Handcrafted  Pine Caskets  $895.00 or less . All caskets are hand made one at a time .  Right here in Utah, and not imported from half way around the world, as other lower cost caskets being sold are. Each casket is built with local and regionally harvested woods. And are made,with the least amount of metal possible. Each casket is unique, because of the variation in wood grain.  Also  each casket (except for the casket with rope handles) has a fully lined natural cotton  interior. Call 801-388-9158 or e-mail at Caskets@digis.net for more information.

 I also have put together a price list of all the funeral homes that are in the northern Utah/southern Idaho area. Along with funeral consumer information. This can help you save potentially thousands on a funeral. Have you ever seen a price list on a funeral home's web site? There are only 2 that I know of in Utah and Idaho that do it for consumers.


Note: 
 I have been getting more requests for my caskets from all areas of the U.S. I am not set up to ship across the U.S. If you have someone driving through Northern Utah, and they could pick up your casket, that can be a option, otherwise if you are looking for a simple handmade casket, and are from outside the Utah/southern Idaho, Wyoming area, please contact your local  Funeral Consumers Alliance.  There is a affiliate in most states. They will have information about casket makers/artisans in their area. 





 
  •  
The casket shown above is a current sample of the simple handmade caskets that I do. It is built with knotty pine, and has a very rustic (I use wood that has a lot of character, small splits, knots hand tooling marks ect.)  type woodworking construction. The casket is finished in a natural beeswax. It has a curved two piece lid, with fully lined cotton interior. All handles are triple reinforced, and all parts are fully interlocked (dovetail joints) with glue for the strongest casket. This casket can hold up to 250 lbs.  And a person up to 6 ft. 4 inches tall. The interior dimensions are 81 inches long 22 inches wide and 14 inches deep. And the casket weighs about 130 lbs. empty. This casket will fit into a standard sized (29inch by 86 inch) burial vault if required by the cemetery. The cost is $895 plus tax.








The casket shown above is a simple unfinished casket, done in oak or maple veneer ply. It is 81 inches long, 22 inches wide and 14 inches deep inside dimensions. It has 6 rope handles and is not lined with any fabric. Most people who use this casket line it with a favorite quilt or white comforter. I  also build (call for more info) a wider/stronger version of this casket (26 1/2 inches wide) that will hold a heaver person, (up to 400 lbs.) and will fit into a standard sized 29 1/2 inch wide vault. If required by the cemetery.  Prices are $295 and $450 plus taxMost funeral homes least expensive caskets start at $695So this can be an option to keep costs down for a funeral.



     Below is information about other caskets I have built over the year, funerals, funeral homes, funeral home price lists for northern Utah, your rights as a consumer and ways to save money on a funeral. There is a lot of information presented here so if you are just looking for a casket stop here. If not read on and be informed so you do not fall for some of the tactics used by some funeral homes to get you to pay more for a funeral than you need to
     
  •  
"The funeral industry is the only business where they can take your loved ones body and sell it back to you"
Caitlin (Ask a Mortician) Doughty 
  •  

 Now a few thoughts before you read my blog:
I make caskets,  and would like to sell you one if that is what you want But I also want you to be informed about the choices you need to make when it comes to a funeral. If you come away with anything from this blog, I hope it is knowledge. Because going to a funeral home without knowing what you need and do not need for a funeral. I like walking into the car dealer's showroom with a blank check and asking the salesperson to write in the amount of money that they want YOU to pay for a new car.

       I also want you to know that I am a  member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. But they do not receive any money or consideration from me, and I from them. Everything on this page I am responsible for and not the Funeral Consumers Alliance. The information  and web links I have gathered here are from different reputable news sources and some from the Funeral Consumers Alliance. I have this information here for you to decide what you want or do not want to pay for when it comes to a funeral.

  •  

Note:
A funeral home cannot refuse or charge you more for services because you bought a casket from another casket manufacture to
save money.  Check out this link to the Federal Trade Commission on funerals. It will give you information on what you are legally required to buy for a funeral. 
 http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0070-shopping-funeral-services
  •  
 Anonymous quote
"Nothing seems to make the cost of living as reasonable as the pricing of funerals." 
  •  


 Note: I  recommend short term storage,(example: Hospice patients) of a pine casket, but not long term storage.  If the casket is stored correctly it can last along time. I have a casket that I have stored  for over 6 years now for a family member, and it looks like new.  You would never dream of storing your fine dining room table in a shed or next to a hot tub. A wooden casket is the same.  Also no matter might what you are told  about a casket lasting. No casket (including the sealer casket) will last forever. Every casket will eventually break down. Caskets, wood or metal purchased by the average family will not last over 18 years in the ground according to research.  

  •   
 Each pine casket that I hand make is done one at a time. Usually it takes a week to a week and a half to make a casket. I like to remember the saying my  late mother-in-law told me when I was  having trouble making her casket (the first one I made) just before she died in 2003.

 "You build a cradle for someone who is coming into the world, why not build one for someone who is leaving it"

 So I do take great care in each casket I make, because it is a cradle for your loved one.
  •  
                                                           
                                               



The video above shows my caskets. 
  •  
Below are some photos of other custom caskets I have made in the past year. 


 A casket done in blue pine with rose lid pulls
 

 
 The casket above was a special custom casket I made for a customer. It was made from solid poplar hardwood and stained to look like walnut. The customer saved over $1000.00 from what the funeral home was selling this casket model for.


The casket above had a special elk embroidery scene installed into the lid.


A casket made for a scouting person.

 A close up of the scouting emblem. I can add other scouting insignia to a casket. I have a license agreement with the B.S.A to do scouting caskets in the Trapper Trails Council area.
  •   
 Anonymous quote
"It's hard to understand how a cemetery raised it's burial charges on the cost of living." 
  •  
   
  
 http://www.utahfunerals.org/ a informative Utah based website with the information you need about funerals without the pressure of the funeral home. They are dedicated to help Utah consumers save money on funeral costs. Which they do every day. Also please help this non-profit group with a donation to continue helping others in our state.
  •  
 http://www.funerals.org/  A national organization that protects the consumer from unethical funeral home practices. They have been around since 1963. If it was not for them, you could be paying a lot more for a funeral. They were responsible for making the Federal Trade Commission pass the funeral rules that protect you from most of the unethical practices that funeral homes got away with until 1985 when these laws were passed   Go check it out, some of the news stories they have on current and past funeral industry abuses across the U.S.
  •  
Also visit this web site for a lower cost burial plots. They are located in Magna Utah, and do not require a burial vault, which can save you about $800.00, and a low cost, meaningful, funeral around $1300.00 is possible   http://www.pleasantgreen.net  

  •  


" We have to get the money while the tears are still flowing"
A funeral director quote 

  •  

      Some of you reading this might think that I am too hard on funeral directors. Being a mortician is not a  easy 9 to 5 job. They are always on call  to go pick up the  deceased... no matter the  time of day or weather, and at the expense of their familys. And then depending on the condition of the deceased... get them ready for viewing of friends and family.  They also have to deal with the emotions of  family(s)  who are dealing with death, and people who try to avoid paying an honest price for their services. There are funeral directors in my area of Utah that I have the highest regard for, and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone needing a funeral. But... on the other hand being in this business... I know what some (not all) funeral homes have done now, and in the past to take advantage of grieving people.
      This is one business where you the consumer are at a disadvantage. The vast majority of people do not talk about death or  planing for the day they will die. Most people who go to the funeral home have to deal with all the decisions regarding a  pending funeral are also dealing with the emotions of the death or pending death of a loved one. The funeral director on the other hand has usually years of experience dealing with a grieving customer. And depending on how ethical the funeral home is, can suggest items or services that will improve the profit line of the funeral home.  At the expense of your wallet.

        So when the day comes that you need to plan or do a funeral, remember... funeral directors ARE businessmen, they are NOT clergy (a bishop or priest). They are in business to sell you their services and/or products. If ALL funeral directors were ethical, you would not be reading this web page, and I and others across the U.S. would not be selling reasonably priced caskets. Our modern day funeral ($20.7 billion a year) industry offers,or pushes services and products that are not needed, or can be afforded by a lot of Americans.

 http://www.pbs.org/pov/homegoings/economics-of-the-funeral-industry.php
 
 One of the greatest myths perpetuated by some in the funeral industry is:

 " How much you spend on a funeral shows how much you loved your deceased loved one"

         A funeral usually is the 3rd most expensive item that you will pay for in your life. The price of a funeral by burial (average $8,000) in our state of Utah can be over $11,000. But it can be under $4,500 or less if you know how. This blog site has information and links to state and national organizations that will help you make informed choices and help save you money in the process.
  •  
 Funeral tips:
Do not feel guilty if you cannot afford a funeral with all the extra items that everyone else buys. Grief is a powerful emotion and if not controlled YOU will spend more money than you need to, and... could regret it financially for years to come. I have been to many funerals and the most meaningful ones were not the most expensive. 
  •  
Print the web pages from the link above, so you can use it for pricing a funeral. It will also be a good item to show the funeral home when talking about prices, services or what they can legally make you pay for .

1. Pre-plan your funeral. Don't pre-pay. Decide what items you want for a funeral. Organize it and put it in writing and put the money away in credit union or bank (P.O.D.) Payable On Death account. or Totten trust account.
 http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-is-totten-trrust.html

Now if your next of kin do not agree or cannot carry out your funeral plans, just assign a specific person to control the disposition of your remains. This form (Disposition of remains) gives a person you assign the legal right to do a funeral the way you want. According to the Utah Funeral Consumers Alliance family members will go to a funeral home and wind up wanting more items for a funeral. Then when the  funeral bill comes some or all of family will not help pay for the funeral. And guess who winds up paying the bill.? The person who signed the funeral contract. This happens to family's all the time, according to the Funeral Consumers Alliance. Here are links to find out more about assigning someone to take care of your body after death:

 http://www.utahfunerals.org/plan-ahead.html  

 https://www.funerals.org/forconsumersmenu/your-legal-rights/funeral-decision-rights

Now if that is not the case, and you are needing the services of a funeral home now then start with #2. Also if the death is sudden do not get pressured by whoever has the body , to get a funeral home immediately. Hospitals, cities, and counties have facilities where they can store the body while you decide on funeral arrangements.
  
2. Set a budget first:  Have a trusted family member or friend who can look at this business transaction  without the emotional attachment. Then with this friend/family member get the General Price List from more than 1 funeral home. You can  also call them on the phone because legally they are required to give you their prices over the phone. Also do not think that just because everyone else in the family used a particular funeral home, you need to do likewise. If you live in a area where there is only 1 local funeral home,  call funeral homes in nearby areas. There many funeral homes will travel beyond their normal 50-75 mile service area for a small mileage fee. The price difference can be over $1000.00 in savings if you use a funeral home other than the one you have in your town.
3. Deciding on a funeral home:  Take this advice from a funeral director who I have great respect for.
 http://www.calebwilde.com/2014/01/when-you-should-fire-your-funeral-home/
http://www.calebwilde.com/category/death/funeral-directing/consumer-rights/
You should take the same trusted family member or friend and look very carefully at the General Price Lists from the funeral homes. Does the funeral home you might use have accurate, itemized price information? Or does the price list look confusing? If so look at other funeral home(s) price lists.  Remember, legally you do not have to buy all their services, you can pick and choose what services you want. The only required fee that you need to pay is:  The basic services of funeral director and staff,  and in Utah this fee is anywhere from around $900 to over $2,500. Many funeral homes are increasing this fee because it is non-indeclinable. So is this service fee high in comparison to other funeral homes you are considering? Also watch out for confusing package deals (more info. below). These items usually have other extra services that will cost you more.


4. Shopping for a Funeral Home: With the same trusted family member or friend, go  to the funeral home(s) and start getting a firm price for only the services you want. When you start discussing how you are going to pay for the funeral, and  if you have a life insurance policy... DO NOT give the amount of the policy. Sometimes the final cost of the funeral will  magically be the exact amount of the insurance policy. If the funeral home tells you a service is required by law, ask them to show you in writing which  law requires it. A verbal statement does not mean anything. To many times a state law is misquoted. Also with some funeral homes the advertized prices on their services can be less if you ask. I personally know of someone who works in hospice care and she negotiates lower prices with local funeral homes. Just remember funeral homes have the right to a reasonable profit. And if you want other extra services you will need to pay for them.


  5.Caskets: In this area I have a business interest, because I make caskets...so If you decide to use a casket from someone else, ether me, another casket maker or yourself  to save money, most funeral homes will not charge you more for their services. There are a lot of good funeral homes who do not have a problem with a customer making or supplying their own casket. They welcome them. But their are a few who do, and they add a surcharge up to $700 extra to your funeral cost if you do not use their caskets.  If you were a funeral customer and you had limited funds, and you decided to buy from someone besides the funeral home, or build a casket to save money... You are forced to pay extra. So if the funeral home you are thinking of using does this. Take your funeral dollars to another funeral home. There are plenty of ethical funeral homes in the Northern Utah area who do not do this. 


6. Embalming:  This is a money making item depending on the funeral home. If you decide to use embalming, you will more likely spend more money $$$ on other related funeral items.  The U.S. and Canada are the only two country's that push the use of embalming  No state law requires embalming. All funeral homes are required to have refrigeration. If you have a direct burial, cremation or closed casket service you do not need embalming. You can also have a private viewing without this service. You can even have a public viewing without embalming if you want, but most funeral homes will try to talk you out of it. If you want to find out about the need for embalming, talk to someone who has done a home funeral. They use other methods to allow the viewing the deceased that does not involve embalming.
http://www.homefuneralalliance.org/.

  •  
 Northern Utah Funeral Home Price list for April 2014.

This price list has most of the Northern Utah area. Prices can change so call the funeral home for prices before deciding. Also if you need to save money look at a funeral home from a neighboring town if you live in a town with only 1 funeral home. There are  funeral homes on this price list that are substantially less in cost, and they cover all areas of northern Utah and southern Idaho. 
Remember this, just because a funeral home charges less for their services than another does not mean you get less of a funeral. They meet the same standards as the more expensive funeral homes.


     If you are in central or southern Utah and want prices go visit the www.utahfunerals.org website for funeral home prices in those areas of the state. If you are out of state look for a affiliate from the Funeral Consumers Alliance in your state. They are in all 50 states.  Also when looking at the www.utahfunerals.org price lists you will notice that some funeral homes did not give prices when contacted. There were 
    8 in the Salt Lake City Area  34% of total
    11 in the Utah county and Utah east area 52% of total
    10 in Southern Utah area  61% of total

    If you call them as a consumer for prices they have to give them to you over the phone. 
    •  
    Other funeral information:

     A casket or coffin(a casket is 4 sides a coffin is 6 sided) is designed to just hold the remains of a body. And how that is done can be inexpensive or very expensive. The casket has to fit inside a burial vault(see note #1 below) with 1/2 inch of space between the widest outside dimension of the casket and the inside dimensions of the vault. So a casket size of 28 inches wide by 88 inches long outside measurements will fit into a burial vault that is 29 inches wide by 89 inches long. The extra 1/2 inch on each side is needed to remove the ropes that lower the casket into the burial vault.
    •  
    Vaults
    This is one cost that you cannot get out (unless the cemetery does not require one) of because a vault or burial liner is required by most cemetery's. The only way you can save money on this item if it is required by the cemetery is to use the most inexpensive burial vault or liner that is offered. Do not believe that the sealed vault is better than a simple vault. (See the quote from a cemetery director below)  In some areas of Utah  some funeral directors will not do business with burial vault company's if they sell direct to the public.  If this is happening to you,  check with the cemetery you are using to see if they sell burial vaults to the public. Also some of the new plastic vaults that are being used can save you some money. They will work just as well as the concrete vaults and they are lightweight and can be moved by 2 people. Unlike the concrete vaults that need to be put in the ground with a crane.
    http://www.ateammasters.com/liners.html 
    Along the Wasatch front in Utah there is only one cemetery that I know of that does not require a burial vault, and that is Pleasant Green Cemetery in the Salt Lake Valley. Which could save you at least $800. There are also some rural cemetery's that do not require vaults.

    Casket materials:
    The materials to make caskets are metals (steel, brass, copper, stainless steel) wood (softwood pine, domestic hardwoods, and expensive imported hardwoods) and fabric(usually a body shroud). You might be surprised to learn that some of the so called hardwood caskets are built with a inner plywood core with a thin hardwood veneer on the outside, on most of the casket. 
     
    •  
    Casket/burial vault sealers and other accessory's:

    A casket sealer is a rubber or neoprene gasket that is placed into the lid of the casket/burial vault to supposedly help keep out water, dirt or insects. from getting into the casket interior.  This gasket costs less than $10.00 but can cost you up to $800.00 extra depending on where you live. All funeral homes offer sealer caskets and vaults for a much higher cost, compared to the caskets and vaults that do not have a sealer or gasket. Yet the consumer buys into this  thinking that their deceased family member will be protected forever in a sealed casket.  If you look at a funeral home price list at the bottom or on the same page as the casket and burial vault prices, there is a disclaimer on any warranties of the vaults and caskets. Yet they will add words like high impact, and heavy duty sealer to make you think it is a superior product, while stating that a less costly burial liner is non- protective to get you to purchase a more expensive product. Save yourself some money and  use a regular casket and a grave liner or vault.

    Here is a actual quote from a Utah cemetery manager about burial vaults.

     "If you do opt to purchase a vault, DO NOT PURCHASE A SEALER VAULT!!
    Sealer vaults are sold as weather proof encasement's that will preserve the body indefinitely. This is not true. Trust us! We have watched many of them go into the ground, and have vast experience in the ultimate results.

    A sealer vault will fail in one of two important ways. The first common way that they fail is that the seal will do exactly what it is designed to do. It will hold, which keeps moisture from getting into the vault. Unfortunately this seal works both ways. In addition to keeping moisture out, it will also keep the moisture from the body in. As a result, the body cannot dry out. Instead it will putrefy and turn into liquid. Far more often though, the seal fails. The seal is nothing more than a bit of weather striping put around the vault lid a few minutes before the vault company puts the lid in place. This cheap stripping folds easily, or becomes caught up as the machinery places the vault lid on. In these cases, the vaults fill up with rain water, leaving your loved one completely immersed. A normal (non-sealer) vault has holes drilled in the bottom to allow rain water to drain out."




    Note #1

    A burial vault is a box with a lid that is made from fiberglass, concrete, plastic, or metal that the casket is placed into before being put in the ground it prevents the ground above the vault from filling into the casket area. Have you been to a old cemetery and seen the headstones leaning? That's what a vault is for. A burial liner is similar, but usually only prevents the soil above from filling around
    the casket. The use of burial vaults and liners is determined by the local cemetery owners. If it is a private or for profit owned cemetery regulations will be stricter and costlier. A city, county owned or non-profit  owned cemetery will  be a less expensive alternative.



    Pre need  funeral contracts:
    Which are basically life insurance or annuity contracts. There's not enough room here to give you all the details, but basically a contract between the consumer and a funeral home to provide funeral services for a future date. You can pay for a pre- need all at once or for a set monthly or yearly payment. It depends  on the funeral home you use. I have talked with a few pre-need sales people for information. And they say the money is put into a separate insurance company, (some in state and some out of state) that goes into a fund that will get interest off low risk stocks or bonds. This interest should cover the rising cost of future funeral.

          So if you buy a funeral pre need for $10,000, and it will cost you $15,000 by the time you die, your pre need  should cover all funeral costs. Also if you died before paying if full your funeral after a certain amount of time you are covered. When I asked the pre need sales person about how they cover their losses when people die but have not paid in full on their pre needs, they said that customers who do not have pre-need funeral plans wind up paying more because the losses are built into the funeral home prices.

     You should  also be aware of some  insurance clauses.

    1. If you decide to cancel or stop paying the contract or cannot pay the month payment,(example, loss of job) you can loose up to 25% of the funeral plan.
     2. You will not get full benefits from the pre-need until you have payed into it for a few years or more depending on your age, and health status.
    3. Your really need to read the pre-need contract carefully. They can be written to exclude, deny, or pay reduced benefits for any number of reasons. Example a guaranteed price plan verses a non guaranteed price plan. People have bought pre-need funeral plans only to find out at the time of a funeral, that the pre-need will only pay a portion of the total funeral cost.

     Here is an actual example of a  husband and wife couple who bought a pre-need policy:
     2 each $7000 funeral plans. Total $14,000, monthly payment $230. Number of years 10. Total cost $27,600. Had they put the money in a bank or credit union they would have had $14,000 in only 5 years, and saved $13,600. Plus leaving the money in an FDIC insured account would have given them interest that could be used to offset the rising cost of a funeral.   


    A better way to do it (and save money) is to put money in a P.O.D (Payable On Death)  or Totten  account with your bank or credit union (which is insured) with the name of the person on the account who will be overseeing your funeral. The money in this type of account can only be used for a funeral. Pre-need funeral plans across the country have been abused to the tune of 450 to 600 million dollars. There is very little federal or state control on these funeral plans. Check these links out. Or Google  underfunded funeral plans
    New 6/2014   http://asuonline.info/r-i-p-off/
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/worry-replaces-security-of-prepaid-funeral-plans-o06sgqf-169928096.html

    http://www.funerals.org/newsandblogsmenu/blogdailydirge/201-npspreneed 
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704513104575256613550131600.html 

    Here is a article from money expert Dave Ramsey, who say's that prepay funeral plans are not a smart idea.
    http://www.daveramsey.com/index.cfm?event=askdave/&intContentItemId=10041
    http://www.daveramsey.com/index.cfm?event=askdave/&intContentItemId=127737

    Utah pre-need summary by AARP


    •  

    Funeral Hearse cost saving ideas.



    There are other options for transporting a casket other than the funeral home if you are looking to save money on funeral costs. In the past families who purchased a casket from me would transport the casket and body in the back of a van, station wagon, or truck. But one family had a great idea, and you can use it too. They originally wanted to use a Funeral Hearse to transport the casket.
    The distance from the funeral home to the cemetery, was under 2 miles. The cost was $1400.00. They needed to save money, and their idea was to rent a mini van with the stow and go fold down seats, and transport the casket without the use of the funeral home. Total cost... $55.00 for a 24 hour rental.
     
     
    There is not too much difference between the two vehicles... except for the cost to rent. A $1345.00 difference.
    •  

    A few odds and ends
    I have had a few customers tell me that the funeral home they will be using cannot use a 3rd party casket from another company other than the ones they sell because of a insurance liability problem. This is not true. The FTC is clear on this. They cannot refuse you using a casket from a 3rd party. If this has happened to you. Find another funeral home and  file a complaint with state consumer board.
    •  
    Obituarys
    Putting a obituary in the local paper or papers can be very expensive. You are not required by law to do one. You can save money by having a obituary placed at one or more of the internet social media sites, such as Facebook  by family members. Be aware to limit information about surviving family members, because just like in the paper... people will know that you will not be home because of a funeral and could burglarize your home. 
    Here is a free online obituary service.
    http://obitsutah.pcobits.com/index.php  
    •  
    Package deals:
    These are  funeral services  that are bundled together to supposedly save you money... if you buy a casket from the funeral home.  They range from $295.00 to $700.00. These packages are a result of 3rd party casket makers (including me) that are cutting into the profits of funeral homes. It might look like your saving money when you use a Funeral home package deal, but take your time and add up the numbers before committing to buy.  I have never seen a package plan that is cheaper than using one of my caskets. There are plenty of funeral homes who do not have this add on charge.

    Imported Caskets

    One more item you should know is that the funeral market is getting flooded by cheaper caskets imported into this country. Just Google Chinese caskets. There are imported caskets being advertised as walnut or cherry, but that is only means the finish on the casket. Walnut and cherry only grow in North America, not China. My caskets are made right here in Utah using American  pine wood.
    •    

    The least expensive funeral options
     I have been asked "What's the least expensive funeral option?" many times. And that depends on how much you are willing to do yourself. But basically they are:
    1. Home funeral.
    2. Simple cremation.
    3. Direct burial.
    5. Forwarding of remains. (1)
    6. Conventional funeral. Cremation/burial.

    1. Forwarding of remains. This is where you have the funeral home prepare the deceased, put them in a casket, and you take care of the rest, which is transportation to a viewing and or cemetery.  In Utah state laws allow you to act as the funeral director of your deceased if you want to. 
    What I have done for family members funerals  is to do a direct burial then have a memorial service at our church. Basically  a reversal of  the  conventional (memorial  service then burial) funeral service. The difference was the cost, which was  about $4500.00 including the cemetery costs.

     Why Pine??
    I have been asked. Why make caskets out of pine? I can make a casket out of any wood species, but I prefer pine. I like to sort through, and use pine wood that has knots, defects,  small splits, fungus stains and other defects to use in certain decorative  areas on my caskets. I think it's  a symbolic  thing.  I like to think that the so called defects in the wood actually become something beautiful once they are sanded and finished. It's sort of like people, we judge them on the outside, when in fact their true beauty is on the inside. So a person even though he or she had faults is still beautiful... we just have to look to find their true inner beauty. 

    Traditional or conventional funeral service.
    What is the difference?? 
     When a funeral home uses the word tradition, for a funeral service, what comes to your mind?  Well I guess funerals have always been done this way, you might say.  For thousands of years families have taken care of their dead. Up until the early part of the last century, if there was a death.  The family would prepare the deceased. Someone in the local area would build a casket. Some of the women would help the family with the preparation of the body.  A few men from the local church would dig the grave.  And everyone would come from around the area to the home  where the deceased lived, to pay there respects.  That was a traditional funeral.  What our funeral industry does today is a conventional funeral. The two are totally different.  And priced a lot differently.

    All's fair in love and war and business.
    When I first got into this business. I naively thought that I would help funeral homes with the people who could not afford a funeral. My inexpensive caskets and the funeral home would help the family with the items they needed for a simple inexpensively as possible funeral. What I learned in that first year was not what the funeral industry would want you to believe. Funeral homes wanted to hold on to every last penny. Some so called upstanding funeral homes have tried a lot of different unethical tactics to talk customers out of using a casket from someone other than them. I have become a little cynical with  some funeral homes. There are those who I trust, and I know they will what's right. But there are those who I do not trust. 

    So if you are in a funeral home discussing a funeral and you might want to use one of my caskets, or one from someone other than the funeral home  And remarks are made concerning the quality of a third party casket, or you are being pressured into the funeral home's casket. Talk to me not just a funeral director.  Get the full story not just from one side, then you decide for yourself. Remember you decide what type of the funeral to have, not the funeral director.