At Serenity in Granite, we understand that you might have several questions about our services. We invite you to submit any questions or feedback and you will find your questions and answers posted here from time to time.
Q: Where do I start? I've never had to do this before!
A: You are no different than most people. Below we have listed some things that you may want to consider before you visit your local monument builder. Visit your cemetery and look to see what types of memorials are in your area. Take a tape measure, notepad and camera device with you. Get shots of the ones that you are like (a measurement is helpful as well).
Q: How long do I have to wait before ordering a memorial?
A: Wait until you are comfortable talking about the memorial. Most people wait about 3 months until they know their financial position and when most of the shock has passed.
Q: Will the foundation that goes under the upright memorial interfere with the burial?
A: No. All cemeteries have adequate space built into the graves to allow for the burial and a memorial foundation.
Q: Why does the cemetery require a foundation under the memorial?
A: The foundation pad has two purposes. 1. to provide support for the monument and base and 2. allows for easier mowing.
Q: Can I have an upright memorial on my lot?
A: Check with your local monument builder; he will know all the rules for cemeteries in his area.
Q: Can my memorial be as big as I want it to be?
A: Most (if not all) cemeteries have rules regarding the sizes of memorials. Some have very tight rules, others have very relaxed rules. Check with your monument builder.
Q: My cemetery will only allow me to have a flat bronze marker. Why is this?
A: Some cemeteries will only allow flat bronze markers; most of them are Memorial Gardens type cemeteries. The thinking was that cemeteries with a park-like setting would be easier to maintain. Most of these cemeteries are now planning upright memorial sections because people found it difficult to find graves in the wintertime when the ground was covered with snow and people preferred upright memorials.
Q: Can I have any shape or colour of memorial that I want?
A: Yes, as long as the memorial conforms to the sizes allowed by the cemetery. Some cemeteries have a rule that the base stone must be the same material as the die stone. Your local monument builder will know the rules.
Q: Why can't I letter the back or ends of my memorial?
A: Some cemeteries have rules, which state that lettering on memorials must only face the grave space, and not face other people's cemetery property.
Q: Will my memorial fade in time?
A: Most memorials today are made from granite and good granite will not fade or discolour in time. All granites are not created equal. Some are better than others. Check an older section of your cemetery and see how well the memorials have stood up over time.
Q: How long will my monument or marker last?
A: If your memorial is made from a good quality granite, it will last for many hundreds of years, probably even thousands of years.
Q: Why aren't all granites the same price?
A: There are a number of reasons why granites differ in price. When a block of granite is removed from the ground there is a certain amount that is normal waste. With some granites, the waste factor is much larger, and obtaining good clear pieces becomes a problem, so the price is higher. Sometimes granites that are imported from other countries are more expensive because of high freight costs and dollar fluctuations. Some granites are harder to polish than others, hence a higher price.
Q: Why does it take so long to complete my memorial?
A: There are a number of factors that control the time it takes to complete and install your memorial. The first would be the availability of the granite. The second would be the time it takes to have drawings done and approved. Remember the old saying about having things etched in stone. Once the memorial is lettered it is permanent and it is very expensive to change. Mistakes can happen so always double-check the spelling and dates. The average fabrication time for a memorial is 6 – 8 weeks. The last reason it can take so long to complete your memorial is the foundation. Some cemeteries install their own foundations and sometimes only once or twice a year. Installation of the memorial is weather dependant and most cemeteries do not want us in the cemeteries unless the ground conditions are optimal. In most climates, freezing is a major consideration for not installing foundations in the winter. Concrete does not set well if the temperature is below freezing. Once your memorial is installed, it will be there forever. A few extra days or weeks should not even be a consideration.
Q: Will moss grow on the top of my memorial if it is not polished?
A: Moss growing on memorials seems to be a problem in some areas more than other areas. It has a lot to do with the climate, ground moisture, and the proximity to certain trees and shrubs. Having the top polished simply makes the memorial easier to clean and the slippery surface hinders moss growth. In most cases, moss or most other stains can be removed by pressure washing and professional cleaning. Ask your local monument builder about this.
Q: Why should you add the wife's maiden name to the memorial? Nobody around here knew her by that name anyway.
A: Consider your memorial to be the only permanent piece of history that there is. Family Bibles can get lost or destroyed, as can other family records.