Making many decisions is part of the headstone selection process. There are numerous aspects of cost, design, materials, installation, and upkeep to think about. You must consider all the critical elements to choose a memorial that honors your loved one and endures the test of time and the elements. You can choose the perfect headstone with the following tips.

Have a budget

Setting a budget before visiting a headstone vendor is advisable because a headstone is an expensive purchase. Grave markers range at $3,000, depending on their size, design, and extras. Additionally, make careful to look into any advance arrangements the dead may have made that cover the price of the headstone.

Check the rules of the cemetery.

There are rules governing the types and sizes of headstones that cemeteries and memorial parks are permitted to erect, and these rules can vary depending on the area. Some cemeteries want a standardized appearance with flat monuments or only one kind of material, like granite.

Before making a purchase, find out from the property manager if there are any restrictions. Some cemeteries offer installation services for a fee or may demand that you only buy a headstone from one of their designated vendors. Ask your friends for referrals if you need to employ an installer.

Choose a durable material.

When choosing a material for a headstone, you should ideally pick one that withstands the environment and requires little upkeep over time.

  • Granite has the greatest versatility, is durable, and is inexpensive.
  • Marble has a striking design on a smooth material. However, it requires ongoing maintenance, which is why not all cemeteries permit it.
  • Limestone is a weaker stone than marble or granite because it is soft. It soon ages, making inscriptions harder to read.
  • Bronze is one of the most expensive, but it is a sturdy one that organically darkens with time and needs little upkeep.
  • Stainless steel is an alternative to stone and is more durable and effective against the elements.
  • Slate is a smooth, easily carved stone but not durable.

Consider the design and finish.

You may have encountered the book, tear, heart, or cross, some of the typical design shapes. The stone’s finish is also part of the design and can be done in various ways, and the following are a few standard finishes.

  • Polished: Granite works well for smooth, polished surfaces that are also highly reflecting. Regular upkeep and cleaning are also necessary.
  • Part-polished: when just some components—like the base or the writing area—are glossy.
  • Honed: Smooth but unpolished and opaque.
  • Pitch or rock pitch: an aged cemetery look that is usually rough, with a natural appearance with somewhat carved, worn-looking edges.

Choose a reputable headstone designer.

Before buying a headstone, take your time to explore several places, such as a cemetery, funeral home, monument retailer, or online dealer. However, ensure the cemetery has approved the headstone you select. Look for recommendations from reliable people, inquire about warranties, research the company’s reputation for quality and dependability, and read customer reviews to get the best price and quality deal.

The takeaway

Review the headstone before signing off on the product.