Q. Where do I start? I've never had to do this before?
You are no different than most people. Below, we have listed some things that you may want to consider before you visit your local monument builder. Take a tape measure and a note pad with you.
- Visit your cemetery and look to see what types of memorials are in
- Check to see what colors of memorials are in your area.
- Check to see what sizes are in your area.
- Look at the back of the memorials and see if there is a nameplate there to indicate who installed the memorial.
- Look at the different lettering styles and see which style you prefer
(there are many ways to letter a memorial).
- Check out the designs ... Are the designs carved into the face of the memorial or left flat?
- Draw a sketch of the memorial and indicate the measurements on the sketch.
Q. How long do I have to wait before ordering a memorial?
Wait until you are comfortable talking about the memorial. Most people wait about three months until they know their financial position and when most
of the shock has passed.
Q. Will the foundation that goes under the upright memorial interfere
with the burial?
No... All cemeteries have adequate space built into the graves to allow for the burial and a memorial foundation.
Q. Why does the cemetery require a concrete foundation under the memorial?
If the concrete foundation is dug and poured below frost level it will ensure that the memorial will continue to stand up nice and straight for many decades to come.
Q. Can I have an upright memorial on my lot?
Check with your local monument builder. They will know all the rules for cemeteries in their area
Q. Can my memorial be as big as I want it to be?
Most (if not all) cemeteries have rules regarding the sizes of memorials. Some have very tight rules others have very relaxed rules. Check with your monument builder. They should know.
Q. My cemetery will only allow me to have a flat bronze marker. Why is this?
Some cemeteries will only allow flat bronze markers, most of them are
Memorial Gardens type cemeteries. The thinking was that cemeteries with a park-like setting would be easier to maintain. Most of these cemeteries are
now planning upright memorials sections because people found it difficult to find graves in the winter time when the ground was covered with snow and people preferred upright memorials.
Q. Can I have any shape or color of memorial that I want?
Yes, as long as the memorial conforms to the sizes allowed by the cemetery. Some cemeteries have a rule that the base stone must be the same material
as the die stone. Check with your local monument builder. They will know the rules.
Q. Why can't I letter the back or ends of my memorial?
Some cemeteries have rules, which state that lettering on memorials must
only face the grave space, and not face other people's cemetery property.
Q. Will my memorial fade in time?
Most memorials today are made from granite, and good granite will not fade or discolor in time. All granites are not created equal. Some are better than others. Check an older section in your cemetery and see how well the memorials have stood up over time.
Q. How long will my monument or marker last?
If your memorial is made from a good quality granite, it will last for many hundreds of years - probably even thousands of years.
Q. Why aren't all granites the same price?
There are a number of reasons why granites differ in price. When a block of granite is removed from the ground, there is a certain amount that is normal waste. With some granites, the waste factor is much larger and obtaining good clear pieces becomes a problem - so the price is higher. Sometimes granites that are imported from other countries are more expensive because of high freight costs and dollar fluctuations. Some granites are harder to polish than others - hence a higher price.
Q. Why does it take so long to complete my memorial?
There are a number of factors that control the time it takes to complete and install your memorial. The first would be the availability of the granite. The second would be the time it takes to have drawings done and approved. Remember the old saying about having things etched in stone? Once the memorial is lettered, it is permanent, and it is very expensive to change. Always ask for either a scaled-computer drawing or a full-size drawing, which you can approve. Mistakes can happen. Always double-check the spelling and dates. The last reason why it can take so long to compete your memorial is the foundation. Some cemeteries install their own foundations and, sometimes, only once or twice a year. Sometimes, due to bad weather, it can take longer to have the foundation installed. Once your memorial is installed, it will be there forever. A few extra days or weeks should not even be a consideration.
Q. Why can't cemeteries pour foundations in the winter?
In most climates, freezing is a major consideration for not installing foundations in the winter. Concrete does not set well if the temperature is below freezing.
Q. Will moss grow on the top of my memorial if it is not polished?
Moss growing on memorials seems to be a problem in some areas more than other areas. It has a lot to do with the climate and ground moisture, as well as the proximity to certain trees and shrubs. Having the top polished simply makes the memorial easier to clean and the slippery surface hinders moss growth. In most cases, moss or most other stains can be removed by pressure washing and professional cleaning. Ask your local monument builder about this.
Q. Why should you add the wife's maiden name to the memorial?
Nobody around here knew her by that name anyway. Consider your memorial
to be the only permanent piece of history that there is. Family bibles can
get lost or destroyed and so can other family records.
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