Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to wait for any length of time after a death before ordering a memorial?

No. Typically it takes from 4 weeks to 180 days to produce and deliver your memorial.  Most cemeteries will have the ground prepared and the foundation in prior to that.  

How long does it take to complete a memorial?

We expect to deliver your completed memorial (if using inventory stock) in 4 to 6 weeks after you have approved your artwork.  Memorials from non inventory stock can take up to 90 to 180 days to complete and deliver.  We custom order the stock, after your approved artwork is received, so that you can make any changes you want during the time you are designing the marker. Then need to wait for the granite to arrive, either from a domestic site or from an international quarry.  Winter also interrupts our schedule for deliveries.     

Why would I buy a memorial in advance?

Memorials are to represent the individuals they are made for… who better to decide how they want to be remembered than the person the marker is for?  Decision making in advance is easier than at a time of grief. 

What type of material should the memorial be made of?

Today, most markers are made of one of three materials, granite, marble or bronze.  We recommend granite because of the options it gives you and the durability of granite.  See our information section for more details.  

Who will install my memorial?

Patten Monument normally installs the memorials it makes.   There are some cemeteries that require that they do the installation; in this situation Patten simply delivers the marker to the cemetery. 

Do I need to purchase a memorial even if the body was cremated?

No, marking a grave space is optional.  We of course recommend it as it provides a place for reflection, comfort, and it also offers geneological information for future generations.

How long will the memorial last?

Depending on the type of material that is used durability will vary.  Marble will break down fairly quickly while granite  will endure typical weathering for ages.  Please check this link to find out more about granite's durability. http://www.nps.gov/archive/moru/park_history/geology.htm%20

What is the difference between granite and marble?

Marble is a sedimentary stone and will break down quickly when exposed to the weather, while granite is an igneous rock and will show little to no change for centuries.  

How is the carving and design put on the stone?

Please refer to our “Information Center” for complete answers regarding how markers are made.  

If I want a special design, can you do it?

Yes, we are a complete custom manufacturer and can likely fabricate any design you would like.

Should I use years only or month, day and year?

This is strictly a personal choice; listing the full date of birth and passing gives more complete information for future generations, but the choice is yours.

If I run into problems at the cemetery who should I go to for help?

If the problem concerns the actual marker we suggest you first call us. If it is about another issue, and you cannot get satisfaction from the cemetery, you can contact the State of Michigan’s Cemetery commissioner.  

Do all cemeteries allow the same type of memorial?

No, marker regulations vary from cemetery to cemetery and in some cases vary inside the same cemetery from section to section or even lot to lot.  It is always best to check with your cemetery, or a qualified monument company, to be sure you purchase something that conforms to your cemetery's restrictions.     

How much does a monument cost?

The cost of your memorial will vary, based on size, material, finish, and possible extra items such as vases or ceramic photos.  Remember, above all else… when it comes to a marker you truly get what you pay for.  Anyone can adjust quality to accommodate a lower price.  We are happy to give you specific prices by asking a few simple questions.  

I've never bought a memorial before; where do I begin?

You’re at the right place now.  Please visit our “Information Center” for complete information about markers and monuments so that you will be an informed customer, better able to design the marker of your choice.    

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