When it comes to planning a burial or cremation, one of the most important decisions to make is if you are planning on purchasing a headstone. Knowing the price of a headstone in 2023 can help you plan your budget accordingly.
The price of a headstone and finding out how much are headstones can vary significantly depending on the size, design and material used. In this blog post, we will discuss how much a headstone/memorial costs and explore the various factors that influence the cost.
Low-cost cremation headstone/memorials
Cremation memorials are headstones specifically to commemorate a loved one’s cremation. The company highlighted in the link (Abbey memorials) pride themselves in providing low-cost services throughout the UK.
How much are headstones?
How much is the price of a headstone? is a common question for many people searching on a budget. A slanted/flat headstone is a basic short in height grave marker which is often made from granite and sits on a foundation which is often also granite.
Apart from temporary grave markers they are usually the cheapest option which you can expect to pay upwards from £600. However, the upright headstone, the most popular option, costs between £750.00 and £1400.00+. Prepare yourself to dig deeper into your pocket if you plan to purchase a kerb headstone. These can start from £2000+.
Basic slanted headstone
Basic slanted headstone
The foot of a kerbed white marble memorial filled with blue chippings
Apart from the price of a headstone there are also additional costs to consider, such as professional installation, which can add to the overall cost. When shopping around for the best price, it is best to approach monumental masons directly, rather than through an undertaker, as some undertakers charge for this.
What affects the price of a headstone
The price of a headstone can vary greatly depending on several factors. The headstone’s size, material and design contribute to its price as well as additional features such as engraving and installation.
Size is one of the biggest factors when it comes to the price of a headstone. Generally speaking, the bigger the headstone, the more expensive it will be. Headstones come in various sizes, ranging from small plaques to full-size upright monuments.
Black granite shown above is probably the most popular headstone/memorial material
How much is a headstone is a question often asked when looking at different stone. The material you choose for your headstone will also affect its price. Granite is one of the most popular materials used for headstones in the UK and is typically more expensive than other materials like marble and limestone. Granite can be polished to a high mirror like finish, or likewise honed to a matt finish.
Some harder to locate rare marbles can cost more than granite. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, sandstone or concrete can be a great alternative.
It should be noted that Marble headstones or marble kerbed memorials are not recommended where they are surrounded by trees or bushes as this will more than likely stain the marble.
Nabresina from Italy and Portland stone from England are both limestone’s which are soft and give a more aged appearance than marble or granite. These softer limestone’s were very popular in English churchyards dating back hundreds of years. They are cheaper and easier to machine than marble and granite. Due to limestone being soft it is more prone to damage/erosion and the effects of acid rain.
The design can greatly affect the price of a headstone, due to the machining required to cut and polish the shape. If you want to add an intricate or detailed design, it will likely cost more than a simple shape. Additionally, if you choose to have an image engraved or sandblasted onto the headstone, this will add to the overall price.
For many the price of a headstone comes down to what they can afford, or afford to borrow.
Porcelain plaques and figures
Special long wearing porcelain plaques can also be inlaid into the stone, for a more personal touch. You will need to provide the stonemason with a high quality photograph for the porcelain plaque to be made.
Elegant, artistic Kosmolux figures are often a popular addition for many memorials. You can read more about the interesting history behind the Kosmolux company which produces these “non sculptured” exclusive hard wearing figures based on Italian master sculpture originals.
Finally, installation fees are another factor that can influence the cost of your headstone. Installing a headstone usually requires specialised equipment and expertise, so there is usually an additional charge for this service. Some stonemason’s are members of BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons). BRAMM has a policy code which their members follow and list their registered stonemason members on their website.
For increased stability some masons use a concrete base with extra concrete lintels below ground level. Whilst this does not guarantee there will be no ground movement it does provide a strong support for kerb memorials. A concrete foundation with the addition of a stainless steel rod is preferred stronger fixing method for memorials/headstones by some masons.
Headstones and temporary grave markers
Wooden temporary grave markers
An alternative to a permanent headstone is a temporary grave marker. This type of marker is typically made from wood, metal or slate and placed at the head of the grave until a permanent headstone is ready to be installed. These can include the deceased’s name, dates of birth and death, and a small inscription. They can also be reused at another location or interred with the deceased’s remains.
Prices for temporary grave markers start from around £30, they are usually designed to be installed while the ground below settles over the year flowing burial. Once the ground has settled the main headstone/memorial can be fitted, and temporary marker removed. Memorial plaques and memorial stones offer cheaper alternatives than headstones.
How to save money on a headstone
A headstone is a lasting memorial to a loved one who has passed away, but the cost is usually expensive. In reality there are no easy ways to save money, other than having a headstone made from cast concrete.
Alternatively as mentioned earlier, the smaller slanted/flat headstones often present good value for money, and more within most people’s budget.
Another way to save money on a headstone if searching for how much are headstones is to obviously compare suppliers. No matter how much you plan to spend on a headstone, research and ask the price a headstone, then compare prices to get the best deal possible.
Insurance is worth considering as it can be a peace of mind against:
Subsidence, theft, accidental damage, damage from falling trees, vandalism & storm damage.
Beautiful memorial statues
When money is not a constraint it can seen from the above image how ornate and artistic some memorial designs can be.
So, what is the price of a headstone? how much are headstones? The cost can, as already mentioned, vary greatly depending on the size, material, and other features such as design and installation. On average, a basic small headstone with a simple inscription can range from £600+.
It’s important to consider all these factors when choosing a headstone for your loved one to find the right balance between price and quality.
However, more elaborate headstones will cost upwards of £2,000. In addition, if you are looking for a temporary grave maker, prices can range from as little as £25 upwards depending on the design. Whatever the price of a headstone you should not feel pressured to spend more than you can afford, or afford to borrow.
For additional ideas on memorial and garden stones visit the link.