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Custom millwork is an excellent way to add functionality and personality to almost any space.

Residential construction accounts for about 90% of overall millwork sales, with residential work about evenly split between new construction and remodels. The largest purchasers of millwork products include residential and commercial building contractors, wholesalers and retail outlets.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the benefits of custom millwork for residential and commercial customers alike, and trends affecting the industry, including competition and customer preferences.

Benefits of Custom Millwork

There are many ways in which custom woodworking products add value to a wide variety of properties, from traditional singlefamily homes to modern office buildings.  

  • It’s a cost-effective way for clients to express individuality. Each individual piece can be made to order and may include design features that will be unique to the customer’s home or business property.
  • Millwork pulls other construction and design elements together. A quality finished product will match the layout of a space, materials used, color schemes and other features.
  • Custom millwork performed by an experienced professional generally results in a higher quality of craftsmanship, functionality and appearance compared with one-size-fits-all alternatives.

Popular Millwork Products and Designs

Today’s clients want custom millwork products that look beautiful and accommodate technology needs. Other trends are also affecting residential and commercial preferences.

  • Demand for windows and doors account for almost half of industry revenue at 47.9%. Popular items in this space include door units, door frames, sashes and window frames.
  • Darker shades of wood, stains and finishes have come on strong, as more homeowners and B2B clients like the natural appeal of wood. Dark wood goes great with sleek, simple designs and pairs well with a variety of paint colors and furniture styles to give the space a warmer vibe.
  • Wood may give the room a natural feel, but it can also meet the needs of today’s tech-dependent customers. Commercial clients in particular seek out features including wood panels that conceal hidden occupancy sensors and conference tables engineered for plugging in devices for anytime-anywhere communications. Custom millwork can also be designed to accommodate energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures.

Competition from Imports & Substitutes

With revenues of $27 billion and average yearly growth of 1.5% between 2013 and 2018, firms must stay attuned to competition, technology and other factors which continue to influence the market for wood-based architectural products for doors, windows, stair railings and more.

Millwork products have benefitted from favorable economic trends in recent years but also face headwinds from various sources of competition.

  • Growth in housing starts and home improvement spending have been positives.
  • Competition from wood substitutes has placed pressure on price growth and sales. Metal, granite and marble have gained in popularity in recent years, creating competition for traditional wood-based millwork.
  • Imported millwork products have also presented a challenge for domestic producers, who will be watching closely to monitor what, if any, impact recent tariffs enacted by the U.S. will have on the market for lumber and other wood products.  

Key success factors for firms in the millwork industry include access to highly skilled workers and maintaining contacts with key decision makers in markets served.

Mid-City Lumber offers a wide selection of high-quality custom millwork products for doors, stair rails and more, from a number of reputable suppliers.

Contact us and our team of professional design experts will help you select the right materials for your project and provide the service you need to get the job done.