Headstone Prices

There are many factors which can affect headstone prices. Before making any decisions you should ensure that you have taken everything into consideration. When choosing and purchasing a grave marker there may well be hidden costs involved which only become apparent when it’s too late.

So what is an average price for a cemetery monument? Depending upon your source you will get vastly different answers ranging from $1000 – $2000. A supplier will of course state a higher average cost so as to persuade you to spend more. And these ‘average’ headstone prices may or may not include the additional costs as outlined below.

But being realistic you should be able to purchase and fix a headstone for well under $1000 if you are considering a flat grave marker. So there are certainly more economical ways to achieve this using other styles than a standing headstone – and headstone prices of up to £10,000 are also quite achievable.

 

 

Obvious Factors which Affect Headstone Prices.

Material.

As a general rule, granite is the cheapest material, followed by bronze, while slate and marble are the most expensive. Though it is possible to obtain varying qualities of each. For example, the finest black granite comes from India and therefore headstone prices will be more expensive than those made from locally quarried stone.

Style / Design.

The smallest, flat grave markers start from about $200 prior to inscription etc. This can rise to thousands of dollars for large memorial stones.

Engraved Headstone Designs.

Expect to pay a minimum of $40 for a small, basic engraving. Larger engravings can add several hundred dollars to headstone prices depending upon complexity.

Inscription.

A very rough cost for tombstone inscriptions is about $2 per letter or character. This is by sandblasting using a computer stencil. Hand cut or raised lead lettering will be considerably more. Take a look at our epitaph examples – many are short and concise but say everything they need to.

Many suppliers will include a set amount of letters as part of the overall fee.

Accessories such as Photos or Vases.

Photographs of your loved one start at around $100 while vases / urns start at about $80.

Taxes.

Depending upon where you live and where you buy from.

 

Hidden Factors which Affect Headstone Prices.

Delivery.

Many suppliers will include shipping costs as part of the gravestone purchase price, but others won’t so as to deliberately distort the visible fees.

Also be aware that the delivery address may affect the price. A stone memorial is a heavy and fragile item – delivery costs to a commercial premises with lifting / unloading equipment may well be cheaper than to a private address.

And don’t forget to check who pays for the shipping insurance – you or the supplier?

Placement / Fixing.

This is known as a foundation fee or setting fee. Apart from flat headstones, placing a tombstone is more than just digging a hole. It need fixing securely with concrete and – depending on the headstone type – metal rods.

Some cemeteries may allow you to do this yourself – but there are very few of them.  The vast majority will either do this themselves or expect a professional person to carry out this task. Injuries – and even deaths – have occurred in the past due to headstones toppling over. So a cemetery or burial ground has a legal obligation to ensure this is completed in a safe manner.

Expect to pay at least $100 for this service – this is for the most simple of foundation fixings.

In the case of bronze grave markers, be aware that they will need some form of base – usually granite. Again, this will alter the total price dramatically.

Cleaning / Maintenance.

This won’t affect your initial headstone prices but it may affect future costs. Many cemeteries will insist that memorials are cleaned on a regular basis (and we assume that you will want this too). This may cause a problem if you are physically incapable of doing so yourself or don’t live locally. You may then have an on-going cost in paying someone to keep the grave area maintained. Most cemeteries will look after the grass cutting but it will be down to yourself to look after ‘interior’ areas if you opted for grave kerbs or surrounds.

As for headstone materials, granite tends to stay cleaner for longer. It is also easier to clean when the need arises. Bronze grave markers are also relatively easy to clean and maintain.

headstone costs

Remember:-

  • look into ALL the costs before you make your decision.
  • online suppliers will most likely be cheaper – but are also most likely to involve hidden costs.
  • all materials are commodities with fluctuating prices that will affect headstone prices accordingly.
  • check with the cemetery before you place your final order.
  • there is no rush – unless the cemetery regulations state otherwise, there is no time limit on placing a memorial.

and lastly – our opinion:-

  • there is no amount you HAVE to spend. Don’t let anyone – yourself included – persuade you otherwise. The act of purchasing a gravestone for your loved one is to do with thoughts and feelings. What feels right for you? What would they have liked themselves? A well maintained graveside with fresh cemetery flowers shows that you remember them. Not an expensive headstone.