Continuing to serve our community and customers through COVID-19.

Where should I buy a headstone?

In today’s modern world, you can shop and buy almost anything online. Although, online shopping is a great option when you are shopping for everyday items or gifts, there are certain purchases where shopping locally may be the better option. Headstones and burial monuments are one consumer purchase that we feel is better shopped for with a local monument dealer, and here’s why.

The Benefits of Shopping for a Headstone Online

Online shopping is often considered to be one of the most convenient options. It provides you with opportunity to browse a wide array of selections in a shorter amount of time. Browsing for headstones online enables you to avoid the necessity of shopping during store hours or having to drive to multiple locations, to compare pricing options. Additionally, the appeal of shopping from the comfort of your own home, especially during a period of mourning, may be very enticing.

Aside from convenience, shopping online for a headstone or burial monument also comes with the added benefit of being a little bit cheaper in many cases. Companies that that simply manufacture and ship products, or in this case monuments, without the added expense of a brick and mortar store front have less overhead expense. Therefore, these companies can take those savings and apply them to you, the consumer.

With all of that said, there are clearly some benefits to shopping online. However, there are other factors aside from convenience and pricing to consider. After all we are talking about a monument that is meant to withstand the tests of time and provide an everlasting tribute to the life of a loved one. Therefore, it does not go without reason that one should consider both options before deciding.

Benefits of Buying a Headstone from a local Monument Builder

There are several benefits to shopping with local monument builder. When shopping local you are helping to support a local business within your own community. Working with a local business provides you with the added comfort of a welcoming environment with professionals that can empathize with your loss. They can provide you with the security of knowing you do not have to go through this process alone. They will be there to assist you and walk you through every step of the process, providing you with options you otherwise may have been unaware of.

Cemetery Headstone Rules and Regulations

Cemeteries often have their own set of rules and regulations regarding the size, style, and placement of headstones on gravesites. If you shop online, you will be responsible for ensuring that your headstone will meet these requirements. However, when you choose to work with a local monument builder, they are often aware of any rules and regulations and will be able to ensure your selected memorial headstone meets the cemeteries requirements.

Local monument dealers often install the headstone for you, especially if it will be being set in a local cemetery. However, when buying headstones online there may be additional charges that are often not mentioned, such as shipping, setting, and foundation costs. Since the headstone was outsourced and shipped, the cemetery may also charge a fee for installing the headstone.

What Happens if the Stone is Damaged in Some Way?

It is not uncommon for online monument dealers to NOT offer warranties on their products; because, they are not the ones responsible for installing it and therefore, can not ensure the stone is properly placed to prevent damage. However, your local monument builder will provide warranties to protect you in the event of cracking, fading, shifting or leveling.

Custom Designed Headstones

When it comes to designing the headstone, the image of the stone you look at might not be the same as the final product, no matter how honest the company is. The grain pattern and colors can vary, not to mention it is hard to tell the actual size of the headstone with a picture and dimensions. Unless you can draw out the measurements to see the size, it could arrive smaller or larger than you imagine. Shopping online may also give you less control over the customization of the stone. Working directly with a local monument builder will enable you to preview and revise the details before the headstone is crafted, ensuring the life of your loved one is forever memorialized.

So, where should you buy a headstone? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Both shopping online or locally comes with its own set of benefits. Shopping online may be slightly more convenient and more affordable; however, there could be additional costs for delivery and installation that are not being factored into your final price. Local monument dealers can install the headstone for you and are well acquainted with the local cemetery’s rules and regulations with regards to the placement, style, and type of headstones and memorial monument permitted. You also, have the added benefit of working one-on-one with a team of professionals that will be there with you through the entire process, to guarantee your final monument is a true tribute to the life of your loved one.

Please contact us if we can answer any questions for you 703-527-7774


COVID-19 Update

We are continuing to practice social distancing and following CDC guidelines, to protect our community and staff. However, we are open and available to serve you. Todd and our engravers are back on premises working and we are accepting appointments during our normal operating hours. To schedule an appointment with us please call our office at (703) 527-7774 or email us at

Thank you for your understanding during this time. – The Columbia Gardens Memorials Staff