How to install a headstone

Written by carole ellis
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A funeral is a sad time no matter what. However, one thing that you can do to help yourself and your loved ones get some closure while performing a deeply personal and integral task associated with the burial is to install the headstone yourself. While every cemetary does have certain rules about how headstones must look, you can nearly always use a general installation method to make sure the stone is beautifully and firmly installed. Installing a headstone is not the same as setting it in the ground but involves setting the headstone on a firm foundation that prepares it for final setting.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Sub base
  • Base
  • 2 stainless steel dowels
  • The headstone proper
  • 2-foot stainless steel ground anchor bar
  • 4.54kg. sledgehammer

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  1. 1

    Lay down your foundation stone. There will be a hole in the centre, and this will be where your anchoring rod bar goes. The anchor bar will keep the pieces of the headstone together.

  2. 2

    Drive the anchoring rod through the foundation. Use the sledge hammer. The rod will have a stop washer about 6 inches from the top. Drive it in until the stop washer presses on the foundation.

  3. 3

    Stack the sub base on top. It will fit neatly over the very top of the rod and hid it completely. Your base will now fit cleanly over the sub base with two holes showing. Make sure these holes are facing up.

  4. 4

    Insert the stainless steel dowels into the holes in the base. They should slide in smoothly but will not have much--if any--wiggle room.

  5. 5

    Slide the headstone on top of the dowels. The dowels will be the connection points for your headstone and will hold it firmly in place once it is installed.

  6. 6

    Tap the stone lightly into place with the sledge hammer. Be gentle so that you do not break the stone, but make sure that you have firmly pounded it into place before you stop.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear safety goggles when you are hammering stone.

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