When looking for memorial options and companies to craft a headstone for a loved one, there are certain things that should be taken into consideration. However, families who have never gone through the process of purchasing a headstone might not be familiar with common pitfalls in the industry.
Below are the 5 mistakes you will want to avoid making when purchasing a headstone for a loved one.
Know Your Cemetery Restrictions
Many cemeteries have various restrictions when it comes to the headstones they allow in the cemetery. Almost all cemeteries have size restrictions, and depending on the section your loved one is located, there may even be restrictions on headstone type.
For example, your loved one might be in a section that only allows flat grave markers,
which would mean you would not be able to place a traditional upright headstone at the grave. Other cemeteries have restrictions on accessories, including vases and/or colored porcelain portrait photos.
It is important that you are aware of any restrictions set forth by your cemetery. While most monument companies due their due diligence in varifying your purchase with the cemetery, if you were to order one from a company that did not, you most likely would be left with a memorial that would not pass inspection with the cemetery and would be unable to have it installed.
The last thing you want to do is purchase a memorial, have it made, and find out that it does not pass your cemetery’s restrictions. It is always good practice to double check that your cemetery allows the type and size of the headstone your are possibly going to purchase.
Make Sure It Gets Installed
Believe it or not, some monument companies don’t include installation in your purchase.
While this is mainly only a concern when purchasing from online retailers where you purchase a memorial and checkout directly on the company’s website, you will want to check the fine print when purchasing. If the online price is very cheap, odds are installation is not included.
You might be thinking, “No problem. I’ll just find someone to install it”, but it is not that easy. If the company you purchase from does not install the monument, they will most likely try to ship it directly to the cemetery.
The problem with shipping it to the cemetery is that many cemeteries will not accept a shipped monument on a shipping truck for liability purposes.
So now, you have to try to find another monument company to ship it to AND install it. Seems easy enough, right?
Not so much. Most monument companies do not want to be liable for a memorial that is not warrantied under their company. You would be surprised that it can be rather difficult to find a company with the right equipment that is ready to take liabilty for a monument that was not crafted by their company.
Trying to find and locate a location to ship a monument to as well as an installer (which is put on you, the customer) when you purchase from a company that does not install your order can end up costing you more time, money, and headaches in the long run.
Always be sure your purchase includes installation at the cemetery.
Make Sure A Foundation Gets Poured
The foundation is the slab of concrete that your monument will sit on. Some cemeteries pour their own foundations. If your cemetery does not pour the foundation, then most likely your monument company will pour the foundation.
It is critical that you have a foundation for your monument that might weigh over 1,000lbs, otherwise, it will sink into the ground over time and most likely topple over.
(Would you consider purchasing a house without a well-built foundation?)
Again, some companies (especially those tricky online retailers) sometimes bypass contacting the cemetery and making sure a foundation gets poured. They like to leave that up to you 🙂
Be sure your monument company takes care of making sure the cemetery pours the foundation if they themselves will not be pouring it.
Ask About A Warranty
It is important that your monument company offers some type of warranty on your purchase.
A reputable monument company will be able to offer a warranty on the granite should any cracking in the stone occur. While extremely rare, a warranty can provide peace of mind should anything out of the ordinary occur.
You want to make sure that not only the stone would be replaced if any cracking were to occur, but you would also want to confirm that the engraving would be taken care of as well at no cost to you.
If the company you are speaking with does not offer any type of warranty, you should begin to ask yourself why…then perhaps find one that does 🙂
Get A Final Proof
It seems like a no brainer, but we have spoken with families who have called in to inquire about our company fixing an error made on a headstone they purchased from another company.
When we ask the family if they received any type of proof to approve before the memorial was engraved, often times they don’t even know that’s a thing 🙁
If you are going to spend $1,000s of dollars on a tribute to your loved one’s memory, be sure that you confirm with the monument company that you will receive a final proof of the headstone to approve prior to any engraving being completed.
We hope that by sharing these 5 mistakes you should avoid when purchasing a headstone, we have been able to shed some light on the process of purchasing a headstone and help you efficiently navigate the waters of creating a beautiful tribute for your loved one.
Would you like to see how we are able to help families honor their loved one in as little as 4 weeks? If so, CLICK HERE.