Understanding the Costs of a Custom Monument

November 4, 2020
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Custom Monument with cross and urns with flowers

When a family member passes, one of the added costs is the monument. Headstones and monuments can be pricey, depending on what you are looking for. However, understanding the costs will allow you to mourn your loss without the initial shock from the financial cost of a funeral, monument, burial, etc. If you are struggling to decide on a monument or do not know where to start, check out this cost guide from Gifford Monument Works!

The Costs of a Custom Monument or Headstone

Because each monument represents a different person, most are custom-made pieces. So, there are a few variables that go into determining the price of each piece. These variables include the size and shape, quality of the materials, and the amount of wording or images etched into the stone.

Size and Shape

The amount of materials used to create your monument has a large impact on the cost. Larger and more complex designs require more materials, making them more expensive. Here are a few of the most common monument sizes and shapes and their average prices:

  • Flat Marker – $599-$1500
  • Bronze Markers – $795+
  • Bevel Memorial – $900 – $2195
  • Slant Memorial – $1250+
  • Upright Memorial – $1900+


Due to its incredible durability, granite has become the top choice for monuments. Over the course of an entire century, granite will not deteriorate 1/1000th of an inch. However, the quality of granite varies. The quality will affect the durability, density, structural integrity, consistency, and how difficult the granite is to shape. The monument’s desired color also affects the price, as some granite varieties are rarer than others. If you select a monument with bronze on it, keep in mind that, like most metals, bronze fluctuates in price. 

Wording and Etching

The wording & designs that are etched onto the stone are the more personal aspect of the monument. The amount of wording or images play a role in the monument’s price, but the method in which they are drawn on the monument also plays a role. 

  • Sandblasting – Sandblasting is the most common etching method. It is also the cheapest. 
  • Hand Etching – After the standard sandblasting is completed, hand etching is used to add extra designs. Hand etching is a difficult skill to master, but it also adds incredible detail to your monument. This form of etching is one of the more expensive methods to add some more personality to your monument. 
  • Laser Etching – Similar to hand etching, laser etching adds some extra personality to a monument, but it can also be used to inscribe the entire monument. However, while laser etching is inexpensive, it does not add the same level of engraving depth that sandblasting does. 

Who is Designing Your Custom Monument? 

Every company is different, so when you select your monument, you need to consider the design making your monument for you. 

When selecting your monument provider, take a look at their past work. Their style must fit the style of the monument you would like to purchase. Also, consider their reputation. All you need to do is go online and look for some reviews. 

Lastly, the most important thing to consider is, are going to be working directly with the monument provider or a third party. If a third party sells you your monument, the price will most likely be higher because, like most products, there is a supply chain to account for. Not only are prices typically lower when you work directly with the provider, but you also benefit directly from their expertise. Speaking directly with the provider allows you to explain your vision for your monument perfectly. Talking to them eliminates any possibility of miscommunication that could potentially come from using a supply chain.

Gifford Monument Works Specializes in Custom Monuments

If you are preparing to purchase a monument or headstone for yourself or a loved one, make sure that you choose a material that will last a lifetime. Contact Gifford Monument to learn about our monument offerings in Wylie, TX & Ada, OK, or visit our social media to see more of what we have to offer!