FOR ANY INSCRIPTION SERVICE
Columbarium or Ossuarium stone niche fronts, unlike headstones in a cemetery, are in close proximity to each other and work together as a visual whole. Without care and management, the Columbarium could look disorganized and become visually unappealing to future niche purchasers. Below are some recommendations from Eickhof to help you avoid common difficulties found while dealing with Inscription Services.
Note – Below we use the terms “Columbarium” and “Niche Fronts”, but these recommendations apply to any Eickhof supplied memorial product and its removable facing material.
Eickhof recommends selecting an individual, or small committee, to manage the columbarium and associated items, such as urns and inscriptions. This helps families who purchase a niche by having a single point of contact to ask questions.
For inscriptions specifically, this person would:
Utilize Only One Inscription Vendor
We recommend utilizing only one inscription vendor at a time, even if it is not Eickhof. This will help keep a constant appearance over the whole columbarium.
If a local inscription provider is used, Eickhof recommends removing the niche front from the columbarium during the inscription process.
This is especially important if your vendor uses a sandblasting method. Engraving sand can spread and settle into the threaded pieces of our hardware. This can cause future maintenance issues and difficulty with opening the niches.
Separate Inscription Costs from Your Niche Price
We recommend pricing the inscriptions, as well as the urns, separately from the initial niche sale price. It may seem easiest to include everything in one lump sum, but this can cause losses later depending on the age of the niche purchaser. For example, if you pre-sell a niche to a 30-year-old who is preparing for the future, they may not use the niche for 20+ years. Who will pay for the difference in urn and inscription prices?
If you still want to include the inscription and urn prices in the niche cost, there are a couple of options to keep you from getting the short end of the deal.
Purchase the urn(s) at the time of the niche sale. Then your urn cost won’t go up. These can be stored at your location or provided to the niche owner to keep until needed. In the second case, if they lose the urn, it would be their cost to replace it.
Select a certain dollar amount for completing an inscription. Then if the inscription costs increase over time, or the family wants customization, the extra cost can be charged directly to the family. Then they can decide if the customization is worth the expense, which for some it is. Customization can be another line for their nickname, an emblem, or a quote.
Select Only One Layout
Your inscription layout is the overall appearance and spacing of your inscriptions. This includes fonts, letter sizes, where the names and dates are placed for companion occupancy, an option for single occupancy, emblem spaces, and quote spaces.
Your inscription format is how certain reoccurring cases are dealt with inside the limits of your layout. This includes your date format, how nicknames and maiden names are listed, and how Prefixes and Suffixes are handled.
We define customization as any text or emblem beyond an individual’s given or married name and life dates.