If you’re like millions of Americans, chances are you have never gone through the process of buying a headstone before. It’s not something that people look forward to, and to many it is an uncomfortable necessity that can be very confusing. After speaking with a large number of people who had recently gone through the process of buying a headstone, we decided to assemble this guide to help simplify the process.
CHOOSE YOUR HEADSTONE SIZE
Size: To start, it’s important to contact your cemetery and ask them about the maximum size headstone you are able to have. All cemeteries have requirements as to what they can and cannot allow in terms of size.
Do not make the mistake of buying a stone before checking first with your cemetery. For example, many cemeteries have rules in place that say a headstone can’t be more than 4 feet long x 2 feet wide x 6 feet tall.
Questions to ask your cemetery:
CHOOSE YOUR HEADSTONE COLOR
Colors: Granite headstones come in a variety of colors from different parts of the world. Barre Gray, for example, comes from Barre, Vermont in the United States and is the most popular headstone color in New England. We prefer the colors below due to their consistency, high quality rating, and beautiful tones. Here are the 12 most popular colors, below.
CHOOSE YOUR HEADSTONE SHAPE
Shape: You have the option of getting something more standard, like the shapes below, or customizing your own shape. Most monument dealers can get very creative and create anything you can dream up. The general rule to remember is that, typically, the more angles on a stone, the more expensive it will likely be.
CHOOSE YOUR TEXT
Text: Most people choose to write the family name on the front of their headstone (Ex: “SMITH”) and the full name and date of birth and death on the back (Ex: “Jim Smith, January 8, 1954 – November 23, 2015”).
Fonts: You will have hundreds of options of fonts to choose from. Often, it is best to start with some understanding of whether or not you want a traditional Times Roman Font, Script Lettering, Block Lettering, Old English Lettering, or Celtic Lettering. Examples are provided below for you.
Inscriptions: Give the monument shop owner the sheet of paper with your loved one’s full name on it (make sure it is spelled correctly), birth date, and date of death. Then think about the following: Would you like to include an epitaph? Something like “Forever in Our Hearts” or “We Love you Dad.”
CHOOSE YOUR ARTWORK
Artwork and Designs: You can include engravings like ivy, flowers, and religious symbols. You can also ask to customize your own. Be sure to insist they are cut deep into the stone and either sandblasted or laser engraved by a professional.
Sculptures can really add a lot of value to a headstone. Whether they are carved roses, religious symbol, turtle doves, angels, or a picture of your loved one’s sailboat he/she used to ride, sculptures can turn an ordinary stone into something that looks truly extraordinary. We have provided some examples below as some ideas.
You just read “5 Easy Steps to Buying a Headstone” by HeadstoneHub. We hope that this guide has helped you understand that when it comes to picking out the perfect headstone for your loved one, there are five things you will need to choose: the size, color, shape, text, and artwork. All of these will combine to influence the price of your headstone. It’s better to know that each of these will impact the price of your stone before buying online or walking in the door to a monument dealer. If you are buying a headstone, it is likely an emotional time in your life. Be informed and ask questions about each of these five steps.
HeadstoneHub has been designing and building granite headstones, monuments, benches, and urns for over 35 years. We are family owned and operated and stand by the quality, beauty, and craftsmanship of our memorials. HeadstoneHub is a Massachusetts based company that proudly serves the greater New England area.
Areas We Serve in New England:
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire & Vermont.
Or visit our showroom in Leominster, MA