understanding cemetery regulations.
First things first, you must pick a cemetery and purchase a plot so that you can inform yourself on the restrictions that may come with picking your headstone.
Each cemetery has its own set of rules and regulations for the size and type of headstone that can be erected. Many cemeteries also restrict the type of headstone that can be used and the material from which the headstone can be constructed.
While some cemeteries offer an installation service, most will require that you organize the installation yourself. Many suppliers offer installation built into the cost of their headstones. Make sure you are not caught off guard when the headstone arrives and figure out installation and costs for this service prior to ordering. Also keep in mind that most cemeteries and suppliers will not install over the winter months.
Know your rights when it comes to cemetery fees. Some cemeteries will charge fees for the installation, on going maintenance and other add-on services. If you are unclear about any of their fees, ask to see their by-laws.
shopping for a headstone.
Familiarize yourself with headstones. Take a walk through cemeteries so that you can see in person different shapes, types and materials. Use this time to develop a rough idea of what you'd like for your headstone.
Set a budget. Keep in mind the cost of the headstone, customization, installation, plot fees and upkeep. Did your loved one set aside funds for their funeral, see if they budgeted money in those funds for a headstone. When planning ahead and pre-arranging your funeral, ensure you have left sufficient funds to cover the cost of a headstone and all fees associated with it.
Select a supplier or speak to a Funeral home who has access to many different suppliers. You can take the time to price out and speak to many different suppliers yourself, or speak to someone at a Funeral Home who is able to give you several quotes with only one meeting. Speak with friends and family about who they purchased headstones from in the past. Ask for customer reviews and make sure whomever you deal with has a good customer rating.
Finalize your choices. Choose the type of headstone you'd like - upright, flat or memorial bench. Choose a material that is durable - Granite seems to be the most popular choice for it's durability and cost. Choose a finish for your headstone - some finished will affect durability, while some cemeteries may have restrictions on finishes that they allow within their cemetery.
Select a headstone design.
Taking into consideration the size of the headstone you've chosen - chose your epitaph. An epitaph can say many things, from a quote to an excerpt from religious text. Consider your loved one when choosing the wording and make sure it reflects them as a person.
Choose font for your writing. Take into consideration what you'd like to stand out. Is it the epitaph, the persons name or their date of birth and death? Choose varying fonts for different writing on your headstone. Block fonts may be more appropriate for names and dates, whereas script fonts may look nicer for quotes and passages.
Select images for your headstone. Some supplier have stock images to choose from, where others may be able to digitally render a pre-existing image to be placed onto the headstone. These images should reflect your loved one's tastes, life accomplishments, religious affiliation or even a photo of themselves.
Once you've paid a deposit, the supplier will provide you with a proof or rendering. Make sure you examine the rendering closely to avoid being disappointed with the headstone when it is complete. This is your time to change anything you'd like and ask for another rendering. Most suppliers will provide you with two or three renderings before they charge an extra fee. Once you approve the final rendering, the headstone will go into production.
reasons to purchase a pre-need headstone.
It has become more and more popular for people to choose their own headstone before the need arises. By doing so head of time, you can select the style, material and wording that best suits you. A personalized design, which you can help create, can help reflect your beliefs, values or whatever is meaningful to you.
You can save money. Purchasing a headstone before the need arises means you are utilizing today's prices. Like everything else, it will cost less now than in years to come. You are able to save money by purchasing a headstone to be used for more than one person. A headstone can be created without dates of death and placed on your plot for future use.
You are saving your family the stress of choosing a headstone for you. You have the opportunity to discuss it with your family and ensure it reflects you as a person. There is less emotion involved when pre-purchasing a headstone.