Things To Know
The following information will help you with determining what your family would need and want in a cemetery memorial. Although most of the paragraphs will be helpful, not all will pertain to your particular situation.
When selecting a marker, you will need to make 3 (and sometimes 4) decisions that will determine the price. They are color of granite, the shape or style of the marker, the size and how it is polished.
Of the four factors that determine the price, the color of granite you select will affect the price the most. The most common color in all cemeteries is a light, dove-gray granite that we call Crystal Blue. There are around 20 granite colors available, and as a general rule, the darker the color of granite, the more expensive it will be.
They are listed below from least to most expensive:
FLAT / GRASS markers - these markers lay completely flush with the ground - only the top of the stone is visible - all four sides are under the ground. Lawnmowers and other cemetery equipment drive right over them.
BEVEL markers - these markers are approximately 4" tall in the front and 6" tall in the back.
SLANT markers - these markers are about 16" in height. They may be set with or without a base.
UPRIGHT monuments - these are the traditional "tombstones."
WING monuments - another option for two persons.
Most single (one-person) stones measure 2'-0" from left to right, regardless of shape. The most popular size for a double (two person) stone measures 3'-6" or 4'-0" from left to right. The smallest we recommend is 3'-0". Dies (upright piece) can extend up to 6'-0". The length of the die determines the height and thickness of the stone. The base will extend at least 6" past the die and perhaps more, depending on the size of the die.
Flat/Grass markers are usually polished on the "face" and the sides are rough. Slant markers are usually polished on the face, the back is sawed (smooth, but not shiny) and the top and sides are usually rough. You have several options with upright and wing monuments.
Polish2 - the front and the back are polished smooth, while the top and both ends are rough.
Polish 3 -the front, back and top are polished, with the ends rough.
Polish 5 - The front, back, top and both ends are all polished. A polish 3 is more expensive than a polish 2 (about $200 - $300, depending on size.) A polish 5 will be an additional $200 - $300. All finishes withstand the elements
Price also includes all lettering to be done on the front (or the face) of the stone, as well as any design(s) you want that will fit appropriately. Many couples include their wedding date and list their children's name. We can always "mix and match" different designs or we can come up with a custom design that you like. If you want a very intricate design, (one that is sketched by an artist with an engraving tool) an additional charge will apply. Etchings look best on jet-black granite (which is roughly about double the price of the light-gray granite.) If you decide on a slant marker or an upright monument and want the last name on the back of the die, there is an additional charge of $100. However, the charge will include whatever else you would like on the back (additional designs or a poem) as long as it will comfortably fit.
Although not included in the price, vases are another popular option. They start out at $90 each for a metal vase with a baked-on finish that will match the stone - granite vases start at $100 each. Vases are not guaranteed, placing vases in the cemetery is simply a risk that the family assumes. Some cemeteries have little or no problem with damage from lawn equipment, while other cemeteries have a real problem.
Most stones are completed within two to four months from ordering. If we have the stone in stock, it may be set sooner than one that must be ordered. We usually have about 100 stones being produced at any given time.
If someone has lost a spouse, we would recommend purchasing a marker or monument that would include both husband and wife. After the second spouse passes away, only the date of death would have to be added to the stone. This is done in the cemetery by a technician who specializes in this field. This service is not included in the price. There is a law that bans us from doing so. Years ago, there were a lot more monument companies in business than there are today. Many of these companies included the final date in the price at the time of the original order. However, as they went out of business, their customers were unable to receive the service they had paid for. Currently, the charge for this service ranges from $128 on up, depending upon the lettering style.
If someone is making pre-arrangements, there are two options available:
:#1. We can letter the stone with design(s), name(s) and date(s), and have it set in the cemetery.
Then, after the individual has passed away, the family must notify us. We will have the final date engraved in the cemetery.
#2. We can put the order/contract in our "hold" file. We won't letter the stone until we are notified by the family that a death has occurred. Then we letter all of the information at one time and then set the stone.
The advantage with #2 is that this will save you money, as mentioned in the previous paragraph. The disadvantage is that the customer will not see the stone lettered.
To place an order please call our office at (785)354-7005 or email us at
Below is some of our more common colors we sell and also a PDF file of our order form that we fill out with customers step by step to understand exactly what they want.