The purchase and design of a family monument is a personal choice. It is important to keep in mind that almost any design is possible. For example, an upright tombstone can be in the shape of a single or double heart, a cross, or other available designs. Within the slant monument selection, you can choose from different styles of tops, as well as different styles of back and edges-a smooth (sawn) or rough (rock-pitched) back. If you have a sense of the type of headstone, carving, and lettering, Erich Schlosser Memorials can provide you with a very accurate cost estimate.
The desired size of the gravestone should be determined by personal choice, the number of names to appear on the monument, and the size of cemetery plot. In some instances, tombstone size may also be determined by the cemetery. Monument measurements generally refer to width, height, and thickness of the granite. These measurements can vary considerably. It is important that the headstone be large enough to accommodate the names of the people it is meant to identify, yet not so large that it does not fit on the cemetery plot. In addition, most gravestones require a foundation (concrete base) which may be slightly larger than the monument and should be taken into consideration for overall size as compared to the cemetery plot.
The color of granite desired is equally as important a decision as the style of the monument. Most tombstones are made of superior granite. However be cautious when something appears too good to be true. There are inferior granites on the market. Some of the various colors available include Medium Barre Gray, Dark Barre Gray, North American Pink, Impala Black, Canadian Pink, Dakota Mahogany, and Jet Black, just to name a few. The color of granite selected will play an important role in the overall investment of the headstone selected.
Lettering and Carvings
Personalization of a monument can be achieved by the carvings and lettering desired. As a general rule, if it can be sketched, it can be converted and carved on the gravestone. The more complex the sketch, the higher the cost for the carving. Erich Schlosser Memorials has examples of carvings from which individuals may select. They range from floral carvings to wildlife carvings to religious and fraternal carvings and can include a variety of outdoor scenes as well.
There are two basic styles of carvings available-a flat carving or a shape carving. A flat carving is sandblasted into the tombstone and appears flat on the surface while a shaped carving is deeper and appears dimensional. As a rule, shaped carvings appear more prominent and add more beauty to the monument.
Generally, the investment of the headstone will include the basic at-need lettering of family and individual names as well as dates of birth and death. If the monument is purchased prior to death, it would only include the dates of birth. Additional lettering is also available at an additional charge. Some individuals elect to have additional lettering on the back of the gravestone, such as the family name, scripture quote or brief poem. This additional lettering is priced at a per character charge.
Once a monument has been set, additional lettering (i.e., dates of death for individuals who might have died since the tombstone was purchased) can be added as needed. Erich Schlosser Memorials will complete Cemetery lettering on site or bring the monument back to the shop for sandblasting. Erich Schlosser Memorials can provide you with an estimate for any additional lettering or carvings.
When selecting a monument, consideration must be given to the style of monument desired. The four basic styles are as follows: upright monument (with base); slant monument (with or without base); bevel marker; or grass marker.
Are there other costs associated with the purchase of a monument?
In addition to the cost of the headstone, there will undoubtedly be a charge associated with the foundation work or setting fee as required by the cemetery. A foundation is not to be confused with a monument base. The foundation is a level concrete pad upon which the tombstone is placed. Preparation at the gravesite includes digging deep enough to allow the finished foundation to be unaffected by frost. The foundation eliminates the tipping of the monument caused by settling and frost during the colder months. Foundation charges may vary depending upon the requirements of the cemetery. A representative from Erich Schlosser Memorials can provide you with a more accurate estimate. In cemeteries where only flat grass markers are allowed, the cemetery may have a setting fee. This is a fee for preparing the gravesite to allow the grass marker to be flush with the ground. Like cemetery foundations, this charge can vary depending upon the size of the gravestone and the cemetery selected.
What do I need to do once I have decided to order a monument and how long will it take for my monument to be completed?
During the initial stages of monument selection, information for lettering and carvings will be obtained from the family. We will then generate a paper sketch of how the finished headstone will appear. Families are asked to carefully review this information and, if correct to the satisfaction of the family, provide their approval signature. Any changes should be made at that time. Once the tombstone has been lettered changes are difficult and costly.
Completion of the monument depends upon a variety of factors, including the type of monument ordered, the time of the year the order is placed, and cemetery requirements, to mention a few. Generally, headstones which are ordered during the winter months can be completed and set by Memorial Day of the following year. However, this may not always be the case. Special gravestones, (shape, color, carvings, etc.) require additional time to complete and deliver. . Remember that this is a permanent memorialization and it could take several weeks to complete. The delay can be due to the fact that several other tombstones are also in the process of completion or additional time is needed to obtain the stone from quarry. Feel free to contact Erich Schlosser Memorials to inquire on the anticipated delivery date.
Do I need to prepay for the entire headstone when ordering?
When purchasing a monument, Erich Schlosser Memorials does not require payment in full prior to ordering. However we do require a 50% deposit prior to commencing the requested work. Once the monument has been completed and meets the approval of the family, a statement indicating the balance is provided to the family. The monument will then be set on the cemetery once the balance has been paid in full.
Am I allowed to place any type of memorial on my cemetery lot?
To give all lot owners general protection, most cemeteries retain the right to approve the type of memorial to be placed on a gravesite. Some cemeteries have restrictions on size and design of headstones, while others require that only flush-with-the -ground plaque be placed.
After determining if any cemetery restrictions prevail and deciding your individual needs and desires, Erich Schlosser Memorials will work with you to design a custom monument to your taste that also meets the regulations of the cemetery.
What affects the cost of gravestones?
Monuments vary in cost by their style, size, granite type, special carvings, and lettering.