Free Estimates versus Commissioned Stone Assessments

Which do you need? We do both!

If you want work done in your burying ground, these are the two ways we go about planning a project and coming up with a budget with a client. Estimates and Stone Assessments.


If you already know which gravestones you want worked on and you just need a price, usually an estimate is what you need. An estimate can be done in person or from photographs you send us. We do not charge for estimates.

With an estimate, we usually drive to the site and walk around with the client or with instructions from the client and take photographs, which will eventually become part of the documentation sheets we make when we do the work. If the site is very far away or the ground is covered in snow, we can also use photographs you send us to come up with an estimate. This estimate includes a description of what the gravestone will need and the cost. The cost is based on how long we think each repair will take. It is a very simple process, but often is all that is needed to get started and determine funding to move forward with repairs.

Stone Assessments

However, if what you want or what is required for funding is a complete record of your site, its history, a map, a plan to conserve all of its gravestones and maintain them, then we can be hired to create a stone assessment. An assessment is a book that contains an entry for every gravestone with photographs, its condition, the carver when identifiable, the priority of its treatment. and a budget. Some clients want an additional priority set aside for volunteer efforts like the cleaning of gravestones. We can add that too.

With an assessment, we do a deep dive into the history of the burying place which includes days spent in archives looking for anything ever written about it and pull it together to help ourselves and the client better understand the landscape and who is buried there. This history and our observations become part of the assessment. Knowing the history helps us present a more comprehensive plan for stone conservation and maintenance.

An assessment also includes a map of the gravestones and cemetery features with a spreadsheet to refer quickly to each entry on the map. It also includes a glossary of Conditions and Treatments based on what we observe in your site. When working on an assessment, we work closely with the client to identify their concerns and what information they want us to capture in addition to basics. In the end, we provide a digital file with the option of printing up copies.

The cost of an assessment depends on the quantity of gravestones. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need an estimate, an assessment, or just want to talk gravestones!

For an expandable image of the above example map taken from a recent assessment in Wayland, click the link below.

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