Over the last 100 years we have learned more of what materials last better. Because New Zealand is far away from the world’s stone supplies, in the past most monuments were mounted on a concrete foundation. Much of this old concrete is very weak and is now failing. It is always better lasting in a monuments construction to have more stone and the least amount of concrete as possible but today’s concrete is much stronger and will last better than this material did in the past. However, many families are now taking the opportunity to replace concrete bases with granite as our prices are so affordable.
Some of our work
When a burial takes place in this type of full cover plot with a concrete surround, these days the curbing is removed to allow access by a digging machine. If the ledger top was removed hand digging can occur as there is room for the internment between the curbing but today this does not seem to happen.
To this original rock sided granite headstone we added additional lettering and the top, edges and back were polished. Then we mounted the refurbished headstone on a new granite base, this will ensure it looks good for years to come. We have not re-faced this headstone but have skilfully added the inscription and rosary beads to the existing crosses.
Here we have added additional lettering by drawing each letter with a pencil to match the original hand cut inscription. We also chemically cleaned the headstone and plastered concrete base.
When this monument was new the trend from full cover concrete surrounds to lawn type monuments was just starting but again the concrete work was not carried out in a professional manner and has badly deteriorated before its time. We removed all the concrete work and started again with a new base and berm mowing strip.
Here is a monument that we believe has suffered from a vandal attack but the weak nature of the concrete work also lead to its demise. All the concrete was removed and the chemically cleaned headstone mounted back on a new foundation. The lettering was not re-whitened as in this type of engraving it is not necessary to do so to read the inscription.
A some stage most of the foundation support had been removed by an inexperienced person causing the monument to badly lean. While the new foundation looks very small, most of it is underground. The headstone was also chemically cleaned and the lettering re-whitened.
A large family monument showing before and after photos of a professional chemical clean. Most of these older monuments were plastered in white cement plaster. Plaster is a more durable finish than if the concrete was left natural.
This monument was erected by us new in 1988, the before photo was taken approximately 20 years later, just before we chemical cleaning. You can see how granite stands the test of time better than plastered concrete, that is why we recommend granite for ease of future maintenance. But our plastering is of the highest standards so you know if a lower cost plastered base is chosen that it will last, but will require more maintenance.
This 1957 internment was memorialised by us approximately 30 years later, back then around each plot the cemeteries were mown with hand mowers. Now with the local authority only using large ride on lawnmowers it is impossible for them to mow into these single plots so it is sprayed and looks a mess.
This large granite plaque was sited at a country school in a brick wall. After the school closed the local residents decided it would be better if the monument was relocated to the cemetery a short distance away. From stone sourced locally we made a rock feature wall to support the plaque.