If you are just getting started, take a look at What's involved in planning a memorial to get an idea of the process and the decisions you will need to make.
We've answered some common questions below.
If you have any questions about the process of ordering a headstone or memorial for your loved one, please contact us.
The cost depends on the size & shape of the headstone. The cost includes your choice of colour and paint colour, and up to 200 characters. Our costs include installation, but if you would like to do this yourself, talk to us and we are able to provide a quote for pickup.
The cost of a memorial will vary greatly depending on the size, shape & colour of stone used.
Standard memorial headstones range between $3000.00-$5000.00.
A small granite plaque will start at $400 and a basic headstone for pick up will start at approx. $1550
This varies greatly on what you are ordering with us. A plaque can be done in 3-4 weeks, while a headstone from our stock range can be completed in 4-6 weeks. If the design you select is not in stock, we order this and it can take 2-3 months to arrive. All inscriptions, photos and other design is done onsite after the stone arrives cut to shape.
We are not able to carry all options in stock. With global delays, we have had instances where it has taken 6 months to get materials to us. If you require something more urgently, let us know and we can give you options that we currently have in stock.
Yes, and Yes. The local council require permission, and have size and shape regulations depending on the area of the cemetary the memorial is located. We take care of this process. Each council and cemetary have different regulations.
For example, Taupo District Council regulations:
Granite is the preferred material in most cemeteries.
We know the specifications for each cemetery so let us know what you are thinking and we can advise if it is suitable for that cemetery. Even in the more relaxed cemeteries approval often needs to be given for anything out of the ordinary and anything not made of granite or marble.
Marble is a lot softer than granite and recedes with time and weather conditions. Granite is superior in most cases for durability, holding its lettering the longest and the ability to repaint the lettering when needed.
There is also a huge range of colours available in granite, the most popular being black. Please check our granite colours page.
Yes, we provide you a visual design that you will approve before we start.
Once we have the wording and an idea of how you want it to look, we provide design options for you to look over.
We will give you some options - for example, several font choices, and options for the layout of the text. If you wish for an image, such as a rose or an angel, we will give you several options to select from.
We have a great deal of experience with layouts and take a lot of pride in making sure that it looks just right.
You will approve your final design before we get started.
We do other projects, such as pet plaques, ashes urns, onsite sandblasting, stained glass and traditional techniques such as hand chisel and lead lettering.
We have completed a wide variety of other projects and larger memorials, including a Tangiwai Memorial
Yes, we are happy to work with you to organise your own headstone. For some people, organising their memorial is peace of mind.
There are different options that we can work through with you.
Some people purchase the memorial and have it inscribed with all but the dates required, either storing it at home or with us until the time comes. We are then advised of the dates so it can be completed and installed.
Others consult with us, create a design, and leave the instructions in their will or with a lawyer.
Yes, we absolutely do. Have a look at our resoration gallery to see examples.
We restore older memorials and reletter headstones and plaques. We can paint or regild in all the local cemeteries. We also offer a service to clean memorials for families who live outside of the area.
Lettering is carved into the granite, and it will last forever. However, the lettering colour (paint) does fade after time and we recommend re-painting (re-lettering) for readability in the future.
As a general rule with black granite, white or silver lettering will last around 10-15 years and gold lettering around 30-30 years. Colours like red will have a shorter life due to the UV attacking the pigment in the paint.
Upright stones tend to hold onto the lettering longer than the lying down plaques which are continuously exposed to the elements.
Some of the other granite colours do not hold the lettering as long as black. If you are considering a different colour than black we can guide you on the lasting times of the individual granites based on our experience.
Granite is a natural material - one of the hardest natural materials known, sourced from quarries, and will last for centuries. Most true granites are around 350 million years old already, however, in NZ, moss, mould and lichen can attack the polish if not cleaned regulary. We recommend cleaning once or twice a year, which is something that you can do yourself, or if you are out of town, we can do for you.
Tthe Egyptians built pyramids with it and many large Hindu temples were made of granite. There are memorials in Europe built of grantite in the early 1800's - with a clean, they would look just as good as the day they were done.
Yes, we can work with you to develop your design or idea into a memorial. We have families who have come in with very specific ideas in mind, and we will work with you to bring that idea into fruition.
Please have a look at our custom gallery to see some of the results.
Custom designs can be more expensive, although the cost is more affected by the size and complexity. Custom designs do take longer to be manufactured than a standard design, so please bear this in mind and realise that you will need to allow at least 4 months, and up to 6, for the design and manufacture of a custom design.
No, all cemeteries have different restrictions. Each cemetary has bylaws governing the sizes, materials and type of memorial to be placed in each location in a cemetery.
The only cemeteries that do not have this are private cemeteries and some Urupas.
We know all the local requirements and can easily find out for cemeteries around New Zealand to make sure we supply you the correct memorial.
Yes, in some cases you can. Our quotes include installation in the cemetery, so please talk to us if you would like to do your own installation and we can advise if this is a possibility, and adjust quotes accordingly.
Most public cemeteries require memorials to be installed by a qualified installer, with a permit system we need to follow. We do supply a memorials for private cemeteries and Urupa, and in some cases the family take care of the installation themselves.
If we are supplying a memorial and having it installed by another monumental mason we will get their installation cost and advise at the start of the process.
We are able to create some amazing artwork to personalise a memorial. We have never had to say "sorry we can't do that". There are plenty of options to get the desired result, whether it is hand drawn artwork, computer generated laser etching or rayzist engraving. Please view our examples in the artwork gallery.
Once we have installed the memorial, or restored an existing one, cleaning it once or twice a year will help protect against lichen build up.
If the stone is kept clean this reduces lichen build up.
Sometimes this is not possible as families have moved away or are unable to get to the cemetery.
Give us a call and we will take care of it all for you and supply you with photos of the finished work.
Photo ceramics are specifically designed to withstand the elements and are fired in a kiln at over 900 degrees. The firing process ensures that the colour will not fade and the finish will not deteriorate.
Have a look at our photos gallery to see how we have used photos.
Other graphic options are rayzist and laser imaging, where images are either sandblasted or laser etched into the stone.
These will last the same as the granite.
The rayzist photo will need to be repainted around every 10 years the same as the lettering.
We can ship memorials all over New Zealand.
Just like when we work locally, we will check with the cemetery and review the bylaws of that cemetery or Urupa before we work with you on a final design.
The completed memorial will be securely boxed up and shipped to the address you require. We can organise installation through other monumental masons local to that area or in some cases the family will be able to complete the installation themselves.
Yes, we use marble for certain jobs where it is required or when the family have made the decision to use it. In fact, Nathan is one of only two stonemasons in the Waikato who significant experience and knowledge working with marble.
Marble was the prefered choice for days gone by due to the fact that it is significantly significantly softer than granite, and therefore easier to cut, polish and chisel lettering into. However, marble tends to deteriorate and recede, which eventually leads to the lead lettering fall out.
New technology has made it possible to cut and polish granite into myriad shapes, which has meant that marble is no longer frequently used.