H.P. Smith Co., Inc.
238 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180


Frequently Asked Questions

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Everyone has questions. This page is an attempt to anticipate a few of yours based on some of what we've been asked by a great many of our customers. If you're unsure of yourself, what you need, or whether we're the right place to help you, try checking out the questions on this page. If you still need help, never hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email. We'd be happy to help you.

Q: I've never done this before. Where do we begin?

A: This is one of our most frequently heard questions. Let's face it, cemetery work is something that most people rarely, if ever, have to deal with. If they do, the fortunate among us will not have to do so more than a handful of times over the course of a lifetime.

Let's assume you need a cemetery monument. When you come into our office we'll ask you several questions to get started. First we'll ask you what cemetery your lot is in, and how many graves you own there. Every cemetery has different regulations as to size and design, and this helps us get started in narrowing down your range of choices.

We'll want to know who, or even if anyone (many people purchase monuments for their lots pre-need) is buried there. This helps us get a start on understanding what your specific needs are. Was this a spouse, grandparent or even a young child? These are answers we'd like to have at the start.

We'll then walk back to our in-store monument display and show you a few samples of the appropriate size and granite color options at the same time we ask you if you have anything in mind already, or if we are truly starting from scratch.

Once we've given you an idea of shape and color by looking at actual monuments, we'll then go back in to our conference room to sit down and discuss your preferences for design and lettering. This is done by looking through a design book, sketching some ideas and again asking you about your preferences.

Only at the end of this entire process, and only if you are ready, will we proceed with writing and agreeing to a contract.

And that, in outline form, is the entire process. Most of our clients remark that making their slection and purchase was far easier than they had imagined when they first walked in the door. We pride ourselves on this.

Q: Should I call you first before coming in?

A: You don't have to, but it can be helpful as we can then be sure that there is someone knowledgable here to help you. We can also ask you some of the preliminary questions above and be fully prepared for you, making your visit as productive for you as possible.

Q: Do I need to come in to see you, or can we do all of this over the phone or via email?

A: The best thing to do is come in to see us if at all possible. As every memorial is custom, there are an unlimited number of options to choose from. Our business is not generally conducive to catalog sales. You will limit your own options by trying to purchase a monument in this way. You'll have questions, you'll want to see who you're doing business with.

It is possible, however, simply not ideal. We will be happy to try to work with you in any way we can.

Q: Do I need to know the lot location, or be familiar with the regulations for my lot?

A: No, you don't need to know any of that. It's great if you do know, but it is not necessary. We are familiar with the regulations of most of the cemeteries in our area and beyond and can explain them to you. That's our job. If we're not sure, or need to confirm any details (many people are not even sure of how many graves they own), we will be happy to contact the cemetery to find out for you. All we need is the name of the deceased or the lot owner. Calling ahead before your visit will help us in this by allowing us to be sure we are completely ready with this information when you arrive and we can guide you to making the right choices.

Q: Do I need to bring any paperwork with me?

A: Not necessarily. If you have a cemetery deed or other paper-work that you believe may be helpful, feel free to bring it, you may be saving us a call to the cemetery.

Q: What if all I need is cemetery lettering on an existing monument? Do I need to come in then?

A: Not usually. Most of the time, we can take all of the information we need over the telephone and then confirm it back to you via mail if necessary.

Q: Do you have to remove my monument from the cemetery in order to add the lettering?

A: No, we do not need to remove your monument. Our craftsman has portable equipment in order to do the work on the spot.

Q: Will the new lettering match the old?

A: After you contact us, we will visit the cemetery, taking a rubbing and a photo of your monument which will be used by our craftsman to ensure that the new lettering matches the old as closely as humanly possible. We may also contact you again should we have any questions as we wish to ensure that the new work is done in conformity to your wishes.

Q: I already have a lot with a family monument and individual grave markers. I guess I just need a new marker that matches the others. Can you do that?

A: Certainly, the process is similar to purchasing lettering. You will give us what information you have and then we will visit the cemetery to take the rubbings and photographs necessary to duplicate the previous work. We may call you back after seeing the lot if we have further questions concerning lettering layout, etc...

Please bear with us. We will be adding more content to this page shortly.