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  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who installs the marker?
Do I have to pay for the installation at the cemetery?
How long does it take to make the marker?
How is the marker shipped, and how long does it take?
Will the cemetery accept a marker from an outside source?
Can I select any size I want for the marker?
Who is responsible if the marker gets damaged by the cemetery equipment?
How is a second name and date added to a marker later on?
How do I keep the marker clean?

 


Who installs the marker?

Markers Direct does not provide installation services, as the installation of the marker is normally performed by the cemetery personnel. If this is a smaller or more rural cemetery, there many not be an office or a grounds crew on site. In these cases, the installation may be contracted out to a third party, such as a local monument company. Either the cemetery office (if there is one) or a local funeral home would be able to tell you who performs the installations for the cemetery, and how much they will charge you. Whether the installation is performed by the cemetery or an outside party, any installation fees and any required documents must be signed locally before the delivery of the marker.

Do I have to pay any fees at the cemetery?

Most cemeteries will charge you to install the marker (regardless whether you purchase it from them or an outside source). The average is about $150. to $250., but this fee varies significantly in different parts of the country. The cemetery will usually require that the fee be paid (and any required documents be signed, such as a setting authorization), before they will accept the marker. In fact, many cemeteries will send a marker back if the fees are not on file, requiring redelivery at a later date. To avoid any additional shipping fees, make sure you have taken care of the cemetery in advance of the marker's completion.

How long does it take to make the a marker?

The design layout takes about three to four weeks to be issued, and once approved, the marker will take about six weeks to be manufactured.

How is the marker shipped, and how long does it take?

The marker is shipped by common carrier, and takes up to 7 days depending on geographic area.

Markers without granite bases can be shipped to either a residence, a place of business, or directly to the cemetery. Markers with granite bases, due to their significant weight, can only be delivered to cemeteries, or to a commercial address if sufficient personnel and/or lifting equipment are available to offload the marker.

Will the cemetery accept a marker from an outside source?

You have the right to purchase a marker from any source that you choose. Our markers are made by the nation's second largest bronze and granite manufacturer, which is the same company that many cemeteries and funeral homes across the country purchase their markers from. Anything that the cemetery tells you about outside markers not being up to their quality standards, or that they will not be liable for damage to the marker, is usually just an attempt to dissuade you from purchasing a marker elsewhere. If a cemetery claims that you must purchase the marker only from them, have them show it to you in writing in their by-laws.

Can I select any size I want for the marker?

Usually not. Most cemeteries have specific size requirements for markers. Their by-laws will often specify a particular size for a single marker, another for double markers, etc. The cemetery will usually refuse the delivery of a marker if it does not conform to their specifications. Your cemetery would be able to tell you over the phone what their requirements are.

If the cemetery is smaller, privately owned, or located in a more rural area, they may not have any regulations at all. If you have seen all sizes, shapes and styles of markers throughout the cemetery, this may be the case. Since smaller cemeteries may not have an office on the premises, you would need to contact a caretaker or a local funeral home to find out what regulations, if any, exist.

Who is responsible if the marker gets damaged by the cemetery equipment?

Many cemeteries will tell you that they are not responsible for damage to a marker if you purchased it from someone other than the cemetery. This is a commonly used scare tactic used to discourage people from purchasing a marker elsewhere. The reality is that if the cemetery has an endowment care fund (required by law in most states), the fund is there to provide general upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery, including repairing markers damaged by their own equipment. Since every cemetery is different, the only way that you can be certain of their policies is to obtain and read a copy of the cemetery's by-laws.  

How is a second name and date added to a marker later on?

Unlike granite markers where you can just add more engraving, the lettering on bronze markers is cast as part of the marker. The only way to add an inscription later is to attach a bronze scroll plate (with screws) containing the new text to the existing marker. The marker must be designed as a double marker, and with the screw holes that will eventually receive the scroll plate. Depending on the style of the marker, the scroll plate may contain just the dates, or both the name and dates.  Since we don't want to make it appear that something was "added" to the marker later, the original name and/or dates are also contained within a matching scroll plate that is permanently cast as part of the marker.

At a later date, scroll plates for the major bronze manufacturers can usually be purchased from any cemetery, marker company, or mortuary that sells bronze markers.

How do I keep the marker clean?

Bronze markers are sealed with a clear, protective coating at the time of manufacture. While this does protect the marker for the first few years after installation, it will rapidly diminish with exposure to the elements. Within a few years, the bronze naturally acquires a patina finish (the grayish - green discoloration). This is not a deterioration of the bronze, but rather a tough, protective layer of oxidation that adheres to the bronze surface.

When a marker is brand new, it is best not to clean the marker with anything other than a soft dampened cloth. Any chemicals applied at this point will only expedite the break down of the protective film. As the marker ages and the patina finish starts to develop, the marker can be cleaned with mineral oil (not mineral spirits), WD-40, or Armor-All, and a nylon bristle brush (not a wire brush). Once cleaned, an occasional spray of WD-40, Armor-All, or an application of car wax will create a light, oily film on the marker that will act as a barrier to the elements.

For heavily oxidized markers that have never been cleaned, repeated applications of mineral oil and scrubbing over time may be required. Steel wool can be used on the polished face of the lettering to recreate that bright, yellow polished look of the original marker. Please use caution though, and do not allow the steel wool to touch any other part of the marker, as a permanent scratch may result.

 The above information has been generalized to apply to the majority of situations, and may not be applicable to your specific situation. No liability is assumed on our part for the use of this information.  


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