A proper foundation for a headstone is essential if you want the headstone to last. An improper foundation can damage the gravestone and it could also cost hundreds of dollars to repair or thousands of dollars if the monument needs to be replaced.
A proper foundation is based on the weight and type of headstone. Single, upright gravestones require a more solid foundation with reinforced steel rods compared to flush grave markers, which typically do not need reinforcement. Reinforced bars will connect the foundation to the headstone and create a firm base for the monument.
Cement is used for larger, heavier monuments after a hole is dug to the approximate thickness of the tombstone. Cement is crucial for a proper foundation because it provides stability. Stability is extremely important to take into consideration if you are installing a headstone yourself. The ground moves and shifts over the years and if a gravestone isn’t stable it will move and shift with the ground. This can cause the gravestone to become lopsided or collapse if there is not support for it. You should also take into consideration the area where you are installing the headstone. If the plot is situated by a steep hill, the gravestone could lean over the years due to erosion. If the cemetery is located in an area that is prone to earthquakes you may want to consider adding additional reinforcement to the base.
It is essential that the foundation not be too loose or too tight for a flush grave marker or an upright monument. A foundation that is too loose can cause the gravestone to shift and become crooked, while a foundation that is too tight could cause the headstone to crack over time.
Before you begin laying a foundation for a headstone, you should assess the condition of the ground. If it has recently rained the ground may be too soft to start laying the foundation.
As with any construction project, make sure you wear the proper safety gear before you start laying the foundation for the headstone. If you have never undertaken such a project before or you have very little experience with laying foundations, then you should consult the service of a professional.