When you have ordered a grave marker larger than 24”x12”x4”, you must take extra precaution in installing it. Large grave markers or headstones must be installed with concrete for security reason. If proper installation is not done, then the large stone can fall and cause damage to the nearby area or some person due to its bulky size and very heavy weight.
This method of headstone installation with concrete is mostly recommended for large grave markers made of granite and bronze. Also this method is long and difficult as compared to installing a headstone without concrete.
For installing a headstone with concrete you will need a number of things, such as:
- Measuring tape
- Four or more re-enforced steel bars having 30” length
- Wire twist ties
- Three to four bags of concrete mix
- Mixing container
- PVC pipe of 6” to 8” in diameter
Once you have the required permission from the cemetery ground for installation of a grave marker and have collected all of the required materials for installation, you can start the process.
First of all you need to measure out the exact size of the gravestone on the burial plot where you want it to install it with the help of a measuring tape. After measuring the area add once inch more on each side so that the headstone can be easily installed. For instance, if the headstone measures 26” x 14”, then your measurement should be 28” x 16”.
Make an outline and with the help of a shovel dig the outline properly. Once you have dug the outline you need to excavate the dirt and set it on one side. Start digging again to make a deep hole according to the thickness of the headstone. The thickness of the hole should 4”to 6” more than the actual thickness of the headstone. Once the dirt is complete excavated from the hole, you need to dig two piers measuring 24” deep and 6” in width on the outer ends of the pad. You can do this with the help of a post hole digger. Bear in mind that the placement of pier holes should be towards the bottom of the pad in case of a grave marker with a vase.
Next place the re-enforced steel bars one in each hole and then with the help of a hammer set them down until only 3” of the bar is visible above the surface. Now place the steel mesh at the bottom of the hole and tie it securely to the steel bars with the use of metal twist ties. Here in case of a grave marker with a vase, you will have to dig a shallow hole in its place to place the PVC sleeve. The PVC sleeve can be easily removed once the concrete sets up properly.
Now mix the concrete properly in a mixing container and then pour the concrete into the ground. Here you will have to leave ample space for your grave marker to remain straight approximately 4” from the top. With a small board smoothen up the surface of the wet concrete to ensure the marker remains flat when installed.
Within one or two days the concrete will dry properly and then only install the grave marker. Wash the marker with water thoroughly before setting it in place to make sure that there are no mowers on the stone which can impact its durability. Finally handle the grave marker carefully and gently set it into the ground. Due to the heavy weight of the marker, it is advisable not to move the marker on your own. Take help of two to three persons. Once in a while take out time to clean the headstone to increase its durability.
To conclude, with the above mentioned steps you can easily install a large grave marker. However, in case of any kind of doubt, you must take help of a professional monument installer to safeguard the beauty of the marker as well to ensure its security.