Private Mausoleum

Complete Guide to Mausoleum Construction

Introduction

A specially constructed mausoleum can be a work of art.

Many families choose to build mausoleums to create a unique tribute for their loved ones. It allows for unlimited customization and for family members to be entombed together.

In this article, you will learn the complete development process of mausoleum construction. It is intended for those who have already decided to build a mausoleum as well as those who are still weighing your options.

Mausoleum Construction

Private Mausoleum
“The Joseph Kinney Mausoleum (1904) at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Idaho, was designed by Tourtellotte & Co. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.” Source: Tamanoeconomico

In order to construct a high-quality mausoleum that will last for generations, you must take note of several factors, including the materials and other construction elements.

Hiring a Mausoleum Construction Company

While it may seem as though you can reach out to any construction firm—the one that built your house, for example—not all firms are equal. Most have never built a mausoleum.

The best way to ensure the quality of your project is to hire a mausoleum construction company. They specialize in designing and building mausoleums that meet or exceed construction standards of local and state laws.

Companies with experience can better guide you through the different options you have when customizing your construction; thing like the number of crypts, the style and size of the mausoleum, as well as other ornamentation and embellishments. And their experience means their budgeting will be more reliable.

We recommend choosing a construction company that specializes in mausoleums. If you would like one-on-one help selecting a mausoleum construction company, reach out to info@in-valhalla.com. Let us help you (for free)!

Choosing a Location

Mausoleum in a cemetery

Usually, mausoleums are built in cemeteries, but you also have the option to install one on private land. 

In any case, you must carefully select the cemetery plot to ensure that it is compatible with the type of mausoleum that you want.

To do this, you can seek assistance from the engineering and design team of the mausoleum construction company. As experts, they know the characteristics of a certain plot and how it would influence the design and cost of your mausoleum.

Duration of Construction

The construction of the mausoleum might take several months, depending on the complexity of the design.

Because of the duration of the construction, it is best to pre-plan a mausoleum (i.e., before death). Planning the design of the mausoleum in advance will give you enough time to discuss it with your family, and when the time comes the body can be interred directly into the mausoleum.

Laws to Consider

Mausoleum construction is subject to local and state laws. And the cemetery may have their own regulations. But If it is built on private land, of course cemetery rules will not apply.

This source, from the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association, describes standards for such laws. They were developed in 1998 by the Government and Legal Affairs Task Force of the ICCFA. The main takeaways are:

  1. Cemeteries should be allowed where there is demand and local lawmakers should encourage the development of those cemeteries.
  2. “Mausoleum and columbarium construction should be encouraged in order to maximize the use of interment acreage.” Cemeteries should encourage the construction of these structures without any additional permits or zoning requirements because they are efficient uses of cemetery space.
  3. Mausoleums and columbarium should be designed for function. They should have drainage, ventilation, and all other necessities but not include structural innovations that are irrelevant. Effectively, not the amenities of, for example, a home or residence.

Step-by-step Construction Process

Here are the stages involved when building a mausoleum:

Consultation and Design

Architect working on a draft

In working with a mausoleum construction company, you will first have a consultation with the experts. 

At this point, you will communicate your preferences for the design of the mausoleum, the size, and its location. If you are still unsure of what style to choose, the design team will offer their advice on design concepts. 

The plans for the design blueprint also include the letterings, pictures, statues, engravings, and etchings that you want. You are free to personalize all these details.

During the consultation stage you will be provided a clear estimate of costs. 

Sourcing of Materials

Granite Surface
Granite and Marble

After you purchase a plot and finalize the design of the mausoleum, the quarrying of the stone begins. 

If you want your mausoleum to be made of granite or marble, several companies source top-grade blocks from reputable quarries.

Carving

The granite or marble will be cut and shaped by a stone cutter according to the exact measurements on your construction and design plan. 

Expert craftsmen will carefully create custom finishes and intricate details on the granite blocks. The blocks will also be shaped and sculpted according to your chosen style. 

Construction

All the finished pieces will be transported to the mausoleum site. After this, the construction team will start building the foundation and install the mausoleum according to its exact specifications. 

Other elements such as art glass, windows, and bronze doors will also be installed during the construction process. 

Main Structure of the Mausoleum

Foundation

This may be made of concrete and granite. It will be constructed on the mausoleum site.

Material 

Granite and marble are the top choices for mausoleum construction because of inherent qualities in the stone. They are also available in a wide range of colors.

High-grade granite and marble blocks can withstand the damaging effects brought by water and moisture and are well worth the price. 

Walls 

You can place memorial materials on the walls of the mausoleum such as plaques or pictures. For this reason it is wise to consider their size in the planning phase.

Floor

The flooring of your mausoleum can be finished in many different ways. You may use wood, tile or stone to feature uniformity and a clean look for the interiors.

Roof

The roof can be made of granite and marble as well. And might be personalized with carved embellishments and intricate details. 

You may also place a nameplate at the rooftop of the mausoleum. The lettering etched and engraved across it can display the family name, crest and epitaph. 

Crypt

You have many choices for the number and types of crypts. A private mausoleum can have one to ten crypts. Walk-in mausoleums with roomy interiors can have as much as 12 to 16 crypts.

Door 

Bronze doors are extremely popular for mausoleums. The door frame should match the overall style of the mausoleum. For classical styles, a door frame with an arched top is preferred.

Windows

The windows can be made of glass or stained glass. The beauty of stained glass is that it can also serve as an art piece that will adorn the mausoleum.

Other Elements

After installing the main structure, you can customize the mausoleum by adding artwork, artifacts, statues, and other embellishments that reflect the personality, culture, or religion of the deceased. Landscaping is another consideration.

FAQ

How is a mausoleum constructed?

The construction process of a mausoleum resembles the construction of any building. You will have it designed first by a professional. After this, the mausoleum construction company will source the materials and have the pieces prepared by craftsmen. The modules will then be transported to the mausoleum site and built by a construction team.

How long does it take to build a mausoleum?

Mausoleum construction may take several months depending on the complexity of the design. Some even take up to a year.

Can I build my own mausoleum?

Yes, but you will want to consult an engineer since building any structure is subject to standards set by local and state laws.

How many bodies can be interred in a mausoleum?

Some private mausoleums, such as the namesake of mausoleum, were meant for only one person. Most range for two to ten, but some range from 12 to 16. Community mausoleums go up from there.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! We hope you find this helpful. If you have suggestions, or feedback, send us an email at info@in-valhalla.com.

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