A headstone cost can vary significantly depending on the type of material used, the company you purchase it from, the finishes and more. A headstone can be referred to as a gravestone, grave marker and marker, and are all interchangeable words. Average costs are listed at anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000, as headstones are personalized and designed to last. On top of the actual headstone price, there are additional costs associated with labor to create the design and lettering, as well as installing the marker.
The cost of a headstone can be added to any funeral pre-planning plan. Additionally, eligible veterans can receive a gravemarker as part of their VA benefits. Always check with the cemetery before ordering a headstone as some will have rules about installation, and possibly size and/or material used.
Styles of grave markers include: flat, which sits completely horizontal on the ground; beveled or slanted, which sits about 12-18 inches up and at an angle to the ground; and upright, which can become quite elaborate and decorative.
Material Used In Making a Headstone
Most headstones are made from granite, bronze, and marble. Other materials will not be as long lasting, and therefore are not suggested as gravestone material.
Granite is available in a variety of colors, which makes it very versatile and durable. The shapes are nearly endless and can be flat or upright. Colors range from white, black, gray, green, blue and red and can come from all over the world. The source of the granite will lend to its color and patterns, but shipping granite from outside the country can add additional expense.
Bronze can be elaborate if desired, including intricate designs, such as portraits or other artwork. Smaller bronze headstones can even be used for pet memorials. Some people choose a bronze overlay so they can get the desired design plus the durability of the chosen stone. Bronze is referred to as the “eternal metal”.
Marble is softer than granite which means it doesn’t last quite as long, but will still last for decades. It is mostly known for the natural ‘veins’ of color that create a one of a kind appearance.
The Company You Purchase Your Headstone From Matters
Some memorial companies will only use quarries exclusive to them and typically associate specific benefits to that. You may or may not value these benefits, so it is encouraged to shop around to find the right look and product for you. Ask questions about warranties, additional costs, including installation, and the methods used to create the headstone finishes.
Be sure to ask the company you are working with what their estimated timeline is. Most companies will quote 30-120 days from when you order a headstone until it is installed. Some cemeteries won’t allow installation except in certain times of year, so keep that in mind. There should be a guarantee offered on craftsmanship and installation and you should never feel pressured to make a fast decision.
There are a variety of designs and finishes that can be used on headstones to create the look you desire. Blasting is a recommended technique used on a granite or marble headstone to create long lasting, high quality design.
Designs can vary from symbols of group memebership, animals, flowers, and even customized art and portraits. Lettering is part of the finish and may be limited depending on size. Be sure to talk about the most important design elements with your planner. Some people also choose to incorporate statues/sculptures into the headstone piece, and those can be discussed if they are of interest. Angels, animals, frames, vases and more can be added to headstones to increase the personalization and aesthetics.