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Installing a Headstone

A Guide To The Best Headstone Installation In Any Cemetery

Some might try installing a headstone themselves, but they can be so heavy and precarious, the many people fear the results will be something similar to a slapstick comedy routine, except nobody will be laughing, especially after it breaks. There goes your money, and you may have only a broken headstone to go with it, not to mention a broken back! The truth is, installing a headstone, whether with or without the help of a professional, does not have to be a negative experience. With that said however, the process of setting a memorial is more involved than most might think, so it is important to be informed on some key points before attempting the job yourself. This guide will offer some main points on setting a grave marker or headstone memorial.

Installing a headstone is usually a task preformed by the cemetery or a monument companyIn today’s modern memorial market, most headstones are installed by professionals. Most cemeteries, in fact, provide this service as a routine part of what they offer, for a fee which by law must be equal to the amount they would charge if it were purchased by the cemetery. Not only that, it is actually required by many (if not most) cemeteries that one of their employees (or a contractor) install the headstone. Many cemetery owners may be worried about a potential lawsuit if an injury were to take place on their property, and deem it as simply not worth the risk to allow their customers to install headstones on their own. With this in mind, installing a headstone often becomes a seamless process, as you can have them shipped directly to the cemetery to begin with.

In rural cemeteries however, there can occasionally be no other option but to install the headstone yourself, as they may not even have a business office where an agreement can be reached. Before installing a headstone, either way you decide to do it; it is generally a good idea to ask the cemetery what size your grave marker can be. This way, you judge whether or not you want to bury your loved one there, or at another cemetery.

If you do decide upon installing a headstone yourself, and find a cemetery that will allow that, you should first have some idea of how big the headstone will be. In most cases, you can order a proof of the headstone before you purchase it. This way, you will know. Also you should know as well that installing a headstone can be different depending on whether or not you will be planting it in concrete.

If you are installing a headstone without concrete, it is first recommended that you first get a tape measure and measure about an inch beyond the headstone at each end. Then, get a shovel and dig as deep as the tape measure is wide. Finally, take a level and make sure that the headstone is perfectly flat, and pack as much of the excess dirt back in as you can.

While the installation of headstones is typically handled by the cemetery, the process is not very difficultIf, on the other hand, you are installing a headstone in concrete (which is recommended to help ensure the memorial will not sink or tilt in time), you should also have a post-hole digger, four reinforced steel bars, steel mesh, wire twist ties, a hammer, water (bring some for yourself too) 3 to 4 bags of mixed concrete, and a wheelbarrow for your mixing solution. First, just as you would with a non concrete grave site, measure an inch more on each side than the headstone with your tape measure. Then dig an outline of the grave with your shovel. After you do that, dig two piers with your post whole digger, 24 inches thick, and 6 inches wide. Then put two of the reinforced bars in two of the holes. Now dig a shallow hole, pour the water, and place a board evenly along the wet concrete. Finally, after 1-2 days of letting it dry, place the headstone on the concrete.

When installing a headstone, it is also possible to install a built-in flower vase unit as well. You may want to consult your headstone retailer about this, as it may add beauty to your loved one’s grave.

As you can see, if you can afford it, getting a professional to do the job for you is usually preferable, and will no doubt save you time. Just think, would you rather be installing a headstone? Or would rather be spending time relaxing with your family members and friends who have come to mourn their loss and yours, as you reflect on the memory of your loved one.

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