Most people have never been in a predicament where they were tasked with getting a grave marker as a result of a loved one who passed away. Oftentimes when people do shop around for grave markers, they get overwhelmed with the wide variety of options that’s available online and offline. Since a grave marker serves as a permanent mark for the resting place of your loved one, the last thing you should do is to make a hasty decision that you will regret for years, if not decades. As such, there are several things you should consider from craftsmanship and prices to quality and materials, before you make a final decision.
Let’s look at some tips on purchasing a grave marker.
1) Work With Sellers Who Check Cemetery Requirements For You
If you decide to purchase your grave markers online, you need to ensure that it is within compliance of the regulations of the cemetery where you will be placing it. Ideally, you should only work with sellers who have a system of which they can verify the requirements of a given cemetery before they ship your order. If they do not provide this type of service, you shouldn’t use their services. Reputable professionals know how difficult the grieving process is and work to ensure that customers are able to have a seamless experience, if they cannot check the cemetery requirements for you, they do not value you as a customer.
Various types of materials are utilized to create grave markers. When it comes to durability, Lebanon, OH granite and bronze materials are ideal. You can also get grave markers that are made from limestone, fieldstone, iron and marble as well. Because bronze and granite look gorgeous and are the most durable materials that are used to make grave markers, they are the two most popular choices. However, in the same breath they are more expensive than other markers such as markers which are made from wood and concrete.
3) Ordering The Grave Marker
When it comes to actually purchasing the marker, you have several options to choose from. The first of which is from the cemetery where your loved one will be. You can contact companies that only focus on producing grave markers as well. However, most experts suggest that you consult online memorial stores for better rates.
In addition to that, you will be able to browse their catalogue for as long as you like until you find something that is ideal. But, a major disadvantage to working with online suppliers is that you will not be able to go to an actual showroom where you can see the quality of them, up close and personal. But ultimately, if price is a concern, your best route would be an internet based supplier. The key thing to remember is that you should evaluate aspects of a given company before choosing to work with them, regardless if they are online or offline. Some of the factors you should evaluate include:
- Payment options
- Installation and delivery options
Inscriptions on grave markers usually consist of the loved one’s date of birth, date of death and name. In addition to that, most people provide a personalized tribute in the form of a quote from the deceased, scripture verses and poems. Besides that, you can have symbols and even pictures etched in the marker with a laser. When it comes to the type of inscriptions you should put on the marker, you should consider the availability of space so that the entire design flows cohesively. When it comes to staying with a budget, be advised that engravers typically charge by the letter.
You can add various accessories to your marker. For instance, one of the things you can do is to include a customized statue which symbolizes your loved one’s spiritual beliefs such as a statue of an angel. You can also add other accessories such as:
- Flag holders
- Picture frames
- Solar powered lights
- Flower vases
- Wreath holders
6) Maintenance And Installation
When it comes to installing a grave marker, most cemeteries will do this in exchange for a fee. In fact some cemeteries even charge for maintenance, perpetual care and various other add-ons related to grave markers. But, in the event that your cemetery does not offer marker installation services, you will have to work with a locally based monument installer.
A good place to find info on reliable contractors would be a funeral home. They have developed relationships with numerous monument installers and will point you in the right directions. It’s also worth noting that some cemeteries make it their job to maintain and inspect markers occasionally, to determine that they won’t fall and injure someone. In addition to that, you can check your marker yourself. If you notice any issues, you can contact local authorities to address the issue.
7) Stay Within Your Budget
Getting a grave marker in itself, is a large financial investment for anyone to tackle. The last thing you need while you grieve is to end up in debt or to struggle to maintain your bills, by going way over your budget. One of the things you can do is to check to see if your deceased loved one put aside money for funeral expenses as well as to see if their final expense insurance policy covers grave markers.
8) Other Things To Consider
To ensure that you avoid the possibility of having to pay for expensive adjustments, ask for proof before you sign off on a particular design. You can also ask your friends and family members about their experience when it comes to working with a particular company and ensure that you get a warranty with your purchase. When it comes to comparing grave marker companies online, check to see if they have a social media profile and read what other users have been saying. It would also be beneficial to see if they are certified by the Better Business Bureau. Last but not least, time is an important factor that you need to consider. Depending on the design and size of your grave marker, it could take up to 8 months for it to be constructed. Therefore be sure to inquire about a company’s turnaround times for the design that you want.