Choosing a Columbarium: Costs, ROI, Breakdown, & More Trufla Trufla April 19, 2023

Choosing a Columbarium: Costs, ROI, Breakdown, & More

Choosing a columbarium costs rate of investment break down
Choosing a Columbarium: Costs, ROI, Breakdown, & More 3

Sunset Memorial & Stone is a bold and innovative columbarium company in Calgary. Our clients are:    

  • Cemetery managers seeking columbarium design support and budgetary pricing for columbarium gardens. 
  • Landscape architects who are seeking design specs for formal drawings and assistance with budgetary planning to help their clients.  
  • Church board members who are looking for columbarium design ideas and expertise on how to approach building a columbarium garden. 
  • Individuals or Family Members across the continent who are interested in purchasing a custom family columbarium to set on a cemetery plot, church property or private land.  

Our pricing includes both shipping and installation costs so that there are no surprises when planning a project. We are happy to provide our clients with drawings, budgetary pricing, and true costs once our customers have decided upon the perfect columbarium shape, size, and color. Sunset Memorial & Stone is not only a supplier of columbaria but a columbarium designer and manufacturer as well. The advantages here lie in our ability to engineer and customize any columbarium exactly how our clients envision. 

How do I know what Columbarium model is best?  

Our sales team has the expertise to guide clients through what can sometimes feel like a daunting task. We are happy to assist clients with the best ideas for realistic columbarium niche counts and providing pricing for cemetery business planning. Sunset’s ROI calculator is a helpful tool to use once we know the actual cost per niche or budgetary estimate. Feel free to fill in our “contact us form” to request our ROI Calculator.  

Here is a guide to choosing a columbarium. 

What does columbaria mean? 

The word “columbaria” is the plural form of the word “columbarium”. Columbaria are cemetery structures which contain compartmentalized spaces called “niches” which house one or more urns. While each company has their own standard niche size, some companies have the capability to customize the niche size to any desired size. Sunset’s custom design capability allows clients to choose from standard niche sizes to custom sizes. As an added level of protection, Sunset also provides a key locking inner security door behind every granite niche shutter or door. Be aware that not all columbarium manufacturers provide this important security feature.  

If you were wondering, “what is the difference between a niche and a columbarium?” – well, a columbarium is a large cemetery structure that is composed of individual niches. Each niche has an access door or granite shutter. When the door is opened, one or more funerary urns can be set inside the niche.  

What is burial in a columbarium called? 

If an urn is being placed inside a columbarium niche this form of disposition is called “an interment”. A columbarium is built of compartmentalized spaces called “niches”. Each niche is designed hold cremation urns. During an interment ceremony, the exterior granite shutter door is removed from the columbarium. If it is a Sunset Memorial & Stone columbarium, a key locking inner security door is then removed to reveal an interior niche space. Once the urn or urns are interred, Sunset’s key locking inner security door is set back in place covering up the niche opening. Then the granite shutter door is set on the frame’s ledge and secured to the frame. The granite shutter doors can be secured employing one of 2 design options, our standard rosettes, or Sunset’s Rosette-less Alura System.  

Is a columbarium a good investment? 

Short answer, yes. A columbarium with the correct number of cremation niches can be a cost-effective interment option for both families and cemetery operators. In certain parts of the country, cemetery land is becoming more valuable, and cemetery plots are increasing in cost. For families who choose cremation interment, they no longer need to address the additional expenses of inground casket burial. Families do not have to purchase a casket, a cemetery plot, or a monument. If the cemetery offers columbarium niches, this offering simplifies the interment process. Families simply need to pay for an urn and cemetery niche, shutter inscription or a bronze plaque. When cemeteries provide alternative aboveground interment options, this can help reduce costs for families and the cost of cemetery operations. 

For cemetery managers, once the columbarium garden is built and the site is prepared, there is less landscape watering and grass mowing and maintenance required for this type of cremation interment product. Cemetery maintenance staff appreciate the ease of preparing a funeral service for a columbarium interment compared to preparing a grave for inground burial. During the winter months when the ground is frozen opening and closing a niche is much less labor intensive. There is also no maintenance required with a columbarium other than cleaning the landscaped areas throughout the seasons. Once the columbarium garden is created, the exterior granite cladding is impervious to the elements and requires minimal upkeep if only to wash off the dust and debris that can accumulate over time.  

Sunset Memorial & Stone is noted for being the columbarium company in Calgary to turn to for unique and custom columbaria designs. Our custom design capability allows customers to be able to personalize a columbarium for a family member, or design eye-catching cemetery focal pieces that can enhance a cemetery setting. Our stunning columbaria can add value to a cemetery by providing a highly coveted above ground interment option for cemeteries. 

Another value-added benefit for families and cemetery management is that our standard niche size is a 12” x 12” x 16” deep. Sunset’s deeper niche allows for room for a second cremation urn interment. Often couples wish to be interred together. Our deeper niches allow for families to select an urn that is more personalized. Families are not forced to purchase utilitarian rectangular shaped boxes to fit in a specific niche size. Our larger niche interior allows for 2 standard urns to be placed in the niche.  

This deeper niche size also doubles the capacity of the columbarium. This second urn interment adds value for the cemetery and for families. Family members only need to pay for the second opening and closing fee, not a second columbarium niche. Cemetery managers appreciate the added interment options and capacity that the deeper niche provides.  

As we have realized over the last few years, inflation can impact the value of products. Cemeteries can easily review their niche rates annually to ensure they are moving their prices with inflation. This practice can protect the value of the niches being offered as cemetery management and churches plan for the purchase of the next columbarium phase.  

Here is how to choose a columbarium: 

When you are choosing a columbarium, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, work with a columbarium manufacturer, not a third-party dealer. This decision will give you direct access to understanding the engineering advantages, design flexibility and warranty. Not all columbaria are engineered the same way. It is important to note that not all columbaria are built to the same engineering standards and quality control.  Second, choose a manufacturer that is focused on your best interests, not their bottom line. 

Sunset Memorial Stone is a designer and manufacturing columbarium company in Calgary, and we have insider perspectives on how to add value to cemetery operations. As manufacturers of columbaria, we can assist you with pricing, budget estimates, design options and help you pick an option that will not only be a great investment and suits your budget, but we can also design a custom columbarium model that best suits the landscape setting.  

Ask yourself the following questions before you choose your columbarium: 

  • Annually, what is the cremation interment rate? 
  • How many niches do I think I can sell on an annual basis? 
  • Where will this columbarium be installed? 
  • Can we plan for a multiphase project? 
  • Are the roads and site accessible for a crane and flatbed shipping truck? 
  • Will we need alternative installation equipment?  
  • What sort of style am I looking for? 
  • What’s my budget? 
  • Will I be incorporating any artwork or etch work into the design? 
  • Is there a particular granite color that is required? 

By choosing Sunset Memorial & Stone, as your columbarium company in Calgary, rest assured that we do not focus on high pressure sales. Our goal is to ensure that you are making the right decision for your cemetery, client, or organization. Our intention is to be helpful and provide you with answers to any questions you may have.  

Choose your number of niches. 

When purchasing a columbarium, try to avoid purchasing too many niches at once. We always recommend to our clients to build columbaria gardens in phases. Try to order just enough niches so that the unit will be sold out within 3-5 years.  

Invest in style. 

A columbarium can add significant artistic value to a cemetery or church property. Sunset Memorial & Stone is a talented columbarium company in Calgary that has garnered a lot of attention across the continent with eye-catching custom columbarium designs. We have had the benefit of working with some of the most talented landscape architects in the industry. Their design visions push us to create custom columbaria that are distinct and attract attention. If you are interested in creating a unique custom columbarium, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always excited to be able to create custom designs for our clients. Our manufacturing capability also allows us to easily make any changes to existing models.  

Choose memorial art and/or laser etching. 

Sunset Memorial & Stone is both a monument company and a columbarium company in Calgary. We have a talented group of graphic designers that will guide and assist clients in creating personalized graphic designs for any columbarium sidewall or niche front. Laser etching is also a beautiful way to add style to a darker granite colored surface. Our graphic design department will be able to provide you with examples of how we can personalize the artwork using laser etching or porcelain photography. 

Select memorial accessories. 

Sometimes clients ask us about memorial accessories that can be applied to columbaria side walls or the back of a wall. This is a wonderful way to add another creative dimension to your Columbarium. Sunset offers a vast selection of memorial accessories. We can provide bronze plaques, porcelain photography, metal numbers or letters and niche vases.   

Sunset Memorial & Stone
Choosing a Columbarium: Costs, ROI, Breakdown, & More 4

Work with a columbarium company in Calgary. 

Sunset Memorial & Stone was founded here in Calgary, AB, back in 1992. We have worked hard over the years to serve families, cemeteries, and communities across the continent. We manufacture, design, deliver, and install columbaria from Alaska to Florida, Vancouver British Columbia to Portland Maine. Our columbaria are designed and manufactured to be shipped on flatbed trucks and installed in cemeteries across the continent.  

Contact us today. We have representatives in Calgary and out east to help you with any questions you may have.  

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