Few purchases in life are as significant as a memorial headstone. A new car eventually gets handed down or worn out. A house provides years of wonderful memories, but will one day be home to a different family. A memorial is the permanent record of our short time on this earth, preserving our unique stories for centuries.
Headstones typically don’t cost as much as a new car or house, but there are several key things that greatly impact the price. At Brown Memorials, we design stunning memorials for every price range. We truly have something for everyone!
When planning your loved one’s memorial, keep these Five Things that Determine Headstone Prices in mind.
The size of a headstone may range from small grass level markers to large upright monuments, like estate monuments. The maximum size is usually determined by the lot size and cemetery rules. Prices for standard grave markers start around $360. Upright headstone prices start around $950.
There are more types of stone being quarried now than ever. Many of the unique colors we now see are being imported from all over the world. The imported materials offer great variety and beauty, but can be nearly double in price when compared to the most commonly used stone, domestic grey granite.
Whatever material you prefer, we work with quarries to assure the best quality stone. We’ve even visited quarries in India, Italy, and China to see the quality and source of our stone first hand. During the headstone planning process, we will guide and recommend the material that works best for your budget and design, which brings me to number three!
During our free design consultation, we will help you establish an outline of the headstone details. In addition to the five things listed here, we’ll help you determine the style (classic or contemporary) and symbolic ornament and engraving that represents your loved one’s life. We will then recommend the arrangement and process to produce the best result, given your budget.
One of the easiest ways to save some money is by changing the headstone’s finish. Smooth, polished sides are desirable and beautiful on any stone, but a rustic edge can save hundreds (or thousands). A multi-step process of sawing and refinishing is required to polish a memorials sides, and can take many hours, even days. A natural, rustic edge is created in minutes by a skilled artisan using only a hammer and chisel.
5. Cemetery Regulations
Before planning a memorial, you must know the cemetery rules. Many cemeteries across the country require specific sizes and materials, like bronze. In recent years, bronze has become among the most expensive materials, nearly five times the cost of our standard grey granite.
Many cemeteries also have a perpetual care fee. This fee is collected only once the memorial has been purchased and is typically calculated at a rate per square inch of the memorial’s footprint.