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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Burial Vaults

Burial Vaults Cost


How Much Do Burial Vaults Cost?

 
low costBasic Grave Liner: $400-$1,500average costPlastic- or Steel-Reinforced Concrete Vault: $600-$4,000high costPremium Metal Burial Vault: $2,000-$16,000+
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Many cemeteries now require the use of an outer burial container, a thick shell designed to protect a buried casket from the weight of the soil above it, plus the added weight of riding mowers, backhoes and other heavy equipment used in the cemetery. Without this protection, the grave might sink over time. The most basic outer burial container is made of concrete and usually called a grave liner, grave box or concrete burial liner. A burial vault (also called a grave vault or a casket vault) is typically a more elaborate (and more tightly sealed) container made of concrete, metal, synthetic materials or a combination of materials.

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay between $400 and $1,500 for a basic grave box or liner, typically made of unlined concrete with holes in the bottom to let water in. Prices vary depending on location, and the thickness and type of materials. A grave box/liner can be a solid box with a lid, or come in sections that are assembled inside the grave. Superior Memorial Service in Texas sells a basic concrete grave liner for $625.
  • Prices start at $600-$2,000 for a basic plastic- or steel-reinforced sealed concrete vault, and can cost $2,000-$4,000 for a double-reinforced vault of heavy concrete lined with layers of plastic, porcelain enamel or metal (steel, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze or copper ). Forest Lawn in California offers basic single-reinforced vaults for $675-$1,200 and double-reinforced models for $1,725-$2,860.
  • Premium metal burial vaults of stainless steel, copper or bronze, or vaults covered with a veneer of fake marble or granite typically start at $2,000-$5,000 and can increase to $5,000-$16,000 or more. The triple-reinforced "Wilbert Bronze"[1] sells for $6,300-$13,000, depending on the funeral home or mortuary.
  • If cremation urns are to be buried underground, protective urn vaults can cost $125-$900 or more, depending on size and quality of materials (polystyrene or concrete lined with stainless steel, copper or bronze).
Related articles: Gravesites, Casket, Headstones, Funeral Service, Funeral

What should be included:
  • Once the grave is opened (dug with heavy machinery) the liner or vault is placed in the bottom. If there is to be a graveside service, the casket is suspended above the grave. When the service is finished, the casket is lowered into the liner or vault, and the liner or vault is closed. The grave is then re-filled with dirt.
  • Most state and local laws do not require the use of an outer burial container, but some cemeteries require them. Often, a basic grave liner or box will meet any cemetery requirements. Federal law prohibits funeral homes, mortuaries or cemeteries from telling consumers that a sealed burial vault is required by law if that's not true.
Additional costs:
  • An oversized casket might require a larger grave liner or burial vault, putting it at the higher end of the price range or even more if it requires a custom-made liner or vault.
  • At the cemetery, there may be a vault installation fee of $100-$250 or more. This charge is included in some funeral/burial packages, but not all. St. Michael Cemetery[2] in Boston charges $200 to install a grave liner or burial vault. There are also internment fees of $350-$3,000 for opening and closing a grave -- See How Much Does a Gravesite Cost.
Discounts:
  • Veterans Administration cemeteries provide a basic concrete grave liner for free as part of the free burials for honorably discharged veterans and their eligible dependents.
Shopping for burial vaults:
  • Under the federal Funeral Rule[3] , funeral homes and mortuaries must provide a written list of prices for any outer burial containers that they carry. This can either be included on the funeral home's general price list or on a separate outer burial container price list.
  • Prices for funeral products like burial vaults vary considerably between companies, so it pays to shop around. Manufacturers of outer burial containers do not sell directly to the public, so a liner or vault must be purchased from a funeral home, mortuary or cemetery. Search for local funeral homes or mortuaries at the National Funeral Directors Association or the Selected Independent Funeral Homes[4] , or at TheFuneralSite.com.
  • Make sure the liner or vault meets any cemetery requirements and will work with the selected casket. The National Concrete Burial Vault Association provides basic guidelines for selecting a burial vault[5] and also offers a searchable directory[6] of its members.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
VALETS AND SEALS. DELIVERY CHARGE
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: MELBA YEOMANS in MIDLAND CITY, AL.Posted: July 24th, 2013 01:07PM
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WE HAVE EEN SHOPPING AROUND FOR FINAL PLANS AND DON;T WAANT TO PAY THE FUNERAL HOME PRICE,SO WE R CHECKING ON OUR ON.FOR CASKETS ETC.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.indywilbert.com/traditional.html
  2.  www.stmichaelcemetery.com/
  3.  www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0070-shopping-funeral-services
  4.  www.selectedfuneralhomes.org/
  5.  www.ncbva.org/aws/NCBVA/pt/sp/home_page
  6.  /connect.computility.com/directory/index.php?letter=A&id=b62ba8bc8c9b38dd1b710c35def3926c
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