Burial Vault Cost: Understanding Factors and Considerations

Last Updated on: February 13, 2024

Reviewed by Kyle Wilson

burial vault cost

Have you ever wondered about the burial vault cost and why it’s important for funeral arrangements? A burial vault is a protective outer container for a casket, designed to safeguard it from the weight of the earth and heavy maintenance equipment that might pass over the grave. Its purpose is to preserve the burial site’s dignity and ensure the cemetery grounds’ safety and stability.

With various materials and styles available, the price of burial vaults can vary significantly, leaving many questioning how much they should budget for this essential funeral component. In simple terms, the cost of a burial vault is influenced by its material, design, and the level of protection it offers, making it a crucial consideration in planning a respectful and lasting resting place.

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What is a burial vault?

A burial vault is a structure that is buried with the deceased’s casket inside of it as a means of protection. Burial vaults have multiple uses and are usually constructed from sturdy materials like metal, concrete, or composite materials. They primarily give the grave more solidity and support, which keeps the ground from gradually crumbling or sinking.

Furthermore, burial vaults help shield the coffin from outside factors like soil pressure and water that may erode or harm its integrity. While they are not necessarily required, cemeteries frequently advise burial vaults to preserve the usefulness and aesthetics of the burial place and uphold the deceased’s standards of respect and dignity.

Purpose of a Burial Vault and Why Cemeteries Require It:

A burial vault supports and shields the coffin from harm while preserving the gravesite’s structural integrity over time. Burial vaults keep the ground from sinking or collapsing because they enclose the casket inside a strong concrete, metal, or composite structure. This prevents the ground from collapsing or falling because of the weight of the soil and other environmental conditions.

Furthermore, by shielding the coffin from the weather and other potential disruptions, burial vaults can contribute to the preservation of the deceased’s dignity. Cemeteries frequently need burial vaults to preserve the grounds’ usefulness and beauty. They also ensure a level surface for upkeep and reduce the possibility of sinking, which could endanger adjacent graves. Furthermore, burial vaults can help effectively use cemetery areas over time, supporting burial grounds’ long-term viability.

Factors That Contribute to Burial Vault Cost

Knowing what affects a burial vault cost is essential if you’re considering buying one. These expenses can vary greatly, and three important factors—the burial vaults’ supply chain, the degree of protection they provide, and the type of Vault chosen—greatly impact the total cost.

Supply Chain:

The burial vault cost is primarily determined by where they are made and how well-run their supply chain is. Locally produced vaults may be less expensive because of reduced logistical and transportation expenses.

On the other hand, because of the increased cost of transportation, vaults that need to be shipped a long distance from the manufacturer to the funeral home or cemetery may be more expensive. The cost of a burial vault is also influenced by the labour and materials used in its production; more costly materials or sophisticated craftsmanship are utilized.

The Level of Protection:

A burial vault’s main function is to shield the coffin from the weight of the ground and any potential damage from groundwater. A critical aspect of a vault’s price is the degree of security it offers. Vaults with basic protection are usually the least expensive choice and are constructed of concrete.

More sophisticated vaults may have metal, plastic, or other material linings to improve soil and water pressure resistance, but these additions can considerably drive up the cost. The family’s unique demands, interests, and financial situation should all be considered when deciding between more advanced and simpler protection.

The type of Vault:

There are many different kinds of burial vaults, and each type’s features, materials, and aesthetics vary, which affects the price. The most basic vaults are constructed of concrete and provide rudimentary security. Mid-range vaults may have a metal or plastic liner made of concrete burial vault prices for increased water resistance and durability.

Although they are much more expensive, high-end vaults can be built from premium materials like copper or stainless steel, which provide better security and aesthetic appeal. The final cost will be directly impacted by the type of Vault used, with more complex and long-lasting models costing more.

The burial vault cost is influenced by several elements, such as the logistics of the supply chain, the degree of security it offers, and the chosen kind of Vault. By being aware of these aspects, people can make well-informed decisions that balance their needs for a suitable tribute and their budgetary constraints.

What Separates a Burial Vault from a Casket?

In funeral arrangements, a burial vault and a casket have diverse uses and are unique in their construction and functionality:


Function: A casket is a specially made container for the departed’s body. It serves as the main basket for viewing, coffin transportation, and coffin or cremation during the funeral service.

Materials: Caskets can be constructed from various materials, such as wood, metal, and biodegradable alternatives, depending on aesthetic choices, financial constraints, and environmental factors.

Design: A casket’s style can vary greatly, incorporating elements like hardware, cushions, and inside linings, or it can be plain and simple. The design selection frequently captures the departed individual’s essence, desires, and the family’s tastes.

Practicality: Using a casket to show and move the deceased’s body is a respectable and kind gesture. They play a crucial role in both the burial and funeral rituals.

The purpose of a burial vault is to house the casket in the grave outside of an outside enclosure. Its principal objective is to keep the ground from collapsing beneath the coffin by shielding it from the weight of the earth and any large machinery that may pass over the burial.

Materials: To endure environmental factors and external pressures, burial vaults are usually constructed from more resilient materials like concrete, metal, or polymer.

Design: Burial vaults are often simple, practical designs that prioritise longevity and strength over beauty. Although some vaults have ornamental features on the outside, safety is still their main function.

Functionality: Although burial vaults are not directly related to funeral ceremonies, they are essential to preserving the burial site’s integrity. They guarantee a steady and safe resting place for the coffin by stopping the grave from sinking over time.

Where To Purchase Burial Vaults And Grave Liners

Burial vaults and grave liners can typically be purchased from a variety of sources, including:

Funeral Homes: Many funeral homes offer burial vaults and grave liners as part of their funeral arrangement services. Families can inquire about options and make arrangements directly through the funeral home.

Cemetery Offices: Some cemeteries may sell burial vaults and grave liners directly to families purchasing burial plots. Families can contact the cemetery office to inquire about available options and pricing.

Online Retailers: Numerous online retailers specialize in funeral and burial products, including burial vaults and grave liners. Families can browse online catalogs, compare options, and make purchases conveniently from the comfort of their homes.

Specialty Suppliers: Companies specialize in manufacturing and supplying burial vaults and grave liners to funeral homes, cemeteries, and other businesses in the funeral industry. These suppliers may also sell directly to consumers.

Local Hardware or Building Supply Stores: In some cases, burial vaults and grave liners that carry concrete or construction materials may be available at local hardware or building supply stores. However, availability may vary depending on the store and location.

When purchasing burial vaults and grave liners, families must consider factors such as material quality, construction, pricing, and any cemetery regulations or requirements. Consulting with funeral home professionals or cemetery staff can provide valuable guidance in selecting the appropriate burial vault or grave liner for the family’s burial needs and budget.

How Do You Install a Burial Vault?

During the burial procedure, a burial vault—also referred to as a burial liner or grave liner—is usually erected to give the casket extra protection and support and to assist in keeping the ground from sinking over time. The installation process for a burial vault can be summarised as follows:

  • Excavation: To accommodate the coffin and the burial vault, the burial site is dug out to the proper depth and size. Depending on cemetery policies and municipal laws, the depth may change.
  • Vault Placement: Following excavation, the burial vault is gingerly lowered into the opening. Usually constructed of metal, concrete, or composite materials, vaults are intended to contain the casket.
  • Lowering the Casket: Once installed, the deceased’s casket is lowered into the Vault. Typically, tools like straps or a lowering device are used to guarantee a courteous and easy procedure.
  • Shutting the Vault: After the casket is within, the vault’s lid is firmly shut. Specific vaults might contain mechanisms or seals to guarantee a tight closure.
  • Backfilling: When the vault is closed, the excavated dirt is carefully backfilled into the grave, covering the whole Vault. Usually, the earth is compacted to provide support and prevent it from settling.
  • Grave Markers: Lastly, a grave marker or headstone may be erected to designate the burial spot and honour the departed.

It is crucial to remember that burial vault installation methods can change based on regional traditions, cemetery policies, and personal preferences. Furthermore, although some cemeteries permit interment without a burial vault, others might mandate its use.

Burial vault other available options

Alternative solutions exist for the protection of burial urns and caskets. Concrete grave liners and cremation urn vaults are two popular substitutes:

  • Concrete Grave Liners: Concrete grave liners are underground structures composed of concrete that support and shield the coffin, much like burial vaults. But grave liners usually don’t have a sealing mechanism like burial vaults do. Their main functions are to keep the ground from gradually sinking and to give the burial place structural support. Concrete grave liners are frequently selected as the more affordable choice when opposed to burial vaults.
  • Cremation Urn Vaults: These underground storage units house and safeguard cremation urns. These vaults exist in various sizes and designs to suit different kinds of urns, and they are usually constructed from sturdy materials like concrete, metal, or plastic. Vaults for cremation urns shield the urn from the elements and aid in preserving the burial place.

Concrete grave liners and cremation urn vaults offer differing degrees of support and protection for the deceased’s remains as alternatives to conventional burial vaults. Several variables, including financial constraints, cemetery rules, cultural or religious beliefs, and personal preferences, may influence the decision between these options.

Basic Features Of Burial Vaults And Grave Liners


Burial Vaults

Grave Liners

Material Composition

Durable materials such as concrete, reinforced concrete, or metal.

Concrete, plastic, or metal.

Enclosure Design

Sealed, airtight design providing maximum protection against water seepage and soil compression. May include inner liners.

Basic box or container design providing basic protection for the casket. Do not typically provide a fully sealed or airtight enclosure.

Installation Process

Installed in the ground before the casket is lowered into place. Requires careful positioning and sealing.

Installed in the ground before burial, may require less precise placement than burial vaults.

Regulatory Requirements

Often required by cemetery regulations or local ordinances to prevent grave collapse and maintain burial site integrity.

May be required in certain jurisdictions, seen as a more cost-effective alternative to burial vaults.

Cost Considerations

Generally more expensive due to robust construction and additional features.

More affordable option, preferred for budget-conscious families.

This table succinctly presents the basic features of burial vaults and grave liners, making it easier to compare the two options.


Q1- What Elements Affect the Burial Vault Cost the Most?

The main elements that affect a burial vault’s price are the type and grade of materials used, the degree of protection offered, any further customisation or personalisation, and the supply chain—including the distance between the producer, distributor, and customer.

Q2- What Makes Burial Vaults Required?

Burial vaults are required to shield the coffin from the weight of the ground and cemetery maintenance vehicles traversing the property. The cemetery can mandate a burial vault even while municipal regulations do not enforce this obligation. In addition to delaying the decay of the coffin, burial vaults provide the cemetery’s grounds a beautiful appearance.

Q3- How much does a burial vault cost?

The cost of a burial vault can vary widely depending on factors such as material, design, and location, but typically ranges from $800 to $5,000 or more. It’s advisable to consult with funeral homes or burial service providers for specific pricing information.


Here is our expert author, Kyle, your go-to source for simplified insights into the world of life insurance. With years of industry experience, Kyle delivers concise and approachable content, ensuring you navigate the complexities with confidence.

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