Are you looking to remodel or rebuild your funeral home? Instead of going with a random construction company, you should find out what builders in your area specialize in funeral homes and crematories.
Oftentimes, they’ll know what your funeral home needs to be functional, modern, and one-of-a-kind.
To better understand what goes into building a funeral home, we interviewed Russ Karasch of Keystone Design Build, Inc. — a builder that specializes in funeral homes as well as dental clinics, retail centers, restaurants, multi-family housing, and general commercial construction.
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FC: What made you interested in building funeral homes?
RK: I have my B.S. in Accounting and started working for a monument company that only sold to funeral homes in the Midwest. I was there approximately 10 and a half years and got to know most of the funeral homes in the Midwest. I was then approached by a construction company about working with them on designing and constructing funeral homes, both new construction and remodels. I worked there approximately 14 and a half years and then teamed up with my business partner, Marc Kelash, to create Keystone Funeral Home Design Build, which we’ve owned for over 13 years. So, I’ve been associated with the funeral industry over 38 years and the actual construction industry much longer than that as my father was a carpenter.
FC: What are the key features you are sure to include in the funeral homes you build?
RK: Over the last 4-6 years we’ve seen an increase in merchandising rooms, community rooms, human cremation/viewing rooms, and pet cremation services that the funeral homes now provide.
FC: Have you noticed a change in funeral home designs in the past decade?
RK: The funeral homes’ designs have changed over the past few years to make rooms multifunctional, include more natural light, and easier to maneuver around in. Also, with the increase of cremation, it almost makes it a necessity to have a crematory in at least one of your locations.
FC: What else should we know about your business?
RK: One of the things about working with Keystone Funeral Home Design Build is, you’d be working with one of the owners throughout the project. With our past experience and ideas, numerous ideas could be suggested during the planning stage that would make the funeral home more functional for the funeral director’s needs. There may be ideas or suggestions that could be made even during construction and wouldn’t cost extra to make the enhancement.
Do you have a particular builder you recommend? Share them with us in the comments!