Questions & Answers

Will a "pre-need" memorial interfere with the burial?

NO…. Cemetery plots are designed to allow for burials and space for a standard monument.  In the unlikely event that a memorial or footing must be moved to allow for a burial, LONS will re-pour the footing and re-set the memorial for you free of charge.

Doesn't the ground have to 'settle' before a memorial can be installed?

This is not really a concern.  Only in very rare and very unusual circumstances need the permanent placement of a monument be delayed;  where it is not reasonably possible to install a proper foundation due to impending burial, extreme weather, water or other impediments. Such conditions are usually of short duration.  In any event, reputable monument companies such as LONS accept responsibility, without charge or time-limit, should their footing ever tip or settle. 

Why does it take so many weeks for a memorial to be set-up?

There are a number of issues that all affect the amount of time required to craft and install a monument;

When one compares a few weeks' wait for a monument to the hundreds or thousands of years that it may stand, it really doesn't seem so long!  Also, occasionally during this (relatively short) period of time a change might be requested or an error noticed and corrected, which is to everyone's advantage.

Why can't footings be poured in the winter?

It is expensive to work in frozen ground. Concrete footings cannot be poured in freezing weather without protection, which is costly and difficult to provide in cemeteries.  Frost is also a risk in early spring and late autumn as well.  Ideally, cement needs at least 40º Fahrenheit (5º Celsius) to cure well.  Some companies add salt to the cement mix to extend their season a little.  Salt inhibits freezing somewhat, but also reduces concrete strength and durability.  LONS does not use salt, preferring to wait for appropriate weather when everything can be done properly and covering the work if there is any risk of frost or rain.

Why do some memorials have lichen growing on them?

Most memorial-grade granite is very resistant to growth of lichen or moss.  Usually it is to be found in small patches on some older grey granite types and more commonly on marble-based monuments.  Also,  this sort of growth appears to be related to the effects of local weather, and the vegetation and climate (the micro-environment) of the cemetery.  

We have noticed over the years that lichen seems to "come and go" and although some slight, temporary discolouration sometimes occurs, one should not be overly concerned. Darker, small-grained granites and polished surfaces do tend to be somewhat more resistant, but should not be considered a significant factor in deciding what to purchase as all memorial granites are very durable.

Lichens can be scraped and scrubbed off, and LONS has special pressure washing equipment for the rare, more challenging cases,  but usually lichens will eventually disappear of their own accord.  

Is it a good idea to include a wife's maiden name or the names of other family members on the memorial?

A memorial is the most visible and the most permanent physical record that a person lived, and the best opportunity to record a link with family, time, and perhaps history. 

Why isn't all granite the same price?

Monument grade granite comes from quarries all over the world; this is why such a variety of colour and texture is available. Shipping costs can vary widely.  Also, some quarries operate only part of the year due to water or seasonal constraints (snow, rain); this makes some granite difficult to produce in quantity.  Supply and demand is a factor. Another cost factor relates to the physical quality of the granite deposit in the ground.  Quarries are willing to deal with faults lines, smaller or mixed deposits, overburden, flooding, and other problems if the quality and appearance of the granite is worth the extra costs.

Does deeply cut engraving last longer than shallow engraving or 'raised' lettering?

It is a widely held misconception that the deeper cut the lettering, the longer it will last.  While this might hold true for soap or limestone, it is NOT the case with granite.  In fact, there are circumstances where excessively deep lettering in granite is not advisable.  For example, in flat or sloping markers, water could collect in the lettering and freeze, expanding to break off parts such as the centres of A's and B's.  Also, in climates where there are rapid and repeated extreme temperature changes, differential rates of expansion and contraction occur between the bulk of the monument and small extremities which could produce fault lines that might allow the loss of these parts (usually the centres of sunken letters or raised punctuation).  

Properly engraved lettering is not subject to this kind of stress and experienced monument engravers are always careful to ensure that the depth of cutting is appropriate to the design, lettering type, and location of the monument. 

Will a monument with less costly natural or 'rocked' edges last as long as one with polished edges?

The short answer is: "Yes." However, natural stone edges might permit lichen a slightly better 'toe-hold' (usually a rare and temporary condition), and the sharp, sparkling newly-exposed grains do weather to a somewhat less-sharp, less-sparkly, more natural looking surface. 

The best answer is: "Choose the type of finish you like."  This is by far the most important criteria. 

Sometimes at night I see lights flash in a cemetery.  What is going on?

Although the answer may be obvious to some, this is a reasonable and frequently asked question.  Hints: 1/ the flashes occur as you drive past at night;  2/ ...or while walking by;  3/ ...on a moon-lit night;  4/ ...or when a car passes by...  Answer: what you are probably seeing are reflections of light from the polished granite surfaces of some of the memorials.