Purchasing a cemetery plot is a significant decision, and navigating the logistics can feel overwhelming. One of the initial questions that pops up is –

How much space do I actually need?

This guide will delve into everything you need to know about cemetery plot sizes in the United States, addressing your concerns and ensuring you make an informed choice.

Understanding Plot Sizes: A Breakdown

Cemetery plots come in various sizes, catering to different needs and burial preferences. Understanding Types of Cemetery Plots will help you in making an informed decision. Here’s a breakdown of the most common plot types and their typical dimensions:

  • Single Burial Plots: These are the most common type, designed to accommodate one casket and its surrounding grave liner or burial vault. Standard single plots typically measure around 8′ x 3′ (2.4 meters x .9 meters), offering ample space for a standard casket and some maneuvering room during burial. Nationally, the average cost for a single plot can range from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the location, cemetery amenities, and desirability of the plot. There is a need for some essential inquiries before securing a burial plot For instance, scenic locations within a cemetery or plots closer to the main entrance might command a premium price.
  • Companion Plots: As the name suggests, companion plots are intended for two burials, typically a couple or close family members. There are two main configurations for companion plots:
    • Side-by-Side Plots: These plots consist of two individual plots purchased side-by-side, offering each casket its own designated space. The combined size is typically around 16′ x 3′ (4.8 meters x .9 meters). Expect to pay roughly double the price of a single plot for side-by-side companion plots, with costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on location and cemetery.
    • Double-Depth Plots: This space-saving option utilizes a single plot but allows for burials one on top of the other. Cemeteries typically require a specific type of burial container designed for stacking to ensure structural integrity. Double-depth plots generally measure around 8′ x 3′ (2.4 meters x .9 meters), similar to single plots. Double-depth plots can offer significant cost savings compared to side-by-side companion plots, often priced between $3,000 and $8,000 nationally. However, keep in mind that some cemeteries might have regulations restricting the use of double-depth plots.
  • Family Plots: Designed to accommodate multiple burials from a single family, family plots come in various sizes depending on the number of potential burials. They can be purchased as a single large plot or a group of adjoining single plots. Cemetery management will usually have guidelines on the maximum number of burials allowed within a family plot. Family plots naturally come with a higher price tag due to their larger size. Costs can vary significantly depending on the chosen size and location, ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 or even higher in prestigious cemeteries or highly desirable locations.
  • Cremation Plots: The rise of cremation has led to the availability of dedicated cremation plots. These plots are significantly smaller than traditional burial plots as they only need to accommodate an urn containing cremated remains. Depending on the cemetery, cremation plots might be individual spaces or shared gardens where multiple urns can be placed within a designated area. Cremation plots are the most affordable option, typically priced between $500 and $2,000 nationwide. Shared cremation gardens can be even more economical, with some cemeteries offering placement for as low as $300.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Plot Size

Now that you have a better understanding of standard cemetery plot sizes, let’s explore some key factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Burial Preferences: The most crucial factor is the type of burial you envision. Traditional casket burials will require a standard or companion plot, while cremation allows for a smaller cremation plot or placement within a shared cremation garden.
  • Number of Burials: Consider how many individuals the plot needs to accommodate. Single plots or side-by-side companion plots are ideal for couples or immediate family members. Family plots cater to extended families with multiple burials planned.
  • Budget: Plot size directly impacts the cost. Larger plots like family plots or side-by-side companion plots naturally command a higher price tag compared to single plots or cremation plots.
  • Cemetery Regulations: Every cemetery has its own regulations regarding plot sizes and configurations. Familiarize yourself with the cemetery’s guidelines before making a purchase. Some cemeteries might have restrictions on the types of monuments or headstones allowed on different plot sizes.
  • Future Needs: Consider if there’s a possibility of needing additional space in the future. Purchasing a family plot from the outset might be a wise decision if you anticipate accommodating multiple burials over time. This can be especially true for families with younger members where burials might not be planned for decades to come. Opting for a larger plot upfront can provide peace of mind and potentially avoid future price increases or limited availability within the cemetery.
  • Location: Cemetery location plays a significant role in plot pricing. Plots in sought-after locations, like established cemeteries with historical significance or scenic views, will generally cost more compared to plots in newer or less developed areas. Accessibility is another factor to consider. If visiting the gravesite frequently is important, choosing a plot closer to the cemetery entrance or with easier accessibility for those with mobility limitations might be a priority.
  • Maintenance: Traditional burial plots require ongoing maintenance, typically handled by the cemetery for a fee. The size of the plot can influence these costs. Larger plots naturally require more upkeep, so factor in potential maintenance expenses when making your decision. Some families opt for low-maintenance landscaping options like gravel or mulch around the plot to minimize upkeep needs.
  • Religious or Cultural Considerations: Certain religions or cultures might have specific burial practices or preferences regarding plot size or location. For instance, some Jewish cemeteries might have designated sections with specific guidelines for monuments or headstones. It’s important to understand any religious or cultural requirements beforehand to ensure the chosen plot adheres to these traditions.
  • Visiting the Cemetery: Many cemeteries encourage visiting the grounds before purchasing a plot. This allows you to get a feel for the overall atmosphere, explore different sections, and assess the location of available plots. Seeing the plots firsthand can help visualize how the size translates into actual space and how it might suit your needs.

Here is the breakdown of all information you need.

Plot TypeSizeAverage Cost (USD)Notes
Single Space8′ x 3′ (2.4m x .9m)$1,000 – $4,500Most common type of burial plot, accommodates one casket and liner/vault. See more HERE
Side-by-Side Companion Plots16′ x 3′ (4.8m x .9m) (combined size)$2,000 – $9,000Two individual plots purchased side-by-side for couples or families.

See More HERE
Double-Depth Plot8′ x 3′ (2.4m x .9m)$2,000 – $6,000Single plot allowing burials stacked on top of each other (requires specific burial container). See More HERE
Family PlotVaries$5,000 – $15,000+Customizable space for multiple burials, can be a single large plot or adjoining single plots. Price reflects size chosen. See More HERE
Cremation PlotVaries (individual or shared garden)$350 – $2,500For cremated remains in an urn. Individual plots offer more privacy, shared gardens are more economical. See More HERE
Pet PlotVaries$400 – $600For pet burials. Important Note: Laws and regulations regarding pet cemeteries vary by state and municipality. Always check local regulations before purchasing a pet plot. See More HERE
Table showing Plot types and regulations

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about the most suitable plot size for your situation. Remember, our team at GraveListing is here to assist you throughout the process. We can answer your questions, provide detailed information about available plots at various cemeteries within our network, and help you find the perfect final resting place for your loved one.

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