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Three Steps to Creating Your Custom Millwork Design

By Katie Finnicum

Image Provided by: Jack Gardner Photography

Millwork in your home is akin to the details on a fine piece of furniture. Whether you prefer elaborate ornaments or clean lines, millwork in a variety of applications and designs will add a flourish to your interior or exterior spaces. 

Custom millwork can transform stairs, railings, mantels, doors, and columns into functional works of art. Our carpentry specialists in the creative process and the value of a customized decorative final product. Herein is a comprehensive guide on how you can create your custom millwork design.

The Initial Considerations

To come up with ideas about your custom millwork, there are some initial considerations you have to make. These considerations include:


Do you prefer a modern or a classic look? Classic millwork designs are common in most homes, as they are very versatile. A classic custom design will offer you the flexibility to match and pair with most home interior architecture and design. 

On the other hand, you may be seeking a more sophisticated look. Modern millwork designs can provide unique options. If you own a newer contemporary home, going with modern millwork design makes more sense.


The appearance and feel of your custom millwork design should highlight and accent the types of furniture, paint colors, and other design elements of your home. Your custom design should provide a sense of consistency and balance throughout your home. Take a closer look at the overall aesthetic of your home to help you come up with a design that complements that look. 


When it comes to custom millwork, every type of wood exhibits different properties that render it suitable for distinct applications. The different properties also lend a different appearance to your finished product. Even within the same category of wood, there are a number of grains and textures. 

These aspects are affected or enhanced by choice of paint or finish. Our experts measure the relative hardness of woods and determine their suitability for various kinds of custom projects.


The durability of your custom millwork design will depend on the materials you choose and the proper installation. It will also depend on whether the installation is interior or exterior.

The Design Creation Process

Now that you have all the considerations in mind, the tricky part is the actual design process. Below is the systematic process of creating a custom millwork design.

  1. Determine the Specifications

One of the crucial roles of millwork designs is to identify and finalize the requirements early during the development stages.

With accurate and complete details, we can approve your design faster and shorten the project time significantly. You can use computer-aided drawing (CAD) tools such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or Inventor to create detailed drawings of your custom millwork ideas. You should also include the quantity of millwork pieces you require for your project.

  1. Identify If Millwork Products are for Interior or Exterior Application

Interior millwork typically necessitates a different approach from exterior millwork. These include the choice of materials, installation, choice of paint, and choice of finishing. As such, you have to take these aspects into considerations. For instance, there are type of woods and finishes that are not suitable for exterior millwork applications due to susceptibility to inclement weather elements.

Interior millwork products include window casing, door jamb, chair rail, mantel, stair treads, stair railing, molding and trims, and radius millwork. Exterior millwork products include thresholds, shutters, pergolas, weathervanes, posts, columns, cupolas, corbels and brackets, frieze boards, drip caps, and T-Astragals.

  1. Include the Wood Species Preference

The wood species you opt for is a very important choice. It should complement your home’s architecture and furnishings and blend perfectly into the overall aesthetic. You have two broad options when it comes to wood species. These are standard and specialty.

  • Standard – We have 12 standard wood species. They are the most frequently requested and are always in stock. The wood species include Alder, American Cherry, Beech, Brazilian Cherry, Hickory, Mahogany-Sapelle, Hard Maple, Soft Maple, Red Oak, Walnut, White Oak, and Poplar.
  • Specialty – If your custom design requires an exotic wood species, we can procure it. Some exotic wood species of preference include Acacia, Red Birch, Natural Birch, Ash, Bubinga, Fir, African mahogany, Purpleheart, Teak, Pine, Tigerwood, Zebrawood and Hemlock among others.

The final step is including specific details on what you base your millwork design on. This can include a sketch, photo, CAD file, or any other relevant information that may be pivotal to a satisfactory installation. Our staff will be able to produce a quote once we have all this information. Before production, all parties will agree on the millwork to be produced once the order is received.

Tags: Custom Stairs, Oak Pointe Updates, Custome Millwork, Oak Pointe Custom, Stair Parts and More Blog, Millwork