Frequently Asked Questions

Memorializing a person can be an intensely personal and emotional experience. Yet nothing in the human experience is so vital to our sense of personal history. And virtually no other purchase is transacted with so little knowledge as when the bereaved selects a memorial for a loved one.

American Memorials does its best to ease the sorrowful experience of selecting a memorial, and to provide important information on the variety, quality and durability of memorials

What services should a memorial company offer?

Since purchasing a memorial is so often an emotional event, companies that offer a well-rounded selection of services and products are especially respected. For instance, American Memorials offers free in-home consultations with no obligation of any kind.

Because the memorial is a statement about the life of the individual, the design of the memorial is vital to the satisfaction of the customer. American Memorials offers custom memorial designs as well as pre-designed monuments in more than thirty colors of granite. Designs may include such highly individual elements as etchings from photos or other images as well as personalized messages and designs.

In addition to providing the memorial itself, American Memorials also offers cemetery negotiations and permits, foundation and monument installation, monument cleaning and restoration, and its lifetime unconditional workmanship and monument guarantee and five year unconditional foundation guarantee. What’s more, most American Memorials monuments are delivered and installed within five weeks of the approval of the design rendering.

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Why is a memorial important?

A memorial is the primary tangible link between the past, the present and the future. Not only does it serve as an indicator of a final resting place for a loved one, it is a beacon for all succeeding generations who wish to know and honor their heritage.

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Why do monuments crack?

Monuments crack because even though granite is an incredibly strong and enduring material it can be porous if improperly prepared, or if a low grade of granite is used in a monument. Particularly in the winter if water seeps into the pores of granite it can contract and expand throughout the season and eventually destroy the monument.

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Why do some monuments “lean” and others don’t?

While the age of a monument is a factor in “leaning,” just as often this is due to a poorly constructed foundation. While no foundation can be expected to last forever, you should rest in assurance that yours will hold the memorial upright for many years.

To do its job correctly, the foundation must be poured with care. That is, the ground must be cleared to a sufficient depth to discourage frost heaves; the slab must be of sufficient thickness to hold the monument itself and the foundation must be poured level and smooth.

American Memorials offers an unconditional five-year guarantee on its foundations – among the strongest in the industry.

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Why is the lettering on some monuments easy to read while on others it is nearly indecipherable?

To retain its readability, a monument’s surface must be deeply incised. Regardless of whether the stonecutter uses a hammer and chisel or modern laser tools, the art of stone carving is not easy. It is learned over the course of many years and requires a steady hand as well as muscle. When the cutter makes the cuts too shallow or without enough definition, the inscription will soon fade into oblivion.

American Memorials contracts with only the finest, most experienced sculptors who understand our standards – and whose own standards match ours.

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What makes some monuments look “weathered” while others stay newer looking?

Endurance is a big word in memorial industry. Today, most monuments are made of granite – but what grade of granite is the big question.

While winter is a major culprit in destroying granite, all seasons and all weather can do damage. By far the biggest problem is the freezing and refreezing of water that has seeped into the granite’s pores. This constant contraction and expansion causes cracks and fizzures in lesser quality granites. And even if no cracks are apparent, this action can cause the surface of the monument to develop a “faded” appearance.

By using only the finest grades of granite American Memorials is able to offer an unconditional granite quality guarantee. While this grade may be a bit more costly, the granite’s ability to stand up over very long periods means the monument fulfills its duty as a long-lasting remembrance of the loved one.

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What companies offer the best guarantees of their memorials?

There are few memorial companies who match the guarantees of American Memorials.

American Memorials guarantees the replacement of any granite memorial due to a defect in material or workmanship. Period. American Memorials also guarantees the quality of the foundation for five full years.

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What materials are available for memorials?

At American Memorials, depending on what type of memorial you select, you may choose from bronze or granite upright monuments or flat markers in a variety of colors.

In addition, you can choose from an array of cremation products, flower vases, mausoleums, benches and specialty cemetery fixtures.

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Why do prices differ so much between monument dealers?

It is important to remember that granite is a natural building material, it must be quarried from the ground. Granite comes in both high and low quality. Some unscrupulous monument dealers sell low grade granite without even alerting their customers to its nature. American Memorials uses only the highest grade granite in its monuments. That is why we can confidently offer something our competitors cannot match, a 100% guarantee.

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