Five Differences Between Custom Mausoleums and In-Ground Burials

Five Differences Between Custom Mausoleums and In-Ground Burials

Published: November 21, 2022 | Updated: November 29, 2022

Suppose you’re thinking about building a custom mausoleum or in-ground burial. Don’t forget to consider the significant differences between the two before deciding which option is best for you and/or your family.

What is a mausoleum?

A mausoleum is a large, above-ground building that stores the remains of a person or people.

Typically made of stone or granite, mausoleums tend to have extravagant designs. There are different types of these above-ground burials, as well. Private mausoleums offer privacy in an indoor setting. Garden mausoleums may be visited outdoors and surrounded by benches or gardens, providing visitors with peace and tranquility.

These exceptional structures can be the perfect place to lay loved ones to rest, offering more protection, privacy, and customization than in-ground burials.

What is an in-ground burial?

An in-ground burial, also known as a traditional burial, is the burying of casketed or cremated remains in the ground.

Monument Installation

What are the five differences between custom mausoleums and in-ground burials?

There are a few critical differences between custom mausoleums and in-ground burials. When deciding which type of burial is most desirable for your family, consider the following differences to help you make the best decision.

1. Mausoleums are an above-ground alternative.

Mausoleums are an above-ground alternative to traditional in-ground burials. This fundamental difference provides a more secure, private, and drier burial. They also tend to offer a unique experience for visitors. Don’t forget to check with your cemetery to find out if there are any restrictions on mausoleums.

2. Multiple family members can lay to rest together.

Mausoleums are a great option for families wanting to lie to rest together. A mausoleum can be visited indoors, providing visitors with a private and tranquil environment. This factor can be important for families who want to keep their loved one’s final resting place private.

Traditional burial plots are more suited toward one or two individuals. In some situations, they may require more land, which can be a problem in crowded cemeteries.

3. A custom mausoleum can be designed to be visited indoors.

You can design a custom mausoleum to be visited indoors. Meanwhile, an in-ground burial is typically only visible from the outside. Because mausoleums are indoors, a family can visit any time without worrying about the weather, which is a nice advantage of indoor mausoleums.

An indoor mausoleum provides a unique experience for visitors with a higher level of privacy and protection from outside noise and weather.

4. Custom mausoleums typically have more ornate features than in-ground burials.

Due to the size of mausoleums, they tend to allow much more customization than in-ground burials. Custom mausoleums typically have more ornate features than in-ground burials, including options such as benches, artwork, pillars, etc. 

In-ground burials typically require less formal preparations, such as establishing a trust or care fund. While in-ground burial options are completely customizable, you can extend the design flexibility much further with a mausoleum.

To learn more about the customizability of mausoleums, check out our previous article, Five Ways to Customize a Mausoleum for Your Loved One.

5. Mausoleums are typically more expensive.

Mausoleums are typically more expensive than in-ground burials due in part to their larger size, materials used, and level of customized details. Geography also impacts costs. In areas where land is at a premium, a mausoleum crypt could be more expensive than a place where real estate is cheaper.

An indoor mausoleum may be more expensive, but there are less expensive alternatives, such as an outdoor garden mausoleum.

Mausoleums may be a more expensive option, but they typically last longer than in-ground burials and can often be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

CAD Design for a Mausoleum

Which type of burial method is better?

1. Custom Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials: Cost

Custom mausoleums offer the advantage of allowing individuals to choose their type of memorial. They also benefit from being indoors or outdoors, offering loved ones the best of both worlds. That being said, this level of detail comes at a cost.

  • An upright headstone may start around $1,200.
  • A single crypt mausoleum may start around $15,000 and approach $60,000+ for a private family mausoleum.

Mausoleums can get expensive, but they can be found for a reasonable price if you keep your customizations to a minimum.

2. Custom Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials: Location

Location is an important factor when considering a mausoleum or traditional burial. Here are a few key factors to remember.

  • Mausoleums are an excellent choice for those who live in expensive locations. Because they can be several stories high, they can take advantage of areas without much land to offer.
  • Decorated with marble or wood carvings, some may choose a mausoleum for its aesthetics. Decorations range from high ceilings with marble to stained glass windows and intricate wood carvings. This level of detail may be important for families located in expensive areas.
  • Indoor mausoleums provide a dry, clean, comfortable space in any weather. Quiet and beautiful indoor mausoleums offer peace of mind in any weather condition. This benefit is perfect for locations that get extremely cold in the winter or hot in the summer.
  • A mausoleum doesn’t require watering for perpetuity, making it an environmentally friendly option.

3. Custom Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials: Size

The size of your plot can be an important factor to consider. Here are some key points to consider.

  • Aesthetics may play a role in choosing a mausoleum over ground burial. Since mausoleums can vary in size, the decor available can range from indoor benches to custom pillars.
  • Mausoleum burials can connect loved ones to treasured traditions. With room for custom artwork and personal artifacts, the large size of a mausoleum can provide a deeper relationship with loved ones.

4. Custom Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials: Design

By now, it’s clear that mausoleums offer more design flexibility. So here are some points to remember about design.

  • Some people prefer a mausoleum burial over a traditional ground burial. Some people find the idea of being buried underground uncomfortable and opt for a mausoleum burial instead.
  • Private mausoleums are dedicated to individuals. You can choose a private mausoleum for those seeking a truly unique memorial.
  • Mausoleums are built to last. High-quality granite can be used in mausoleums to craft a resting place that can thrive for many generations.

5. Custom Mausoleums vs. In-Ground Burials: Privacy

If privacy is essential to you, then there is no better choice than an indoor mausoleum. With protection from weather and privacy indoors, a mausoleum offers the most privacy.

  • There’s more privacy for your loved ones in a mausoleum. An indoor mausoleum offers visitors greater privacy than traditional in-ground burials with a personalized, private resting area for the deceased away from potentially crowded rows of in-ground cemetery plots.
  • Private Mausoleums offer a quiet and peaceful space. Indoor mausoleums are quiet and provide a dry, clean, comfortable space for you to visit in any weather.
  • Private Mausoleums offer exclusivity at a loved one’s final resting place. Mausoleums are an excellent choice for families desiring exclusive access to a final resting place or wanting to visit loved ones in private.

How to choose the right burial method for you?

Step 1: Determine if you would like to be buried or cremated.

Determine if you would like to be buried or cremated. Consider your family’s wishes when making this decision. Then, choose a burial method that is right for you.

Step 2: Choose a burial method that fits your budget.

There are many different burial methods available, and it is important to find one that meets your needs and budget. Some common burial methods include cremation, burial in a gravestone, and burial in a mausoleum.

Do some research, get some estimates, and choose an option that fits your budget.

Step 3: Consider the needs of your loved ones.

When choosing a burial method, it is important to consider the needs of your loved ones. There are many burial methods to choose from, so learning the differences allows you to make an informed decision that keeps everyone’s opinion in mind.

Step 4: Choose a burial method that reflects your personality.

When choosing a burial method, it is important to consider your budget, preferences, and location. There are a few different burial methods, each with benefits and disadvantages.

In-ground burials are the most common type of burial. They are typically less expensive than other options and can be installed in almost any location. However, they require digging a grave and have less design flexibility than a mausoleum.

Mausoleums are another option for burials. Mausoleums can be more expensive than in-ground burials, but they offer more privacy and protection from the elements.

Cremation is another popular option for burials. Cremation is typically less expensive than other options, is more time efficient, and can save space in a crowded cemetery.

Step 5: Consider the climate of the burial site.

When choosing a burial site, consider the climate of the area. It may be safest to choose an above-ground burial in areas with unpredictable or stormy weather. In-ground burials are susceptible to water surges and flooding.

Step 6: Consider the maintenance of the burial site.

Consider the maintenance required to keep your burial site clean and who will provide upkeep for the site.

Ready to learn more about mausoleums?

Whether you’re interested in building a simple upright headstone or a completely customized private family mausoleum, Dio + Co. is ready and able to make your vision a reality.

Contact us today to learn the Dio + Co. difference.

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