A Headstone Installation & Purchase Guide | Sunset Stone Trufla Trufla August 8, 2023

A Headstone Installation & Purchase Guide | Sunset Stone

headstone installation & Purchase Guide
Headstone Installation & Purchase Guide

After the death of a loved one, there are many things that we, as families, go through. The grieving process is not easy and each one of us experiences each situation differently. Alongside the emotional toll of dealing with a loved one’s passing, and the mental and financial toll of planning a funeral service, you and your family may then need to address the next step: planning a memorial monument to mark your loved one’s burial plot. This is typically done in the form of a flat graver marker or a headstone. 

Families may choose other means of memorializing loved ones, like purchasing a private family columbarium or a columbarium niche in a larger multi-family structure. In Calgary, cremation is becoming an increasingly popular choice of interment, especially as it can be cost-effective, saves space, and it reduces the more urgent time restrictions required for inground casket burial. But, if you have elected a traditional casket burial and marker, we have a guide for you on what you need to know about headstone installation and purchase. 

Sunset Memorial & Stone is a memorial company based in Calgary, AB, Canada, and specializes in creating memorial markers, headstones, plaques, and family columbarium in Calgary. We have been serving our Calgary and our surrounding communities for over 30 years and we will be happy to share with you our insights regarding what is the best memorial of choice for your budget.  We will be happy to share ways to save costs and help guide you through the decision-making process. 

When can you get a headstone? 

You can technically order and purchase a headstone whenever you like. There are no specific time restrictions after a burial with cemeteries for when is best to set a monument on a grave. Although there is a seasonal time restriction if the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Some cemeteries have created concrete ribbons at the heads of graves. In these situations, a winter installation may be permitted. The concrete ribbons look like long parallel narrow sidewalks, but they are designed to support monuments. Other cemeteries may have a more traditional installation requirement, where monuments are simply set on a granite base at the head of the grave.  

If we have the monument in stock, and you and your family have worked with our graphic art designers and signed off on a design, we can have a monument ready for installation within a few days. We understand the urgency for some families due to arranged gatherings and we do our best to accommodate their timelines. 

Timing a monument installation is also based on the time required working with a graphic artist to refine the inscription details, artistic elements and personalized messages and imagery. Our Sunset sales representatives never push families into making any decisions, as we understand that this process can take time. We want to ensure that you are happy with your decision. So, for those who are not in a rush, our representatives and graphic art designers are happy to work with you to create a personalize inscription design or even explore the concept of creating a custom headstone style.  

Some memorial companies even offer individuals the opportunity to pre-purchase and pre-design their headstones before death. This reduces the financial burden on the individual’s family, and it allows them to select a design that they believe perfectly encapsulates their memory, limiting the stress and decision-making on the loved ones they leave behind. The only issue is that the client must purchase a cemetery plot in advance. The monument can then be set at the head of the plot.  The death dates can be inscribed on site later. Ask your local monument dealer if they can accommodate presales and offer onsite inscription services. 

Can I buy my own headstone? 

As mentioned previously, yes. Some memorial companies offer the opportunity for people to purchase and even design their own headstones pre-dating their death. This reduces the burden on loved ones and helps move the after-life arrangements along quicker and more efficiently, leaving more time for the family to grieve and heal.  

How long after burial can a headstone be placed? 

Great question. It depends on the cemetery you choose for the interment. 

With the cemeteries we have worked with over the years, a monument can be set at the head of a grave any time. Monuments can be placed before or after an inground casket burial without any impact to the stability of the headstone. You may recall seeing in some newer cemetery sections, long “concrete ribbons” that look like long rows of narrow sidewalks running perpendicular to the graves. These concrete ribbons are created to simplify the extensive grass mowing and trimming around the monuments. These concrete surfaces also act as a second raised base that will help protect the monuments from grass mowing equipment. These long concrete surfaces also allow for a headstone to be set in place with greater ease, as the ground does not need to be prepped, compacted, or filled with gravel to ensure the stability of the monument base. 

Sunset Memorial and Stone carries one of the largest monument inventories in Western Canada. This means that we have the capability to design and install a monument in a short period of time if the monument you desire is in stock. If you have your heart set on a certain, color of granite, a specific size, or custom design, know that our graphic artist will continue to design the monument with you and your family while you are awaiting the delivery of the memorial. Waiting a little also gives you and your family time to reflect and focus on the memorial details and the type of messaging you wish to add to the monument.  

Once your family has decided on the headstone of choice, we will confirm with the cemetery or review the cemetery regulations to ensure that the monument size meets their guidelines. It is always important to confirm when you purchase a plot the scale and size of monuments that are allowed at the site. Our experienced sales team is well informed when it comes to cemetery regulations, they want to ensure that the monument you select will be the best choice for the cemetery section you and your family have selected. 

Search for a monument company that can both meet the cemetery regulations while ensuring that your headstone of choice can be designed with a personalized artistic flair. 

What other types of monuments should I consider? 

You can choose a monument besides a headstone. While it is considered “standard” to opt for a headstone, many Calgarians and North Americans are choosing to opt for cremation rather than traditional casket burial for many reasons. Some people do not like the concept of an in-ground burial. Others appreciate the idea that they can keep the urns for an unlimited time until they decide what to do. Some people are drawn to the concept of an above ground interment option. While others prefer the beauty of a columbarium. In Calgary, Queen’s Park Cemetery, St. Patrick Cemetery, St. Mary’s Cemetery, and cemeteries across the continent are focused on creating beautifully designed columbaria gardens. If you are considering a cremation niche interment, then the granite niche shutter doors provide the place for inscription or bronze plaques.  

Sunset Stone manufactures columbarium in Calgary and is a leading supplier of custom-designed and expertly constructed columbaria in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. We create amazingly designed, architecturally dynamic granite clad columbaria. We offer a wide range of standard engineer-designed columbaria models. We have the customization capability to work with clients and manufacture exciting innovative designs. A columbarium in Calgary designed by Sunset Stone can withstand elements. They are designed to serve as an exquisite focal piece for any cemetery or church setting. As a memorial business with decades of experience, we understand the talent and dedication it takes to helping curate incredible, stunning monuments. 

Reach out to Sunset to discuss your memorial monument today, or if you want to further discuss options for a personal columbarium in Calgary. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have. 

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