When it comes to making big purchases in our lives, usually we plan ahead. Whether buying furniture, a car or a new house, we do our research, create a budget and may even save up in advance.
Interestingly, people often don’t give the same thoughtful planning to the costs associated with end-of-life planning.
One expense that is frequently overlooked when making end-of-life arrangements is the cost of a headstone or memorial. If you or a loved one intends to be buried, whether in a casket or have your cremated remains interred, you will want a marker that uniquely reflects and honors you.
Unlike purchases from big-box stores, grave markers aren’t mass-produced. There is not a standard sticker price for a headstone because each one is unique and customized for the individual. The cost of a headstone greatly varies based on its size and shape, quality and materials used, and words and images etched into the stone.
Continue reading as we dive into how size, shape and other factors impact cost.
Memorial Types and Costs
The cost of a memorial depends on the quality and color of granite, the overall size of the memorial and the intricacy of the shape selected. On the less expensive end are flush, lawn-level grave markers, and on the more expensive end are upright memorials.
While the total cost of each hinges on the quality, design details and customizations, here are general price ranges for each memorial type. Check with your cemetery or designated burial site for help with navigating the memorial rules and regulations at your cemetery, contact our team.
Considered a “basic stone,” lawn-level memorials sit flush with the ground and are typically rectangular or square shaped.
• Individual: $599 - $1,500
• Companion: $1,199 - $2,500
Often mounted on a granite base, bronze memorials sit flush with, or are slightly raised off, the ground. Bronze memorials vary broadly in price due to the possibility of using bronze on a flush, bevel, slant or upright memorial.
• Individual: $875 and up
• Companion: $2,490 and up
Also called a “pillow,” bevel memorials rise a few inches above the ground and have a slight sloping shape.
• Individual: $900 - $2,195
• Companion: $1,700 - $3,700
Slant memorials are cut at an angle to allow inscriptions to be seen from a distance.
• Individual: $1,250 and Up
• Companion: $1,800 and Up
These large memorials are built to be noticed from afar. They are most commonly designed as rectangles or with rounded edges, but upright memorials can also be uniquely shaped and/or accompanied by a statue.
• Single Monument: $1,900 and up
• Companion Monument: $2,150 and up
• Family Monuments: $3,120 and up
Other Cost Factors to Consider
Even within one memorial type, the price range can fluctuate by hundreds to thousands of dollars. Here are a few reasons why:
• Customized markers, like lettering, sayings, epitaphs and drawings, can be basic and understated, or elaborate and intricate. Higher priced monuments usually include more words and artwork.
• Ornamental carvings or etchings (think: religious symbols, birds and sports iconography) can be added to memorials at an additional cost.
• Many funeral homes or cemeteries can help coordinate the purchase of a cemetery space, for an additional service charge. However, to get the best experience and value, we recommend you work directly with a knowledgeable memorial provider.
Learn More About the Cost of Memorials
At Milano Monuments, we believe in educating families, so you understand the value of what you are getting. By keeping everything in-house, we control the cost, quality, timeline and customizations. To better serve our clients, we have produced a free, downloadable Memorial Cost Guide that goes over memorial headstone costs. It can help you:
• Get a realistic idea for how much memorials cost.
• Guide conversations with memorial providers, including questions to ask.
• Take into account what is possible and feasible to effectively honor a loved one’s life, based on your budget.