There may come a time when you need to add to a loved one’s headstone. This could include adding a name, a date, a design, or an emblem. If another loved one has passed away and was buried nearby, adding their name to a spouse or family member’s existing memorial is a suitable choice. Perhaps you may want to add a significant quote or date to honor your deceased loved one at a later time. While adding to a headstone is unlikely to be a quick process, it is fairly common. Additions can be made to almost any type of headstone. Even if you didn’t purchase the original marker from Legacy Headstones, we can often help with additions. Below we’ll discover what options are available and what you may need to get started.
What information do you need?
You’ll first want to ask yourself whether the existing headstone has enough room for an addition. Many manufacturers will keep an informational file on their customers; speaking with them is a good early step. They can let you know if your design ideas are a possibility. There are still options if you’re unsure who made the original headstone. Whatever company you choose to create the additions may attempt to contact the original manufacturer on your behalf, allowing them to understand the marker’s measurements and specifications. While this is helpful, if the information is unavailable, it is not completely necessary.
Before contacting a manufacturer for these additions, you’ll need to collect some information. You will need to provide your loved one’s first and last name, the name of the cemetery, and the exact location of the headstone within the cemetery. This will help speed the process along. If possible, also have a recent picture of the headstone on hand. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but this photo will allow designers to view available space and headstone condition.
If enough space is available, the company will then create a rendering of your design. This should show where the design fits on the marker, and may even come with additional design options. In this way, you can get an idea of what’s being altered and how it will look. Be aware that names and dates are easier and faster to add than emblems, inscriptions, or designs.
How long will this take?
The length of time this project will take depends on a number of factors. The first deciding factor is you. You’ll need to provide accurate and detailed information and agree on a price with the manufacturer; this could take days or even weeks, depending on the amount of back and forth involved in the decision-making process. Next, the company will visit and view the existing headstone. Weather permitting, they will get a tracing of the stone to ensure their designs will fit. The next step depends on both you and the cemetery itself. The manufacturer will need your approval and potentially some approvals from the cemetery. Certain cemeteries require simple notification of changes, while others require designs to be approved by a staff member. This typically means obtaining a signature from a responsible party within the organization. Once the approvals are complete, the designer can get started.
This process should take about sixty days from start to finish. However, there is always the potential for delay. Delays to completion are often weather-related, and certain regions may only be able to complete these additions during limited months or seasons. While weather delays can add time, they will also ensure your additions are done well. Additional interruptions can be avoided by immediately providing cemetery, plot, and marker information and quickly responding to manufacturer questions.
Where are additions made?
Additions are most commonly made at the cemetery. Engravings made onsite after initial approval can be done to match the style and quality of existing work. This is a much simpler process for both you and the manufacturer, allowing you to avoid removing and reinstalling your loved one’s headstone. That being said, particularly complex designs or designs that need to be etched may need to be brought to a controlled facility to be worked on.
If your loved one’s headstone is older or in less-than-ideal condition, you may want to consider having it professionally cleaned and restored at the time of addition. This can include additional touchups, including repainting if needed, being done at the cemetery before additions are made., Cleaning can help old carvings look fresh alongside any new work.
How much does it cost?
Cost should be discussed directly with the company performing the additions. While costs can be as low as $300 for simple changes, that number can increase depending on many factors. Designers will consider the number of additions, including names, dates, plaques, artwork, the lettering style and finish, the addition’s size, and the design complexity when estimating a cost. The best way to get an accurate price is to contact a professional and let them know what you’re hoping to alter on your loved one’s memorial.
Whether you’re adding names and dates or looking for a complete redesign, options are available and can enhance an existing memorial. Be sure to collect all the information needed to get your additions finished efficiently. When you’re ready, submit this information to our team and we will follow up with designs and estimated costs. At Legacy Headstones, we know adding to a loved one’s headstone can be an emotional choice, and we’re here to help you through it.