When end-of-life planning, you might have a certain image of what you want your final resting place to look like.
However, when selecting a headstone for cemeteries in Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, and environs, consider what you want relative to factors like regulations, cost, and durability.
Below, we lay out these key considerations and how they may affect your selection.
Cemetery regulations and restrictions
The cemetery will have its regulations and restrictions when it comes to headstones in general. These may include the types of materials allowed, the design, and their specific sizes.
They may also include whether or not you can use a company to create a custom-made headstone or if you have to get one through the cemetery itself.
If you are considering a custom-made headstone, you should ensure the materials will hold up well over time, in addition to meeting cemetery specifications.
The cemetery may also require that the headstone have a certain amount of space around it so it does not affect other gravestones or monuments.
Factors like materials and size can increase or decrease the price. For example, if you want granite for your headstone, then it may cost you more upfront than if you select marble or limestone.
Smaller headstones are typically cheaper than larger ones as well. If you purchase from a local company, you might also save money. However, there may be additional costs for shipping and installation.
You should also consider the cost of maintenance, repairs, and restoration down the line before deciding on material.
Perhaps one of the most important factors is the durability of your headstone. Ideally, you want something that will not only last a long time but also retains its look.
This means that on top of selecting a solid material, you also want to pay attention to its finish and installation. Your headstone finish can make or mar its appearance and how long it lasts.
This is why reputable cemeteries insist on approving outside contractors before installation, as sub-par work can quickly become unsightly or dangerous.
Inscriptions: The details and epitaph you wish to have on your headstone should be considered relative to its size and your budget.
In addition to being charged by the letter, you should consider the readability of your inscription over time as you decide on length and font.
Images and icons: The type of icons you can engrave on a memorial may be subject to review by the cemetery as it relates to the overall look of the section.
This includes photographs, drawings, symbols, etc., so you would do well to double-check the requirement for your location on site before commissioning a headstone.
If you are in Alexandria, VA, and interested in our historic Washington, DC cemetery, please refer to our regulations for more details on our memorial requirements. Alternatively, call us today or schedule an in-person visit to discuss more.