#1 When to Buy
The time to buy a memorial is when you are ready - both emotionally and financially.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to wait a year until the ground settles to erect a memorial. It will be placed on solid ground that has not been disturbed.
#2 Where to Buy
It is important to purchase a memorial from a well-established, reputable firm that will offer to provide you with a detailed written quote. A reliable company will have a professional staff to guide you through each step of the design, production and installation process. You'll want to be sure about the quality and type of material and finish, craftsmanship and installation.
Be sure you're comfortable with the memorial company before you commit to a purchase.
#3 Learn about the Types of Granite and Different Finishes
A reputable memorial company will take time to explain to you the different types and qualities of granite. And they'll step you through the finishes available and show you samples so you can understand the differences.
#4 Artistic Value comes from Experience
Turning a piece of granite into a work of art takes skill, training and experience. You'll want to work with a company whose craftsmen can deliver what you are looking for, such as graceful lines, pleasing proportions, shape, balance and use of colour. It's also important, when producing a family or companion piece, to be assured that the memorial company can add matching lettering at the grave site at a later date.
#5 Ask about Installation
The cost of installing the memorial is not usually included in the design and production estimate.
Ensure that the firm you have selected has the necessary equipment to properly install your monument. Consider the size of the foundation on which the memorial will be placed during the design process.
#6 Cemetery Regulations
Cemeteries often restrict the size or type of memorials allowed. Many cemeteries charge a fee when the memorial is installed, and some might charge maintenance, perpetual care, or other fees. The memorial company you choose should know the regulations of all the cemeteries in your community.
#7 Cremation Memorial Options
There are many cremation memorial options available - such as urns in a multitude of styles, sizes, materials and price ranges. In selecting a cremation urn, you should have in mind where it will be located. Will it be seen or concealed?
Some cemeteries feature scattering gardens, where the cremated remains can be scattered, and a plaque or marker inscribed in memory. The plaque or marker will be part of a wall or monument within the garden. Talk to a knowledgeable memorial counselor about the various options of memorializing cremated remains.