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From stairs to custom cabinets and from multi-purpose crown molding to wainscoting, utilizing millwork and custom woodworking is an excellent way to add functionality and personality to almost any space.

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

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

Benefits of Custom Millwork

There are many ways in which custom woodworking products, whether in commercial, restoration, or decorative types of millwork, add value to a wide variety of properties, from traditional single–family homes to modern office buildings. 

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

Popular Millwork Products and Designs

A popular aspect in today’s residential and commercial projects is the need for custom millwork products that not only look beautiful, but also accommodate technology needs. Other trends are also affecting residential and commercial preferences include(:).

  • The demand for windows and custom doors accounts 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, in stains and finishes, have come on strong, as more homeowners and B2B clients prefer the natural appeal of wood. Dark wood custom millwork 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.
  • In addition to giving any room a natural feel, professionally-crafted wood fixtures and millwork 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 capabilities. Custom millwork can also be designed to accommodate energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures.

Competition from Imports & Substitutes

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

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

  • Growth in new housing starts and home improvement spending have been positives for the growth of the millwork industry.
  • 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 projects.
  • Imported millwork products have also presented a challenge for domestic producers, who will must 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 continued-success factors for firms in the millwork industry include access to highlyskilled workers and maintaining regular contacts with key decision makers in all markets served.

If you are looking for professional woodworking and millwork fixtures for your next build or renovation, Mid-City Lumber offers a wide selection of high-quality custom millwork products from doors, to stair rails and more, from a number of reputable suppliers such as Goods Millwork and WM Coffman.

Contact us today and our team of professional design experts in Columbia, Boonville, Jefferson City or Sedalia, MO will help you select the right materials for your project and provide the service you need to get the job done.