Helpful Information

1. Monuments:

  • Why is granite used rather than concrete or any other materials? Granite is a hard and durable product, can be polished to prevent lichen growth, can be carved in many shapes, can be etched on, is resistant to water and pollution, has a vast colour range, lasts for many years.
  • Can I have some natural rock on the monument? Natural rock can be used, however it must be checked for cracks, damage and imperfections; plaques can be attached to a rock.
  • Where does the granite come from? Granite is sourced from Italy, China, India, Brazil, Scandinavia, South Africa, and Russia, to name a few.
  • How do I care for the monument? A regular wipe with a damp cloth and a mild detergent is all that is required. Solvents, cleaners etc must be avoided as these can damage the lettering and the stone surface.
  • Do I need to have it on a base/stand? Whether a base or stand is required would depend on family preference, Council regulations, location of the stone, and advice from the monumental mason.
  • What size can I have a monument? The size of the monument would depend on regulations of the cemetery’s governing body.
  • What is the difference between a monument and a memorial? A monument is a type of structure created to commemorate a person or an important event. A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for the memory of something, usually a person who has died, or an event.

2. Information around design:

  • How much does it cost to get a monument designed? There is no charge for the design of the memorial.
  • Can I design my own or does someone do it for me? Anyone can design the memorial.
  • How many proofs can I get? As many proofs as it takes to get the final design the family is happy with.
  • How long does a design take? A period of 3 – 4 days is allowed for the first proof.
  • What happens if I change my mind? If the family change their minds, and the memorial has been ordered, it is on-sold. There is no charge as long as no work has commenced on the memorial stone itself.
  • How are the designs shaped? What shapes are available? Shapes and sizes of memorial are unlimited, depending on family requirements. Standard shapes are held in stock and specific shapes and sizes can be ordered in.
  • Can I add photos to the monument? Photos can be added which are either ceramic, or a picture sand-etched into the memorial.
  • What other accessories can I add? Accessories that can be added are gold letters, flower vases, ceramic photos, bronze or pewter emblems, and sand-etched artwork.
  • Can I add my own inscription/verse? An inscription is entirely the family’s choice. Any details, verses, poems, artwork can be included as long as it is practicable.

3. Delivery/Installation

  • Who installs it? Installation in the Blenheim area is by Sowman Monumental, a registered monumental mason. Other areas are carried out by a locally-based monumental mason.
  • What is the delivery time? The delivery time depends on whether the memorial is in stock or has to be ordered in from the manufacturer; also the size of the job. Plaques are normally quicker. When final approval is provided, it will generally be 4–8 weeks.
  • What is the cost to get a monument shipped to the South/North Island? Approximately $80 freight is charged (this is built into the stone setup, inscription and installation fee, as is mileage for local memorials).

4. Information around pre planning my monument?

  • Can I pre plan? Memorial stones can be pre-planned by meeting with a monumental mason and discussing the required memorial.
  • Who holds the design? Designs and information are held at Geoffrey T Sowman’s.
  • What happens if my loved ones want something different to what I have planned? Information to appear on the memorial stone can be changed with family approval.
  • Do I have to pre pay? Memorial stones do not have to be prepaid but this option is available.

5. Is there a guarantee of workmanship and installation?

As members of the NZMMMA, we guarantee the materials, design and finish.