Very few people have had to buy a headstone before. It's not something anyone looks forward to, and can be a very difficult process for most. However, it's often difficult because most people do not know the right questions. Below, we've put together notes on How to Buy a Headstone. We hope you find it helpful.
First off choosing an experienced monument dealer who has wide knowledge and expertise of the granite industry is essential. In an industry where the average consumer does not know the difference between types of granites, color, sizes, polishes, carvings, etc, and their related costs, it's important to speak to someone who has extensive experience. Whether you are looking for a simple or extravagant design, you want to have someone to help guide you through the process. Someone who can help you incorporate your ideas to make your headstone or memorial a thing of beauty that shows personality and tells a story.
There are many things to consider when designing your memorial:
First, I recommend you drive around cemeteries and get some ideas of things you like or things you don't. That is what I did when I was looking to buy a headstone for my late husband. I looked at the things I liked, and ruled out the things I didn’t. I took photos and kept them with me so that I could remember what it was I liked about each. Then I made a list of ideas to personalize my headstone.
Below is a list of things to consider, whether you are buying a headstone for pre-need or after a death.
Headstones and Markers:
Size - Many cemeteries have maximum heights and widths of headstones for particular sections of their cemeteries. Even the thickness of the stone, and the base it sets on, are sometimes regulated. Most consumers do not know this, but an educated monument dealer will. There have been stories before of individuals buying monuments from out of this country (China and India mostly) only to find out that the stone is too big for the cemetery that their loved one is buried in. Can you imagine how terrible that would be to find out? Don't be that person. Instead, work with a reputable monument dealer like HeadstoneHub or others who can contact the cemetery for you and figure out size restrictions.
Color - Believe it or not, where a piece of granite comes from in the world often times impacts it's color and hue. Because of it’s beauty and durability, the most popular granite in New England is the color gray from Barre Vt. Different colors often times result in different pricing, and certain colors lend themselves better than others for etchings. There are granites that range from deep blues, to varying shades of red and sandstone, to green, black, and a number of others. A good, honest monument dealer will be very up front with you about pricing and will make sure you understand why certain stones are more expensive than others.
Style/ Shape - (Headstones only) Just about any shape you can dream up, can be made into a monument. Beyond the typical square or rectangular shape, many monument dealers offer stones that are shaped like books, teardrops, hearts, free standing crosses, lighthouses, clovers, etc. The ideas are endless. Keep in mind that it may cost a little extra for a more extravagant shape, because of the number of “cuts” that the manufacturer must make.
Carvings - Just about anything can be carved into your headstone. The most popular carvings are flowers, hearts, crosses, stars, and plants. A carving can also be a 3-D sculpture, on the top of your stone. The more intricate the carving, the more likely the price may rise. But, carvings often times bring out the true life and story of a loved one because they can be so intricate.
Polish - Monuments are polished on the front and backs of the stone on a regular basis, but can also have the sides and top polished too. The cost may rise depending on how many extra surfaces are polished.
Personalize - You can personalize your headstone or marker by adding “etchings” showing military service, education, religion, travel, sports, music, customs, homes, even careers. Most popular etchings are portraits, which can also be added to ceramic medallions, that can be affixed to your stone.
We have this has been helpful in learning more about how to buy a headstone.
By: Ryan Durkin. I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any further questions regarding how to choose the perfect headstone, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the contact form here.
Ryan Durkin, Nancy Durkin-Calkins, David Calkins, and their family have been in the headstone, monument, and granite business for over 35 years. We want to make sure that the process of buying a headstone is simple and transparent, and so they created HeadstoneHub. The company helps educate customers and also provides them with the ability to buy granite headstones, monuments, and memorials when the time is right.