Consumer Tips

Tips on Monuments:

Many consumers have never purchased a cemetery monument or marker before. Therefore it is in your best interest to first shop around, to not only compare price as well as quality and workmanship before making any quick decisions. Selecting a monument will be one of the most permanent decisions you will ever make in your lifetime. So please spend some extra time and don’t make any hasty decisions.

It is important while shopping for your memorial that you ask many questions. Price is always an important factor in any purchase, but not necessarily the most important one. Origin of the granite (where it is quarried) is very important and drastically effects pricing. For example there are very many types of gray granite on the market today. Barre gray (quarried in Barre, Vermont) being the best in the industry. It is far superior to the other grays such as Georgia gray, China gray, or India gray because it will not hold moisture like the softer, less expensive gray granites. Some memorial dealers have been known to change the names of the different granites to prevent the consumer from comparison-shopping. This is why when shopping for a memorial it is important to compare Barre to Barre or Georgia to Georgia, because of the drastic difference in pricing between the two.

Another important tip is to look at the craftsmanship done by the monument company. Ask to see examples of work that have been done or some of the companies finished products, this way you can carefully examine the detail of the design, the depth of the lettering, or whether the company uses black paint to hide its workmanship. This will give you a good idea on the kind of quality you will receive on your own monument.

If you are shopping be sure to ask for the exact color, size, and finish. This all changes the price accordingly. You should always compare length, width, and height (Ex. 3’-0” x 0’-8” x 2’-0”). The top piece is known as the die. The bottom is called the base (Ex. 4’-0” x 1’-2” x 0’-8”) what finish do you want? P/2 = polished front and back, P/3 = front, back, and top, or all polished finish. All this is important in figuring out pricing.

Some very important questions to ask your future monument company are: who will make my stone? Who will install my finished stone in the cemetery? Who will install my cemetery foundation? (cement monument sits on) Who will letter my stone when my family needs additional names and dates added to it? Almost all monument companies today do little or no part of any work on the monuments they sell. They just take your money and leave the work to someone else. This leaves little if any quality control at any stage of your memorial purchase. They “farm the work out” to others that have no interest at all, in your memorial, other than collecting a check. This process adds hundreds of dollars to your monument cost, when you have to pay different people at every step in the process. They must pay one group to make your monument, one group to install your cemetery foundation, one group to install your monument in the cemetery.

This process all cost a lot of money. We at Phoenixville Memorial Works do all the work most companies “farm out”. In this way, we not only have full control of the quality of the work being done, but also save you the consumer those hundreds of dollars the other companies cannot. We are a full service monument company; we don’t sit at a desk all day and let others handle our work for us. You would not ask your electrician to work on your car or have your plumber service your TV would you? Then why I ask, do you want to buy a monument from someone who has never in their life, MADE EVEN ONE MONUMENT, ENGRAVED ONE STONE, OR EVEN INSTALLED A SINGLE STONE IN A CEMETERY? IF THAT WAS ME PURCHASING THAT MEMORIAL STONE I WOULD DEFINITELY GO ELSEWHERE. I want to make my purchase from someone who has “hands on experience.” If I was going out to eat at a restaurant, I certainly do not want the gardener cooking my dinner.

A granite monument should be able to stand the test of time, only if fine craftsmanship and quality materials are used. Almost all granite today has a warranty backed by the manufacture it is quarried with. The hard part is finding a quality monument company that will not only give you the superior workmanship, granite quality, and pricing that you strive for and your family deserves. We at Phoenixville Memorial Works have caringly served thousands upon thousands of satisfied customers. Or goal is to have many thousands more over the years to come.

“A monument is a tribute of respect and honor to the dead, and a constant source of love and inspiration to the living.”