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HOW TO SERIES PART 4: HOW TO PLAN A SUCCESSFUL MILLWORK PROJECT

Custom millwork designs by SSDG for iQumetrix and fabricated by Wanes Custom Woodworks.
Find out how interior design firms like SSDG design millwork and achieve beautiful commercial spaces like iQumetrix fabricated and installed by Wanes Custom Woodworks (pictured above).

If we had to select one trade that can really make or break our commercial interior design projects, hands down it would have to be the millworker. At Hatch Interior Design we pride ourselves on offering custom millwork designs – big-city solutions – to our clients so, most often the millwork portion of our designs are extremely detailed. Experienced, qualified custom woodwork shops are essential in the development of detailed, bespoke millwork pieces. Not only can an experienced shop bring our designs to fruition, they do it on time and on budget. Here are our tips for planning a successful millwork project.

Custom millwork designs for LuLulemon store.  Woodwork by Top 40 Woodworks in Kamloops, BC.
Detailed construction drawings and a request for millwork shop drawings are the first step to a successful millwork project like the Lululemon storefront (pictured above) fabricated and installed by Top 40 Woodworks.

1. Detailed Drawings

A complete set of drawings and specifications is the first step in the process of obtaining excellent millwork pieces. Our custom millwork drawings are very well thought-out and extremely comprehensive. We comb through every detail so that we can be sure the piece can be built as we’ve designed it. This is a step many designers ignore, but without proper planning you cannot expect a good end result. Another important thing to include in your drawings is a request for detailed millwork shop drawings. Since you aren’t a woodworking expert there may be some details you’ve missed. A request for shop drawings ensures your millworker will take the time to go through the drawings and develop their own drawings for construction for your review and approval. This step is ever important to ensure that you and your woodworker are on the same page.

Custom millwork designs by Veritas Millwork in Langley, BC.
Research is always a good place to start when you’re looking for a qualified woodworking shop to take on a millwork project like the one above fabricated and installed by Veritas Millwork.

2. Research

As with anyone we hire to help us or our clients, finding reputable millwork shops starts with some research. We suggest contacting friends, contractors, and other tradespeople to see if anyone can make a recommendation.

Another great place to look is with AWMAC (Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada) or through the AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute) and WI (Woodwork Institute) for American projects. These organizations have put together a manual for woodworking standards and carry a list of millwork shops that remain in good standing.

Custom millwork designs - mushrooms fabricated and installed by Waltons Woodworking.
Experienced, qualified woodworking shops can even bring obscure, artistic ideas to reality. We’re pretty sure this client did their research when they selected Walton’s Woodworking to create these stunning custom wood mushrooms.

3. Follow-up

Follow-up is key. Once you have your list of potential woodworkers take the time to find out more about their operation. How many projects do they take on at once? What types of projects do they prefer to complete? Can they meet your time frames? Take the time to visit their shops, take a look around. Does it appear to be safe, productive, organized? If so, ask for references. Good shops should be able to give you a long list of happy clients. Then you really need to do your homework and talk to those references.

Custom millwork designs fabricated and installed by Seagull Enterprises in Vancouver, BC.
Imagine if you could be sure the millwork you receive meets high quality standards like the one pictured above fabricated and installed by Seagull Enterprises? Well, the AWMAC GIS program may be your insurance policy.

4. GIS

If your project is in Canada AWMAC is a great resource. By requiring that your selected woodwork shop meet AWMAC standards (economy, custom or premium) you are letting them know you expect a high level of quality. But you’re not a millwork expert, so how do you know the pieces they deliver meet those standards? That’s where the GIS (Guarantee and Inspection Service) offered by AWMAC comes in handy for your interior design project. For a reasonable fee, AWMAC will review shop drawings, make site or shop visits, inspect completed work, and even provide back-up should the millworker fail to complete the job. Sounds like a pretty valuable insurance policy to us!

» Need our help with an upcoming custom millwork design project? Contact Hatch Interior Design located in Kelowna, British Columbia – Sustainable Interior Design Solutions for the Modern Workplace.

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