How to Buy a Headstone
This article is about "How to buy a headstone." When a loved
one has passed away we are left with a terrible void in our
lives. One way for us to commemorate the one we so dearly
miss is by designing and placing an appropriate headstone
for that person. Sometimes, after losing a loved one, the
task of headstone selection may seem to be overwhelming.
This short article attempts to make the task of buying a
headstone a simple one.
- Know your cemetery. Many cemeteries
have their own set of regulations. A single lot may have
different regulations than a family lot. These
regulations put restrictions on the size of your
headstone. These size restrictions will play a part in
the selection of your design. Your local headstone
company should be able to help you with this. Cemeteries
are in business to make a profit and it is possible that
they will lead you to believe that you must buy your
headstone through them. This is not true. You may buy
your headstone from anyone. It is a federal law.
- Contact a local headstone/monument company.
Look for a local monument company that is a member of
the Monument Builders of North America or the American
Institute of Commemorative Art. These members generally
adhere to strict professional standards. Speaking to
someone at a local headstone or monument company will
help you to sort out many of the details. Write your
questions down ahead of time. Ask them if they are
familiar with your cemetery’s regulations and what types
and sizes of headstones are allowed at that cemetery.
Get the questions answered to your satisfaction. If you
are in Indep. Mo or the greater Kansas City area,
feel free to contact one of our Monuments of Distinction
- Visit a local headstone or monument dealer.
Or, ask them to visit you. Either way you should be
certain that they are a legitimate dealer. A true
headstone dealer will have an actual location and
headstones on display. They can also show you pictures
of headstones that they can provide and which will not
break any regulations at your chosen cemetery.
- Select the headstone material.
frequently used for cemetery memorials. Bronze
headstones are also seen in cemeteries. Cemetery
monuments may also be made of marble. Ask your headstone
company to show you headstones made of these materials.
Also ask about the relative prices. Different materials
have different prices.
- Select the type and size of the headstone.
Ask you headstone company representative which types and
sizes of headstones your cemetery will allow. Choose
from among those allowed. You can pick a shape at this
time as well. Not all shapes may be available for all
types and sizes of headstones.
- Choose what you want to be displayed on the
headstone. A headstone is a lasting symbol and
a tribute to the life of the deceased person. It is
important to choose something appropriate for the person
the headstone is for. The inscription, symbols and/or
pictures are included in this step. Each headstone type
has a certain area in which your information can be
displayed. There are size limitations. Tell your local
headstone dealer’s representative your thoughts about
what you want. He or she should be able to simplify the
process for you.
- Approve the final layout. You want
to see exactly what is going to be created. The paper
with this information is called a proof. Look at the
proof carefully. Be sure the information is correct and
the design is how you want it to be. Allow four to six
weeks for the proof.
- Check the headstone. As soon as the
headstone is delivered check to make sure that your
information and design is the way you approved it in the
proof. Is the information correct? Is the design
- Have someone set the headstone for you.
Placing the headstone at the gravesite should be done by
a professional. This is usually taken care of by the
local headstone company or the cemetery. There may be a
fee for this.
Buying a headstone can be complicated. Keep in mind the
main points above and you will do well when you talk to your
local headstone services company. Expect to pay between $500
and $3000 (or more) for a headstone. Adding ceramic pictures
and complex designs can increase the cost. The entire
process can take between 10 and 14 weeks to complete
depending on the material and workmanship required