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3668 Hicks Lane Chico * Hours: Monday- Friday 7:00am-4:00pm Saturday 8:00am-2:00pm * Shop Online 24/7 * 530 342 8028

FAQs and Tips

Stone and Landscape Material FAQ

Q: How should I install the decorative rock once I have it?

A: There are two ways that we recommend installation of your decorative rock: hire a qualified installation contractor, or do it yourself. If you need a referral for a contractor, please contact us for a referral. If you do it yourself, make sure you’re prepared with the right tools on hand.
Q: How can you stretch my budget to use expensive decorative pebbles?
Colorful pebbles and cobbles typically come in super sacks and are sold by the pound.  These materials usually are shipped over distance and cost more due to the trucking costs of moving material state to state.    SOLUTION:   Cover the area first with a 1"-2" depth foundation of less expensive local material of similar color.  This should be sized smaller than the decorative product of choice which it will  cover.  Example:  3/4" Hawaiian Sunset would go over 3/8" Deco Gold.   Or Mexican Beach Pebbles may be installed over Black Crusher Dust. 
Q: How much rock do I need?
A: Contact us and we would be happy to help you calculate.  A general rule of thumb - one cubic yard of rock will cover 120-150 square feet, at a depth of approximately 2 inches. One cubic yard = 27 cu feet. 
FORMULA:  Always convert the dimension in inches to feet (6” ÷ 12” = 0.5') Multiply the three dimensions together, (L x W x D)  to find the number of cubic feet (0.5' x 12' x 12 = 72 cubic feet) Divide the cubic feet by the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard (27) to find the number of cubic yards (72 ÷ 27 = 2.67 cu. yd.).
Short Formula: Calculate square feet- L x W  (10 x 20= 200) ; Divide sf by 150sf ( 200/ 150=1.33 cu yds.
Q: What if I need just a small quantity of gravel or soil?
A: No problem,  you can buy as little as a 5 gallon bucket.   Formula:  1 cubic ft= 7.5 gallons.  1 cubic yd = 27 cu ft.  27 cubic feet x 7.5 gallons = 202.5 gallons.    If you need 1/4 cu yd of product simply convert - 202.5 gal x 25%= 51 gallons, or 10,  5 gallon buckets.  Now we know there are 10, 5 gallon buckets in a quarter yard, or 40-1/2 buckets in a cu yd.
NOTE: coverage estimates vary by product size- the larger the material, the less coverage.
Q: Is it better to buy material by weight or cubic yard?
A: Materials sold by cubic yard are measured in a "bucket" and dumped into a truck.  The accuracy of this method is dependent on the loader, and the bucket.  Material sold by weight is measured by the actual weight of material, calculated on a certified scale.  It is what it is, EVERY time. You get the quantity you want, and you get what you pay for.
Q: What is the difference between screened, minus and washed rock?

A: The classes of rock are based around the amount of fines - dust particles, which goes through the screening process and ends up in the final product – they contain. The three most common classes are minus, screened and washed. ‘Minus’ rock can contain up to 80% fines, making it look more like a pile of dirt. ‘Screened’ rock typically contains between 20% and 40% fines. The cleanest, rock is ‘washed’ rock, which is washed through processes at the quarry or  plant.  Washed rock is typically more expensive than other material due to extra processing.
Q: What if the rock I receive is not the same color that I ordered?

A: Rock is a natural product, not manufactured with dyes, and will therefore always have color variations. It is virtually impossible to guarantee the color of a given kind of rock.   We recommend purchasing a small quantity, and taking it home to your planned area.  Wash the product and confirm your choice before ordering a large quantity.
Q: How do I keep weeds from growing in the rock?

A: There are several weed-prevention solutions available on the market today.

Landscape fabric – A fibrous black fabric may be installed as a base for the rock on the prepared ground. Porous, permeable fabric is better than any coating with a plastic.  You want the fabric to breathe and allows water to flow through it.  The are various thicknesses available, and the denser the weave the more likely it is to keep weeds from growing through.  Quality is key.

A professional may use pre- or post-emergence chemical or environmentally safe sprays. A pre-emergence solution is sprayed on bare ground, deterring seeds from germinating. It does need to be re-applied periodically depending on rain and drainage. Post-emergence sprays or solutions work as or after weeds actually appear in the landscape. This method works as long as you stay on top of it and kill the weeds or grass early and regularly.
 Q: How do I know how much flagstone material to purchase?
A: General rule of thumb for calculating quantity needed for flagstone is about 100 sf per ton.  This rule applies to 2" thick, (give or take a 1/2") lighter weight material, such as sandstone or quartz.  Heavier material as slate or argillite will get less coverage per ton.  And thinner material, as 3/4" select quartz will get more coverage.  The size of the joints (space between the stones) will also affect coverage.  Most calculations are based on a 1/2" joint.  In general you should always purchase an overage of flagstone material for your project.
Q: What is the best area in a landscape for a fountain feature?
A; Tips On Choosing a Fountain
Q: Once I choose a fountain what else do I need to set it up?
A:  What Materials Are Needed To Install My Fountain?
Q: What should I expect with a delivery to my home?
A: Be sure to take the time to think about how big the trucks are vs. the size of your gates or other entrances and also egresses. Frequently overlooked, but this is a critical part of planning any home project.  A standard or larger sized dump truck will not be able to fit through an 8 foot gate, go over grass or wet, muddy areas, under low hanging trees, or over concrete patios,  pathways, pool decking etc. Most trucking companies won’t go over residential street curbs for legal reasons. It is not unusual to sign a liability waiver stating that you take responsibility for any damage done to the curb or sidewalk or landscape, if there is no other way to get your material to its desired or required location. Typically, your rock will be delivered and dumped on the street, in a pile in front of your house. It is your responsibility to check with the city or HOA for what you may need for the duration of your project. If you live in a rural area or have a large lot and no issues with curbs, grass, trees, water mains, sprinklers etc., the delivery driver may generally accommodate you about where you want the rock.