you think you are a little tight on the budget and time is something you are worried about, shifting to casework is the best option.

-Faster Installation Time

Process of installing the casework is almost half the time of custom millwork installation. Casework gives you the opportunity to install the pieces readily and easily on site.

-Cost is Affordable

Most of the time, clients opt for casework if they are working on smaller projects or need mass production. Casework is relatively available at affordable costs as opposed to custom-made objects.

-Repair, Reassemble and Reconfigure

Even if these are pre-made objects, they can still be easily repaired, reassembled, and reconfigured depending on your preferences. These pieces were created without your workspace in mind, but the modular components make any layout changes easier.

Customizing your casework and improving the quality of it is paramount. You can choose from a variety of options or styles in order to get the look and functionality you want. It is possible to adapt the furniture to new configurations or additional supplemental components.

Final Thoughts

Both casework and custom millwork have their own importance. They can be applied to projects like retail stores, commercial offices and buildings, home furniture, and more. Even though the two implicate almost the same work, they still fall from different categories fulfilling different roles in the project.

Rental building contractors and hotel proprietors generally prefer casework for their mass-produced products. These pre-made objects or stock goods can still be repaired or reassembled with faster turnaround time. On the other hand, clients who are mostly private homeowners go for custom millwork for their built-in furniture ideas. They would most likely have full control over the design and total appearance of the projects. It truly highlights the uniqueness and adds considerable value to it.

If you are choosing between casework and custom millwork in New York, you must consider budget, timeline, and the are of installation. If you have a high-end budget and wanted the project to reflect exactly how you like it, I say you go for custom millwork. But if you are concerned about the budget and timeline, I say you take modular casework as an option. Narrowing these things can help you make a wiser decision-making.

Co-op Concept and Fabrication works with different artists, homeowners, and contractors from various fields of businesses. Our skills and experiences can help you choose the right product for you. Reach out to us at any time to discuss your project need!