There is no normal time frame to wait or rush to buy a headstone. You should purchase a headstone when you are ready. With that said, there are some things to consider that may influence you with the purchase of your monument. For instance, if your family is not close to home and can only be here for the funeral, this may dictate buying the headstone within days of the funeral, allowing them the opportunity to help design your custom monument. You may need to wait for insurance and other financial or legal matters to be taken care of. Perhaps you desire a particular installation date? This may require a hasty purchase. Or it just hurts too much and you’re not ready.
Whatever the time frame, you should be comfortable, thoughtful and informed when you purchase something so permanent and personal. Shop around, talk to others who have gone through the same experience. You should never feel pressured or rushed. Don’t just settle. That’s when you may experience regret.
Many cemeteries have regulations and requirements that with affect the choices you will have when purchasing your memorial. Some may have size requirements, material
requirements and installation regulations that you will need to understand before making a decision about your monument. We encourage you to ask your cemetery’s sexton what the headstone and
installation requirements are for your cemetery.
At Heritage Monument Company, we work with both you and the cemetery in creating a memorial that will meet their requirements and your desires.
There are many materials available for monuments and memorials, such as granite, marble, bronze, sandstone and many other natural indigenous rocks.
Granite is the most durable of the five choices. When talking about the durability of granite you need to use term millennia as opposed to decades or generations. Granite is found in a myriad of different colors and will last forever.
Marble is also used and is very beautiful, although quite a bit softer than granite. With marble you are talking about decades when referring to its durability as a headstone. If you’ve seen older cemeteries, you realize that the marble headstones are decaying and will soon be lost to erosion and time.
Sandstone is highly discouraged as a headstone. It is extremely soft and will not endure. It is a beautiful product for address signs, business’, landscaping and recognitions.
Boulders and river rock must have a surface suitable for lettering. Not all material is suitable for headstones or memorialization. There are many with graining, texture and natural formation that are not conducive to handle the techniques employed for headstones.
The price of a headstone as you may guess is relative to whom you buy it from. There are many factors that can affect its price. Ultimately education will determine
how much you will pay for your headstone. That means that the more you know the less likely you are to overpay.
Most headstones will range between $388.00 to $7,000.00, depending on the size, shape and color you chose. Most people, on average, spend between $400.00 and $1700.00 on a stone for one person. For two people the average is between $850.00 and $3200.00.
Generally, there are a couple of things that will determine the price of a stone, material and time.
First, the origin of the stone will affect the price. Some granite is domestic, I.E. Georgia, and some may be imported from as far away as China and India. The more exotic stones will have to be shipped and taxed which will add to the overall cost. Competition will also contribute to the cost of the headstone. There is some granite that are “franchise” granites; which is a term used to describe stone that is exclusive to one quarry and if you want it you have to buy it from them alone. There are other granites that are available from many different quarries and they are competing for business which will drive the price down. Then you have international economics where countries will flood the market place with their product thus lowering the cost (i.e. China). The perceived value of a stone by the quarry will also lend to its price. This means that if a company believes that its product, reputation or longevity adds to the value of their stone, the price will be higher. Besides the stone itself the cost of the materials to engrave and install the headstone are subject to unpredictable changes.
Second, remember that the stone being used was created naturally over 1000’s of years and the process of turning that stone into a headstone is quite a process. It is heavy, dense, brittle and many times sharp, requiring great care and more than one person in its handling. It is also not a stick and go application. There are techniques and processes that require skill as well as time to make your memorial beautiful and lasting.
As a general rule drastic sale prices, of 30% and higher, 99% of the time indicate that an inexpensive stone is being marketed to the uninformed or misinformed customer at a vulnerable and sensitive time. Beware of companies that employ high pressure salesmen and use complicated pricing formulas charging for each individual letter, designing, artist and carving fees as well as mileage or delivery charges to drive the price up.
Heritage Monument Company does not over inflate our prices in order to offer sales. Our stones are affordable; everyday, all the time. We don’t have commissioned salesmen or use high pressure tactics, we just want to help. After shopping around, you might notice that most other companies will have to “cut” or “match” our price.
Just about anything! You want to be careful with pictures that have a lot of detail. During the engraving process, you lose a lot of the detail and it just won’t look
right. When you would like a picture of a person it’s important to remember the bigger the better, otherwise we suggest using a different product like porcelain, aluminum, or bronze or a technique
like laser etching for the best quality.
Let us lend our expertise and help you design a memorial that is as custom, tasteful, and personal as you would like it to be.
We use time tested and traditional techniques that will ensure your stone will remain beautiful and readable for generations.
For lighter colored stones this involves removing the polish where the lettering and design will be on the stone. Then blasting the design and lettering deep enough to be visible without paint and not affect the integrity of the smaller detail in the design. Shallow blasting depth on a light colored stone indicates laziness and a lack of quality craftsmanship, unless the design requires it.
On darker colored stones blasting both deep and shallow are effective techniques. Where deep blasting will occur you need to remove the polish. In a shallow blasted application you do not remove the polish and typically white paint is used.
There are a lot of companies that utilize shading to increase the detail on the stone. We highly discourage the use of shading. When the techniques of airbrushing and shading are used to accomplish detail, instead of blasting and ingenuity, you are relying on a man-made non-permanent solution to apply detail. Years after the production and installation of your stone, its design will change as the paint wears away revealing its permanent appearance, one that will be quite different than what was originally intended. No, the design and appearance of your stone should not be subject to change over the years, other than the loss of paint. The craftsmanship should last for generations, not just years!
We always use traditional memorial techniques coupled with today’s technology to ensure that your headstone will be as beautiful 30 years from now, as it was the day it had been installed. Every stone is handcrafted and personalized for you.
A conservative estimate is typically 30 – 60 days and could reasonably be 90 - 120 days from the purchase to the installation of your memorial. There are variables
that will impact that time table such as is the granite in stock, the time of year, quarry shutdowns and shipping.
All of these can contribute to the speed of your headstones completion. Most headstones will fall within the 30 - 60 days. Often it will take 90 - 120 days especially if it is coming from overseas or the weather does not allow for installation and there will be other occasions that require longer time tables.
We understand that getting a monument is a vital role in the healing process and work hard to produce your headstone quickly without compromising quality.
Many quarries guarantee the finish, integrity and durability of the granite and that it will remain that way for the life of the stone. We only deal with those types
of quarries. Most of the international quarries do not offer any warranties and even though their memorials are beautiful, we will not use them without that guarantee.
There are no warranties for cement foundations, paint or for the monument to remain level. There is, however, an expected guarantee for workmanship and installation.
There are also products, used to enhance the memorial, which can carry manufacturer warranties like flower vases, pictures and other accessories.
Heritage Monument Company strives to use products and vendors that offer a warranty. This affords you peace of mind for generations to come.
Headstones will get dirty and may appear to “run” or discolor. Don’t become alarmed it is natural and cleanable.
In the heat of the summer the stones will become extremely hot and as the cemeteries water the grass the water will almost immediately evaporate from off the headstone leaving behind the calcium and minerals which will appear white. The darker the color of the stone the more visible the minerals will be. The lighter the color of the stone the less you will notice the minerals or the cleaner the headstone will appear. Heritage Monument Company offers cleaning products and instructions to cleaning your headstone.
Now a word of caution about products you may want to use to clean or keep your memorial clean. Never use products that contain oils, waxes, dyes or sealers. These products may work well and be recommended for counter tops but for headstone applications and the extreme temperature fluctuations experienced outdoors they will cause these products to discolor, yellow and flake. These oily, waxy products will also permanently counteract the techniques used to make the headstone readable, and will permanently discolor the stone. These types of products may affect your memorial's ability to be updated in the future. Use of such products can affect any warranty provided by the manufacturer.
Heritage Monument Company
1421 East Center Street
Warsaw, IN 46580
Monday - Friday
9 am - 5 pm EST
Other Times Available by Appointment Only