Aside from marking a grave, a gravestone or cemetery monument also serves as a reflection of the people’s love and admiration for the departed. That said, you’d want nothing less than a high-quality gravestone to honor a loved one.
Having a well-designed gravestone is only possible with the help of a cemetery stone mason, but with so many of them available for hire, you might be overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. To help narrow down your list of options, we suggest asking a cemetery stone mason these five questions before deciding to hire them: (1)
- What materials do you work with?
You’d want a gravestone that lasts for generations. After all, you’re doing it to adorn a place that the departed’s family and friends will visit from time to time. That means you need a stone mason that knows what options are suitable for making gravestones.
You’d want a stone mason that offers one or more of these popular gravestone materials:
You can also ask these questions about each material before proceeding to hire them
- Is it durable enough?
- Can it endure local climate conditions?
- What are the maintenance requirements of this material?
- Is it available in different finishes? (2)
Don’t forget that some cemeteries may have restrictions on the sizes, colors, and other features that can be added to headstones. For instance, others may limit the stone to small flat tablets and allow only specific ground markers for lettering. Your stone mason should be familiar with these restrictions so you don’t end up asking for a gravestone that can’t be Therefore, consider getting recommendations from the cemetery officials to not go against the rules. Also, see to it that you raise such concerns to your stone mason. (3)
- Can you provide samples of your previous work?
Your cemetery stone mason must have the skills to craft a fine gravestone. You’re looking for an experienced craftsman, with a good work history and well-maintained records. A great way to determine this is to ask them for samples of their previous works. Arrange for cemetery tours to renowned cemeteries like Centennial Park, Launceston Cemetery, or Brisbane cemeteries to look around for gravestones that they have worked on.
Another way to gauge a stone mason’s ability is to get feedback from their previous clients. Take note of what they liked about working with that particular stone mason and, if any, things that they thought could use some improvement.
- What are your pricing criteria?
Installing a cemetery monument comes with costs, and you’d want one that fits your budget. Remember that larger gravestones and more elaborate designs will cost you extra. To be sure, ask your mason to provide you with a quotation containing the price details of all the materials and expenses. Below is an outline of the essential costs that you should know about:
- The general price of the stone
- Installation costs at the cemetery
- The charges for a specific number of engravings
- Cemetery permit fees
You should also find out how the following factors may affect the price of your gravestone:
- The color and finish of the stone
- Additional words or letter engravings
- Requests for more inscriptions
- The use of accessories, for instance, adding a slot for a vase or picture frame
- Intricate features, e.g., a tear-shaped stone monuments
- Installing a double monument, like gravestones to commemorate couples (4)
- Who will provide the materials?
Most stonemasons prefer to secure the required materials themselves, and they’d most likely quote extra for it. However, you can ask your mason if you can purchase the materials yourself from a recommended vendor. This is usually where you can help cut down the costs of the entire commission.
- How long will you take to complete the job?
It’s important to get the expected turnaround time from your memorial mason. If possible, ask for a proper breakdown of the daily tasks so you can work them in your schedule. This is especially important for more elaborate gravestones that take longer to make.
You should also ask your mason how well they can adjust to your schedule if there’s a need for urgency. Say you want to hold a memorial service soon, and you’d need the place ready by then. Make a point of getting the start date and finish date to avoid any inconveniences.
Installing a fine gravestone or cemetery monument is the best way to honor the burial place of the dearly departed. For that reason, you should make sure you’re hiring someone that can meet or exceed your expectations. Hiring the most qualified Sydney cemetery stonemason for the job takes some researching, and asking the questions listed above should help you find someone that is up for the job.