First and foremost, you must understand that each and every cemetery has its own specific rules and
regulations regarding burials, cremations, memorials, and cemetery operations. Before choosing a
cemetery you may want to check on the following items:
Q. Does your cemetery allow the type of memorial that you desire?
Most, if not all, cemeteries have rules regarding memorials, and some cemeteries are very specific with
what they will allow in their cemeteries.
Q. Does the cemetery have a length restriction?
Most, if not all, cemeteries control the length of the memorial to ensure that the memorial does not
infringe on the adjoining lot and to allow for the planting of gardens and shrubs.
Q. Does the cemetery have a height restriction?
Most, if not all, cemeteries have a height restriction. Each cemetery looks at this differently. Most have
a rule which regulates the overall height to 2 1/2 to 3 feet. Others may be more or less.
Q. Does the cemetery require a certain thickness of memorial?
Most cemeteries require that upright memorials be at least 6" thick. More and more, cemeteries are
requiring that upright memorials be at least 8" thick. Some cemeteries have a height to thickness rule
which requires that if your memorial is over a certain height then it must increase in thickness.
Q. How many graves must you purchase for the cemetery to allow an upright memorial?
Some cemeteries will allow an upright memorial on a single grave. Other cemeteries will force you to
purchase two or more graves should you wish an upright memorial. Some cemeteries will not allow
upright memorials on cremation graves. Others do allow upright memorials, but you may have to
purchase two or more cremation graves.
Q. Does the cemetery allow for winter internments?
Some cemeteries, usually smaller country cemeteries, require that there be no internments once the
frost has entered the ground and there will be no further internments until the frost leaves the ground
in the spring. Some cemeteries have a surcharge for winter burials.
Q. Does the cemetery plow the roads in winter?
Check this out carefully. You may want to visit the gravesite during the winter months only to find out
that the roads are never plowed or only plowed when there is a burial taking place.
Q. Does the cemetery allow for additional internments of cremated remains on top of burials?
Some cemeteries do not allow for the internment of cremated remains on top of a burial. Others allow
only one, two, or even three while some cemeteries allow for an unlimited number of cremated remains
on top of an in-ground burial. This is an important piece of information, especially if one member of your
family wants a regular in-ground burial but the rest want cremation. Remember that this is when the
memorial rules come into play. If the cemetery allows for one burial and three cremations in each grave
then the memorial rules must allow for a memorial that is large enough to handle all the information
for four people.
Q. Does the cemetery install its own markers or is it left up the memorial builder?
Some cemeteries have a rule which states that only the cemetery is allowed to install Flat Grass Markers.
Others may have a surcharge to mark out the location so that the monument builder can install the
marker in the proper location himself.
Q. Does the cemetery install its own foundations under the memorials or is it left up to the
Foundations are concrete footings which are usually dug to a depth of at least 4 feet and most times
5 feet. They are usually the same size as the base stone and sometimes the cemeteries require that
there be a concrete border extending out 3 inches to 4 inches on all four sides. The foundation is a
very important part of the memorial. It must be deep enough to ensure that it is below frost levels and
that it will not heave up and down with frost. Be sure that the foundation is installed properly. In larger
cemeteries, the cemetery staff installs the foundations. In smaller cemeteries, it is left up to the
monument builder. If the cemetery itself does not install the foundations, they will want to stake out
the lot to be sure that the memorial is going to be installed in the proper location.
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