Commercial Millwork has come a long way in the last century. It is essential to take a sneak preview of what was done in the past to fully appreciate the current state of millwork in the present day.
Traditionally, commercial millwork entailed fabricated, mass-produced lumber installed in a building for aesthetic purpose and to increase utility. These were products specifically made from wood and installed as residential interiors, exteriors or storefront, interior and store fixtures packages for commercial millwork. Some of the installations include doors, columns, stairways, cabinets, windows, fireplace mantels just but to mention a few. During the golden era of millwork, almost all interior elements of a majority of the buildings was made of wood and millwork was standardized across the United States of America.
Since the early days of millwork there have been a lot of changes. In earlier times, commercial projects enabled architects to sub-contract small millwork companies to develop custom made commercial millwork, adhering to specific unique designs and manufacturing standards, as well as building guidelines. Makeshift millwork station would be established on the construction site, timber would be shipped in and all the artisans, craftsmen and carpenters involved would work hand in hand to design, develop and install the finished millwork. Construction guidelines for residential and commercial buildings were the same until the catastrophic great fires in Chicago and San Francisco. New construction rules called for use of fireproof products. In effect wood was replaced with iron rails when it came to stairways; and fireplace mantels were constructed using bricks. Changes in construction techniques and subsequent prevalence of newer, low-cost options saw the demise of historical millwork over the years during the 20th century.
Present day commercial millwork does not only employ the use of graded lumber but also includes extensive utilization of various glasses, fasteners and decorative coatings and polishes. Specialization has redefined the roles of carpenters whereas they are no longer directly involved in design and development of the millwork; but rather come in to install already finished products.
Commercial millwork products are produced under two categories:
1. Stock millwork.
Stock millwork entails mass production of interchangeable building components that are readily available for both commercial and residential consumption. Economies of scale make stock millwork to be cheap, affordable and the designs are a commonplace among the wider (commercial and residential) clientele.
2. Custom or architectural millwork.
Custom or architectural millwork is where the millwork product is custom made to the specifications of an individual or a particular commercial project.
Areas where commercial millwork products can be fitted include, but is not limited to, receptions, lobbies, stores, hotels, restaurants, casinos, and football stadiums. A wide variety of commercial millwork products are now available in the market such as desks, cabinetry, hollow metal doors and frames, fire rated glass, wall paneling, custom solid surfaces, wainscot and built in room elements such as bookcases. Cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art machinery has enabled creation of high end commercial millwork, done with precision while making the best use of the human mind to develop creative designs and products. Modern commercial enterprises are keen to give their clients more than just a service or a product. Present day business ventures that rely on brick and mortar are curving out an experience for their clients. The spirit behind the service or product being offered is thematically captured in the visual design of both the interior and exterior finish of a commercial building.
Commercial millwork gives businesses a much required facelift, the kind that goes a long way in as far as customer acquisition and retention is concerned. The aesthetic appeal of any business will help set the ambience of the business environment. Every business environment not only speaks to potential clients, but in equal measure addresses its personnel. Hardly do we have faith in a business that is located in a run down, dilapidated building.