The word "casket" means any type of receptacle which is used to contain and transport a dead body. In the US and NZ the word typically refers to a rectangular casket, while the word "coffin" refers to the 6-sided style of casket which we are all very familiar with. The tapered shape has no particular advantage over a rectangular casket - it simply used less material so was less expensive to make - and over time this shape has become traditional.
I am based in Stokes Valley, Lower Hutt, about 20km north of Wellington. I have a small range of caskets (rectangular) and coffins (traditional shape) which I can usually supply at short notice. Please see the table below for photos and pricing information. My standard casket measures roughly 190cm x 60cm x 35cm (big enough for an average person up to 6' tall) but can be made larger or smaller to suit. All of my caskets are suitable for either burial or cremation. I make a lot of my caskets out of recycled materials - usually pallet wood and cover sheets of either thin ply or thin MDF. I also use sandwich board which is as strong and light as plywood. Sourcing these materials and preparing them for use is time consuming but it means they have truly reached the end of their lifespan and not gone to landfill.
You can order by calling Frances on 022 561 5620 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you an invoice and once your payment is received your casket or coffin will either be shipped that day via Peter Baker Transport, or can be picked up from Stokes Valley in Lower Hutt at no cost. (The 6-sided coffins can also be picked up from Wanganui). Freight costs are additional to the cost of the casket and will vary depending on where you are in NZ. In most cases next business day delivery can be arranged for most of New Zealand from Auckland to Christchurch for less than $100. Delivery can be made either to a Peter Baker Transport depot near you (which is quickest and cheapest) or to a residential address.
I am considering making a "DIY casket kit" which will allow you to build your own casket by simply going to a hardware store and getting them to cut ply panels to the correct size for you, which you can then assemble yourself using the pre-made corners, screws and battens which I will supply. I expect to sell this kit for about $100 so if you would be interested in this, please contact me on 022 561 5620. The corners are shown in the top picture below. I will also soon be providing plans for those people who wish to do everything themselves. There are also plenty of free casket plans to be found online.
Direct to Cremation Casket
This casket is made from untreated recycled pallets and has a very solid base with thinner ply or MDF walls reinforced with battens, and a thin ply or mdf lid. It is relatively lightweight at 25kg. It will have slight imperfections so is ideal if the person is going straight to cremation or burial and any gathering is small and informal. The handles at each end are for ease of handling the casket itself and are not designed to carry a bodyweight. Side rails which are strong enough to carry a body can be added for $100.
Price $395 or $495 with side rails
Flatpack Casket with 6 rope handles
This casket is made from brand new plywood. It can easily be decorated and written on if people wish to leave messages on it. Detailed assembly instructions are provided along with screws, but you will need to provide your own PVA glue.
Price $395 or $450 assembled
Traditional Coffin with 6 wooden handles
This traditionally shaped coffin is very solidly built, to a design which has been in use for the last 20 years. It is suitable for both cremation and burial and can be decorated if desired. It weighs 45kg on its own so make sure you have some strong lads on hand when you move it.
Price $700, or $850 primed and painted gloss white
Artistic Bespoke Caskets
I make these caskets individually out of whatever recycled materials I have to hand. For that reason they are different every time. I aim to provide a truly beautiful personalised casket which celebrates the individuality of the deceased person. Handles of various kinds can be built in and decoration can be anything, from plain colours with silver or gold trim to totally unique hand painted designs - if you have an idea please contact me on 022 561 5620 and I'll see if I can make it for you.
Price range $500 - $1200