How Long Does It Take To Set A Headstone?

The final step of producing a monument is delivery to the cemetery. This process is known as “setting.” Setting a headstone can take as little as 5 minutes or it could end up being an all day job.  It all depends on the size, shape, and whether or not all the prerequisites have been met before delivery. Setting a headstone should always be left up to a professional to ensure safety and a long lasting compound. In this article I want to explain some of the things that you can do to make the setting process quick and easy.

Cemetery Regulations

how long does it take to set a headstone

Many cemeteries have restrictions on what type of monuments are allowed to be set there. The first step before even looking at a stone is to talk with the sexton or city management responsible for the cemetery that your plots are located in. Some only allow flush markers while others have restrictions only based on what you can fit into your space. Since the regulations vary greatly always do your homework to avoid spending a large amount on something that can’t be set. Some monument companies will check these regulations for you so make sure to mention that when you are looking to buy.


Another thing that can hinder the setting of a headstone is the foundation. The foundation is the concrete base that is poured beneath the memorial. This helps prevent the stone from sinking into the ground and gives it a flat level surface to sit on. Foundations are usually the customers responsibility to coordinate. However,once you’ve ordered a stone, the monument company should assist you in this process. The cemetery sexton is the one who will set up the pour and have the foundation ready when the setting crew arrives to set the memorial. There is usually a fee for this service and it varies depending on the cemetery so be prepared to ask about the charge when looking for plots.


This one may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many times a setting crew gets to the cemetery and have been given the wrong directions. They end up having to come back at a later date. When ordering your stone take extra time to double check the address of the cemetery, section number or letter, and the plot number for your memorial. Another helpful bit of information is the names of the two closest memorials already setting near your plot. That way the crew can easily spot the correct area as they drive in.

Time of Year

The final factor that affects setting time is the seasons. For northern monument builders, bad winter conditions can be a hard time to do anything in the cemeteries. For this reason, most companies in regions with snow will delay delivery during the snowy months and start back up again in the spring. This is something to keep in mind if you have a deadline for setting the monument. The cold is not good for pouring foundations and the trucks used for setting have a hard time maneuvering in the snow.


It can be frustrating when things don’t come together and your stone isn’t set on time. Keep these tips and advice ready when you go to purchase a headstone and you’ll have no problem.