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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Headstones

Headstones Cost


How Much Do Headstones Cost?

 
low costFlat Grave Marker: $250-$1,800+average costBevel, Slant or Pillow Marker: $350-$2,800+high costUpright Monument on a Base: $1,000-$10,000+
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All types of grave markers can be called monuments, and the various terms -- marker, headstone, monument -- are often used interchangeably. Depending on personal preference and cemetery rules, a grave marker can range from a flat stone marker flush to the ground to the classic upright rest-in-peace cross or tablet-style headstone to a three-dimensional statue on an inscribed pedestal, and everything in-between. Monuments-of-Distinction.com illustrates four types of markers and monuments.

Typical costs:

  • A simple flat grave marker, usually granite, starts between $250 and $600. Prices depend on the color of the stone and on the amount of lettering and artwork in the inscription. It can cost $800-$1,800 or more for a bronze marker or rare colors of granite, with extensive lettering and artwork. HeadstonesAndMonuments.com[1] offers basic 24-by-12-inch granite markers three or four inches thick for $285-$450, while E.F Design Studio[2] sells flat granite grave markers for $500-$1,100, and Ever Life Memorials[3] has bronze grave markers for $660-$2,500.
  • A bevel, slant or pillow marker typically sticks up about 12 to 18 inches from the ground, and the inscription area on the top surface is at an angle. Typical prices are $350-$2,800 or more, depending on the size and type of materials (usually granite, bronze or both) and the amount of lettering and artwork. CustomHeadstones.net[4] sells slant granite markers for $380-$900, while E.F. Design Studio[5] charges $700-$2,800 with sizes ranging from 24-by-10-by-16-inches to 36-by-10-by-16-inches.
  • An upright monument on a base starts between $1,000 and $3,000 for a simple tablet or other shape, but can be $3,000-$10,000 and more depending on the complexity of the design, the quality of materials and the complexity of the lettering and sculptural carving. E.F. Design Studio offers simple vertical tablets[6] for $900-$1,800 and heart-shaped headstones[7] for $1,150-$3,300, including a base and shipping. Thompson Monuments sells a variety of angel monuments[8] for $4,000-$6,200, including a base. Shipping is extra.
Related articles: Gravesites, Casket, Lawn Crypt, Mausoleum, Funeral

What should be included:
  • Granite is the most common material. Typically the stone is quarried, cut into slabs 3 to 12 or more inches thick at a manufacturing plant and polished as required. It is then shipped to a monument builder. Generally the design will be laid out on a computer then printed onto a rubber stencil that's used to sandblast the design onto the stone. It can take two to six months from ordering to installation. The Monument Builders of North America describes how monuments are made[9] .
  • Markers or monuments may also be marble or bronze, and may include additions such as a vase, lighting or a photograph. The Monument Builders of North America provides an overview of monument materials and finishes[10] .
  • Ordering the grave marker or headstone is usually the final detail in burying a loved one. Some Hispanic and Jewish traditions call for an "unveiling" of a grave marker within a year, but otherwise there is no standard time for installing a grave marker, according to US-Funerals.com[11] .
  • Most cemeteries require a specific amount of time to pass before the headstone marker can be placed on the grave, to allow the dirt over the grave to settle.
Additional costs:
  • Shipping costs vary considerably depending on the size, weight and distance.
  • Cemeteries typically charge for installation. Prices start at $50-$200 to "set" a simple flat marker and increase depending on size and complexity, and how much of a foundation is needed. St. Michael Cemetery[12] in Boston charges $100 to set a flush marker and $150 per square foot for a monument foundation, with a $300 foundation minimum.
  • The grave will be unmarked until the monument is installed. The funeral home or cemetery may supply a temporary marker of glass and aluminum for about $20-$30, or a do-it-yourself marker can be made with an aluminum photo frame, secured to the ground with a small metal stake.
  • For a marker purchased in advance, engraving just the death date later on can be $50-$200 or more, depending on location and what's included. David's Cemetery[13] in Ohio estimates this fee averages $100-$170.
Discounts:
  • Honorably discharged veterans of U.S. military service are eligible for a free grave marker or monument from the Department of Veterans Affairs. There's no charge for installing this free marker in a national cemetery, but there can be "setting" fees ($50-$200) in a private cemetery.
  • Some monument makers give a discount for monuments ordered during the slower winter months and installed in the spring or summer.
Shopping for headstones:
  • It's best to have the cemetery approve the design in advance before ordering any sort of grave marker. Cemetery rules range from allowing only flat markers to allowing upright headstones, monuments or statues but dictating the size or type of materials used.
  • Consumers have a legal right to order a marker or monument from a source other than the funeral home or cemetery as long as the monument meets the cemetery's guidelines. Many people prefer to wait to order the monument to allow time to decide what will be most appropriate.
  • Most monument builders require a deposit to start work, usually half the total cost. Ask to see samples of their work, and get a clear idea of how long it will take to design, construct and install the monument. Search by state for local members of the Monument Builders of North America.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Headstone
Amount: $1,700.00
Posted by: Dee45 in Raleigh, NC.Posted: February 5th, 2015 05:02PM
Size of Headstone: 28x18x4Material: Granite
Bronze Memorial. 24 x 12, vase included, also includes $430 for installation & re-alignment
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Head stone
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: sammy_storey@yahoo.com in Angola, NY.Posted: November 14th, 2014 01:11AM
Maker: Edna L Smith
Beloved wife, mother, and grandma. Always in or hearts
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Headstone
Amount: $1,725.00
Posted by: Vera 1955 in Bordentown, NJ.Posted: March 6th, 2013 11:03AM
Size of Headstone: 24 X12 - No taller than 3 FT.Material: Granite - Gray
Maker: unsure
This is the quote we received...does not include flower or cross...just letteringrnrnMy husband wants to know if this is a reasonable price? Can we do better?
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External Resources:
  1.  www.headstonesandmemorials.com/
  2.  www.efdesignstudio.com/grassmarkers.htm
  3.  www.everlifememorials.com/headstones-s/19.htm
  4.  www.customheadstones.net/
  5.  www.efdesignstudio.com/slant_markers.htm
  6.  www.efdesignstudio.com/vertical_dies.htm
  7.  www.efdesignstudio.com/unique_heart_prices.htm
  8.  www.thompsonmonuments.com/leaning_angel_on_heart.html
  9.  www.monumentbuilders.org/consumers_how_monuments_are_made.php
  10.  www.monumentbuilders.org/consumers_monument_materials.php
  11.  www.us-funerals.com/memorials.html
  12.  www.stmichaelcemetery.com/
  13.  www.davidscemetery.com/ServicesProductsAndPricing
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