As you create your funeral pre-plan, you'll need to decide the final disposition of your physical body. You have a number of options when it comes to choosing a casket to match your budget and personal preferences. Including this in your plan takes the burden off of your family of having to decide what your final wishes might have been. Here are some of the options you can consider for your body's resting place.
You'll find a number of places from which you can buy a casket. Which vendor you use will depend on the level of customer service you need as much as the types of caskets they offer. Some of your options include:
Funeral homes - These facilities often represent a single casket manufacturer. They will have sample styles and materials from which you can choose. The staff can answer any questions you have about the caskets and can help you decide the best option for your budget. Check out a funeral home like Los Angeles Funeral Service to browse their selection of caskets.
Casket manufacturers - Some manufacturers sell directly to the public. They will have a showroom of their products and can answer questions about their casket lines.
Discount and "big box" stores - You may find lower prices and caskets from a variety of manufacturers at these retailers. You'll have to do your own research, though, because there will be little customer service available. There will be few, if any, physical caskets to view requiring you to look through a catalog of choices to make a selection.
Online retailers - This may be your least expensive route, but you'll have little to no customer service available.
You'll find a variety of materials from which to choose when looking at caskets. These materials determine the weight, style and cost of the finished casket.
Hardwoods - Wood such as oak, maple and ash have long been the favorites for traditional casket construction. These are heavy woods which can be carved extensively to create ornate casket designs. They are also the most expensive caskets available.
Softwoods - Wood such as cedar and pine, create a lighter casket that costs less. These woods cannot be carved as extensively as the hardwoods. They are also less expensive than the hardwood designs.
Veneers - Using a soft wood for the basic design, manufacturers cover the casket with a thin hardwood layer that can be carved into more ornate designs. The cost of these caskets is between the hard and soft wood models.
Metal - Steel and bronze are traditional metals used for metal caskets. To create ornate designs, manufacturers attach accessories to the exterior of the casket. These caskets will be some of your most expensive, and heaviest, choices.
Fiberglass - This is a lightweight material that can be made to look like wood, metal or stone. These caskets start out less expensive than wood or metal, but their price goes up based on the number of accessories you include on the casket.
Eco-Friendly materials - A few sustainable materials are used to create caskets, such as seagrass and bamboo. These are lightweight caskets with little ornamentation. The price of these caskets varies depending on the availability of the particular material used to create the casket.
Besides the basic build materials, the accessories used on a casket affect the price. Some of the items that you can be included are:
- handles and straps used to carry the casket
- linen used to line and pad the interior of the casket
- markers that can be engraved and attached to the casket