If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Our frequently-asked-questions are broken into five helpful categories to assist you. Why wonder when you can find out and get started?


    What if I don’t need a ton of material? Do you have a minimum purchase requirement?

    There is no minimum quantity required for purchase. If you need a small amount of material, we will bag it in 1/2 CF bags. Our 1/2 CF bags are ideal for container gardening, potted-plants, and more. *Quick Tip: Call ahead to have your bags ready when you arrive!

    Do you carry the same material at all your locations?

    All stores carry the most popular products but if you don't see what you're looking for, give us a call. If you want something specific, we can always order it for you.

    What does the “minus” mean when you see a product size like 3/8″-?

    When you see a product with a minus (3/8"-), it means that the rock ranges from 3/8" down to smaller particles and sand. If you want crushed rock with fewer small pieces, request the screened 3/8" rock.

    Do you ever have clearance items or sales?

    Yes, we have both. Sales and clearance items are store-specific and are posted monthly on our Promotions page. We also recommend signing up for our monthly email newsletter and following us on social media to make sure you don't miss out on the savings!

    I just got a quote for 25 tons of material; is that what I’m being charged for?

    When ordering bulk material, the exact weight is not known until the truck is loaded and weighed out. We try to load the exact amount of material requested but often times there is a small variance. The exact weight is then revised on your order and you are charged accordingly.

    Do you guarantee your products?

    Because natural stone is a product of nature, we include the following disclaimer on all sales: All stone is a product of nature and cannot be guaranteed for color, shape, uniformity, or tendency to fracture. The variation of color, shape, and texture is inherent to and an integral part of the characteristics of natural stone. Installers should be aware of and discard any irregular or abnormal piece that might be present prior to installation.

    Can I pick the material I want by hand?

    Yes! Please visit one of our seven Southern California locations to hand-select your stone. Our sales specialists will help you tag material for delivery and answer all of your questions.


    What decisions do I need to make before buying flagstone?

    Options include color, type of pieces (patio or select), thickness (¾” up to 4”), and texture (smooth, rippled, clefted, tumbled). You should also consider the application of the rock (pool, patio, walkway) and water exposure (quartz vs. sandstone).

    What is the difference between “Patio” and “Select” when determining the size of Flagstone?

    Patio indicates smaller diameter “stepping stone” type pieces while Select or Stand-Up indicates larger pieces. Select pieces are generally more expensive because they are harder to produce. It’s more difficult to split a large piece of stone without breaking it into smaller pieces.

    When do I need to use thin pieces of flagstone rather than thicker pieces?

    Use the thinner flagstone when you have an existing subsurface like a concrete floor or a CMU block wall. Use thicker pieces when you dry-set or sand-set flagstone over dirt.

Decomposed Granite

    How much DG do I need? How deep should my DG pathway be? What about for a driveway?

    The industry norm for DG coverage is about one ton for every 100 square feet at a 2" depth, compacted. We recommend installing 2" depth of DG for pathways and 4" for driveways. Check out our Step-by-Step Decomposed Granite Installation Guide for more info.

    How can I stabilize my pathway?

    If you want a more structured surface for your pathway or backyard, you can add a soil binder to the DG. We carry both an organic powdered binder and an inorganic liquid binder. Both options will stabilize your DG when wetted and compacted. For best results, we recommend using a licensed contractor for any large installations.

    What is the difference between DG and stabilized DG?

    Decomposed Granite or "DG" is a combination of 3/8" granite pieces and granite fines. The fines in the DG make the material well suited for ground cover, pathways, and driveways. Stabilized DG includes a stabilizing agent that prevents the material from moving. Stabilized DG provides a harder surface that is perfect for high traffic areas.

    Can I get DG in other colors than brown?

    Southwest Boulder carries more than 15 different colors of decomposed granite. Visit our Decomposed Granite product section for color options and availability. Once you have chosen a few favorites, visit any of our landscape superstores for free samples and pricing.

Stone Veneer

    What is the difference between Natural Thin Veneer and Manufactured Stone?

    When deciding whether to use Natural Thin Veneer (NTV) or Manufactured stone, consider material cost, installation cost, finished look and longevity.

    Natural Thin Veneer was introduced as an alternative to the heavier natural four-inch thick full bed-depth building stone. The lighter manufactured stone was easier to install than full-bed depth stone veneer, and thus the natural stone market was compelled to produce a lighter similar product through the sawing of natural stone.

    Manufactured stone is comprised of concrete molded into patterns and then colored like real stone, and suppliers assert that their product is superior in color consistency, availability, and ease of installation. This is true of higher-end manufactured stone, which more closely resembles natural stone, but it is similar in price to real stone. Installation procedures and costs are roughly the same for both products. However, because it is actual stone, both color and longevity of NTV are unequaled by manufactured stone.

    You offer a variety of veneer stone patterns. What is the difference between Ashlar, Ledge, Fieldstone and Rubble?

    Ashlar (Block): Ashlar-shaped stones are roughly square and rectangular in shape. Ashlar-shaped stone can be installed as a dry-stack, with standard mortar joints or overgrouted mortar joints.

    Ledge: Ledge stones are generally wider than they are high. Ledge stones can be installed as a dry-stack, standard mortar joint or an overgrouted mortar joint.

    Fieldstone: Fieldstone is a random mix of differently shaped stones and sizes. Fieldstone is usually installed with a standard mortar joint but can be installed with an overgrouted mortar joint too.

    Rubble: Rubble is an irregular stone often with some randomly shaped intermixed “jumpers”. Rubble can be installed with a standard mortar joint but can also be installed with an overgrouted mortar joint too.

Construction Rock & Sand

    You offer a variety of sands. What is the difference between concrete sand, plaster sand, fill and infill sand?

    Concrete Sand is a coarse sand with larger particles. This type of sand is typically used in concrete but can also be used as pipe sand or as a base layer and leveling medium for above ground pools, and patios or walkways made of concrete paving stones.

    Plaster Sand is a finer grade sand with smaller particles. It’s often mixed with water and cement to make mortar for laying bricks/blocks. It can be used in cement, particularly for projects like swimming pools and concrete paving stones where the finer grain gives a more finished appearance. Its finer texture also makes it an acceptable replacement for beach sand in applications like sand volleyball courts.

    Fill Sand is a non-processed sand. Product size ranges from occasional 2" rock down to 15% silt and clay. This product is excellent for fill under slabs, fill behind retaining walls and trench fill applications that do not require any particular particle size gradation.

    Infill Sand is used in artificial grass as a stable base to hold the blades upright and to retain a springy feeling. Typically colored green, it is spread between one-eighth and one-quarter inch deep within the grass blades, and allows the artificial turf to remain functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Packaging & Delivery

    What if I have a long driveway; will you put the material where I want it?

    We are more than happy to accommodate any special requests discussed before delivery. Each delivery includes 15 minutes of offload time. Customers must sign a Release of Liability Form if the delivery is on private property.

    Is there a minimum order for delivery?

    There is no minimum order required for delivery. We do recommend planning ahead for your project needs so you can save on delivery costs.

    What types of trucks do you use for delivery?

    Southwest Boulder has a fleet of trucks and cranes used for delivery. Check out our delivery options for more details on our fleet.

    What is the difference between crane offload and crane placement?

    Crane offload includes offloading the boulders in one area while crane placement includes the placement of each boulder.  These services do not include delivery.

    What if I live in a gated community?

    When delivering to a gated community, we ask that you inform the gate keeper before arrival. Any standby time accrued while waiting for gate access is the customer's responsibility.

    What if I need to cancel my scheduled delivery the day before?

    Deliveries canceled within 24 hours of the scheduled delivery date will lose the initial 25% deposit.

    Do you install the product when it gets delivered?

    Southwest Boulder is a landscape rock and supply retailer. We do not offer landscape installation but can recommend landscape professionals based on your project needs. *Please note, Southwest Boulder & Stone is not affiliated or aligned with any landscape contractors.

    When will my delivery take place?

    Once an order is complete, our Dispatch Department will call to schedule the delivery. Delivery of in-stock products generally occurs within 3-5 days. Delivery of Special Order products vary. Our sales staff can provide lead times on all items.

Landscape Boulders

    If I am ordering large boulders, will you place the boulders where I want them?

    Boulder placement is available dependent upon crane access. Crane placement is charged at an hourly rate with a 2-hr minimum. Our friendly sales staff will guide you through this process and answer any questions you may have.