Relative Information ... by Mike Murphree, Owner of Camden Memorials, Inc
Rules To Remember When Purchasing A Monument
Recently I had a family inform me they had received information on a monument from six different companies. While we don’t discourage competition, with all of these sources of information it can get very confusing when purchasing a monument.
Rule #1: Never buy a monument from a brochure ... not even ours.
It may get even more confusing when you actually begin looking for a monument to purchase... however, we definitely encourage you to go to the display location where you intend to purchase. If you look at two or more companies you may find that there is different terminology used by each company. Each company will have their own “standard size” and it could be difficult to compare sizes between two locations. Because of this we have attached a “Monument Buyers Guide” to assist you.
Rule #2: Make certain you are comparing “apples to apples”.
Keep in mind, just because it is the same size does not mean it is the same quality. Like diamonds, there are many different grades of granite. More importantly, the carving and lettering is extremely labor intensive and can be done in a variety of ways. The quality of your lettering should be a major factor when purchasing.
Rule #3: Demand double-process carving and lettering.
Double process lettering will ensure you a sharp crisp letter. A single process takes much less time and costs much less. There is a major difference between the two processes; always ask before you purchase.
Rule #4: Remember you are purchasing a monument because you loved someone ... not because it is the cheapest.
Is there a reason the price is less? When it comes to the final decision many times the lowest bidder is difficult to ignore, however, ask yourself if this person or company will be in business in 10-20 years. How long have they been in business? Does this person or business have a manufacturing facility? Several one-man monument companies have come and gone in many of the areas we have served in South Arkansas. Other questions: Will this person or company be there if something goes wrong? If additional lettering is needed, can I count on them to complete this for me? Always remember, “you get what you pay for” applies in monuments also.
Rule #5: You don’t have to wait 6 months to install a monument.
You might have been told to wait for the ground to settle before installing a monument. The monument will go on undisturbed ground and installation could be within days of burial.
Rule #6: Purchase from someone that knows monuments.
Many times representatives at a funeral home or cemetery are working on a commission and know little about monuments. Find out where the monument would be manufactured and what options you have. Some cemeteries have been known to say the monument must be purchased from them to be guaranteed. If you are told this, you should contact the Attorney General’s office-consumer protection division because this is simply not true. You can purchase your monument wherever you desire, just make certain the company is familiar with your cemetery requirements.
We certainly would appreciate the opportunity to serve you on your monument. We realize this is a very important decision and we are here to assist you. We have several locations to serve you including Camden, El Dorado, Magnolia, Fordyce, Warren, Malvern, Pine Bluff, Stuttgart and Arkadelphia. We are currently the only Rock of Ages Authorized Dealer in the state. Camden Monument Company is a member of the American Institute of Commemorative Art, Monument Builders of North America & Mid-America Monument Builders Association. Please contact me at 800-870-2186 if you should have any questions.
Monument Buyers Guide
This is a guide to help you shop for the best value when selecting a monument. There are three things you must know before you can make a good value comparison.
SIZE You will need the length, width and height of the tablet, or top piece of the stone. You also need the length, width and height of the base piece of the stone.
FINISH How the stone is finished, or polished, will affect the price you will be charged.
P2 — Polished on two sides; the front and the back of the tablet are polished smooth. This leaves the top and ends of the tablet in a rough natural finish.
P3 — Polished on three sides; the front and the back and also the top of the tablet are polished smooth. This leaves just the ends of the tablet in a rough natural finish.
P5 — Polished on all five sides; the front, the back, the top and both ends are polished smooth. This leaves no rough natural finish on the tablet.
QUALITY OF STONE/LETTERING/SETTING
The quality of stone your monument is made of is extremely important. Other important considerations are the type of lettering. Make certain the company double processes their carving and lettering. Do they provide a scaled rendering? The setting of a monument is another major item. Will you be contacted? How long before the monument will be set in the cemetery.
You need to know the specific name of the granite, or marble you are considering. Regardless of what you are told, all granites and marbles are not the same. It is very important to know which quality of stone you are having priced.
Material/ Quality: _______________________________
Tablet Size: LENGTH _____ x WIDTH _____ x HEIGHT_____
Finish (circle one): P2 P3 P5
Base Size: LENGTH _____ x WIDTH _____ x HEIGHT _____
Scaled Rendering Provided: c Yes c No
Double Processed Carving and Lettering: c Yes c No
Written Warranty on Material & Workmanship: c Yes c No
How long in business: ______
Estimated Delivery Time______
COMPLETE PRICE: $________________________