If you have ever planned a funeral or been part of the planning committee for a funeral home, you probably already know that all funerals are costly affairs, not forgetting the stress of experiencing a hard time from the loss. Other than the funeral services themselves, the coffin is even more expensive. Although the cost of caskets and the rest of the funeral services is high, holding a memorial or service at a funeral home for your loved ones and family members is always a priority.
This is why it's essential to know the kinds of caskets and coffins you can get in the market. The more options you have, the easier it is to find something that suits your budget. This article will discuss the pine box casket, what it is, why it is a good choice, and even answer a few FAQs at the end. So, continue reading.
What is a pine casket?
If you're going for a casket or a coffin that is both affordable and traditional, a pine box casket is probably one of your best option. As the name suggests, these caskets are made from pine trees. Pine boxes are usually made with lids that come in two pieces which are joined using industrial glue.
Many people consider getting a casket made from pine is because they are often less pricy than traditional coffins; they are eco-friendly and even have some religious significance. The best part is that you can get a pine urn as well.
In most cases, these caskets are also unfinished, which means there are no decorations and varnish, thereby cutting the cost of making the casket in the first place. One of the main reasons pine cone coffins are less than regular price coffins is the abundance in which you find the raw materials.
Unlike traditional coffins, typically made out of hardwood, pine cone coffins are lightweight and soft. If you want, you can add extra features like rope handles, exteriors, linings, and coatings.
Types of wooden caskets
Softwood Coffin: Pinewood coffins fall under this category. Under softwood coffins, you'll find that most of the caskets are made of evergreen trees and conifer trees. It is called a softwood casket or urn because the wood it is made from makes it much lighter and even softer than some other wooden coffins.
Hardwood Coffin: Almost all flowering trees are used in the making of hardwood coffins and urns. The most common trees for making these kinds of coffins are maple, walnut, and oak. As the name suggests, they are heavy and hard, which means they are usually sturdier than softwood coffins.
Why Choose A Pine Casket?
There are many reasons why some people consider getting a pine wood casket for funerals. Here are some of the top reasons why:
The numbers are pretty high, according to the green burial council of the USA, for the consumption of steel and hardwood by cemeteries every year. This degrades the environment because these more traditional burials produce 250 pounds of carbon.
But if you consider getting a green burial like that with a pine box, you only reduce the carbon emission to 25 pounds. Also, even manufacturing pine boxes does not consume as many resources as traditional hardwood caskets, so it is a very sustainable alternative.
Low-budget: As we have already mentioned before, coffins are expensive, so if budgeting is one of your concerns, pine wood coffins could be a best bet to cut cost.
In general, pine boxes' costs start at around 800 dollars. It might sound like a lot of money, but if you compare that with conventional coffins, you might end up paying a regular price of at least 1300-2500 dollars at casket retailers, and the funeral home's prices usually about twice higher.
However, even if you get a pine box casket but decide to add a few furnishings like linings and bedding to the coffin, you might end up paying a little more but not more than what you might pay for steel or a hardwood casket.
Simple Design: If you value minimalism, pine wood caskets are the best because making these kinds of caskets does not involve too much attention to the appearance. Instead, it is economical and very minimalist.
Cremation: If you're planning on a cremation, pine box coffins are good option as well because they are both inexpensive and can be used for the cremation in most of the cases. The cremation caskets are different from the traditional burial caskets, since they are fully combustible.
Things To Consider Before Getting a Pine Wood Coffin
Wake or Viewing: Pine caskets are probably not the best option if you plan on having a wake or a viewing. They are typically simple and basic, so perhaps, it's not the best for a showing. Unless you plan on getting one and then line it with linens and pillows or painting the outside, it is quite a plain-looking casket.
Staining The Wood: If you have bought a raw pine box with the idea that you want to stain it yourself, it might get a little frustrating. You must remember that woods like pine soak up all the color so that it might get a little blotchy and patchy. Because of this, many expert woodworkers will advise against staining the wood. Instead, it is better to use a clear finish that gives it a clean and sophisticated look.
Customization: Remember that a pine box casket usually costs less than traditional coffins because it does not have as many accessories. So unless you're sure you want a casket that's as simple as it gets, so basically a box, you shouldn't get a pine box. You can still get a pine box and customize it however you want, but this will increase the price of the casket.
Where Can You Buy Them?
If you're considering buying a pine box, there are many sources from which you can buy one. Here are a few options you can consider:
Funeral Homes: A few of them will have pine boxes in storage if their clients ask for them. So even if you don't find them displaying the pine boxes specifically, you can always ask them if they have them.
Online Caskets Retailers: These days you can find almost anything online. Go to your search engine and look for a caskets websites selling funeral accessories, specifically pine boxes. You can find a wide variety of different coffins in these shops. They usually have almost everything you need. Even if they don't at the time, you can place an order, and they will procure it for you. Some of these shops even have in-house woodworkers who will make the box for you.
Woodworkers: You can commission your local woodworkers for a pine box if that is more accessible for you. This is always a good option if you plan on having your casket customized or personalized. You also have more freedom to choose your design and budget your costs for the funeral.
Do It Yourself: Even if this is a very unconventional method of procuring a casket for yourself, you can always take up the project to make one in your backyard or shed. If you're a woodworker or an enthusiast in work works and have all the materials required to make one, why not try?
How to customize a pine box?
Paint it:You can commission an artist to paint something on the casket that resembles the beliefs and values of your loved one. For example, if they were a very active environmentalist, you can paint something that resembles nature on the casket.
- Stick pictures and stickers:You can add old pictures and stickers that remind you of your loved one on the casket. You can even stick military emblems on the box if applicable.
Engrave the name of your loved one: Engraving the name or the initials of your loved ones on the side of the casket is an excellent way to honor the life of the deceased family member in a personalized way.
Let guests write notes: If you're having a wake or a memorial, you can have the family members and friends of the deceased come up and write or draw some things on the casket before burial or cremation.
Can I Use Unfinished Pine Boxes As Casket?
Yes, you can use it as a casket. If you want to add your personal touches to the casket, it's always better to purchase an unfinished one so you can design it however you want.
After buying an unfinished pine box, you can always experiment with different colors and finishes in case you want a pop of color. Even if you don't add color, a simple, clear finish or varnish looks excellent on a pine box.
Do All Funeral Homes Offer Pine Coffins?
Although you can buy a casket from a funeral home, they will unlikely put pine boxes on display for sale. However, you can always ask them for pine boxes specifically. They might have it shoved in the back of their storage. Sometimes, they might also offer to arrange your choice of casket for you even if they don't sell it in-house.
What Kind Of Caskets Are Funeral Home-Approved?
A funeral home will accept almost all kinds of coffins. Usually, in the USA, the only real restriction that most cemeteries have is on the sizes of the coffins. This is so that the plot of land is not disturbed. Other than this, restrictions are very subjective to different cemeteries and crematoriums.