Cubic Yard Calculator — Start Here Before Purchasing Materials

Common home improvement materials, ranging from concrete in construction to mulch for your garden, are measured in cubic yards. That’s why it’s important to measure an area’s volume before making purchases for your next project. You can skip to the cubic yard calculator or keep reading to learn more.

Under the United States’ Customary System, 1 yard is equal to 3 feet or 36 inches. And a cubic yard is the volume of material that fits in a space that is 1 yard wide by 1 yard deep by 1 yard high.

This is important because quite a few common materials are measured in cubic yards — here are some of them:

• Concrete
• Gravel
• Sand
• Rock
• Fill dirt
• Topsoil
• Mulch
• Compost

Regardless of the project, you will need a cubic yard calculator to find out how much of these materials you’ll need. Determining how much pea gravel you’ll need for hardscaping, for instance, is as simple as multiplying a space’s length, width and depth. To do that, you’ll need to convert all three dimensions to the same unit of measurement.

But first, here are some things to keep in mind:

• 3 feet are in 1 yard
• 27 cubic feet are in 1 cubic yard (3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet)
• 46,656 cubic inches are in 1 cubic yard (36 inches x 36 inches x 36 inches)

Now that you understand the basics, you can skip to the cubic yard calculator, or follow along with a sample project as we put this math into action!

Pouring a Concrete Slab

So you’re sticking around? Great!

Now, let’s pretend we’re purchasing concrete to create a patio. To measure how much concrete we need for a slab 6 inches thick by 12 feet long by 12 feet wide, you’ll need to do this:

1. Convert the dimension in inches to feet (6 inches ÷ 12 inches = 0.5 feet)
2. Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic feet (0.5 feet x 12 feet x 12 = 72 cubic feet)
3. 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 cubic yards).

Now, let’s convert all three dimensions to yards. Here’s how to do this:

1. Convert the dimension in inches to yards (6 inches ÷ 36 inches = 0.167 yards)
2. Convert the dimensions in feet to yards (12 feet ÷ 3 = 4 yards)
3. Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic yards (0.167 x 4 x 4 = 2.67 cubic yards)

Or, simply type your dimensions in our handy calculator below, then click “calculate” to find the number of cubic yards.

Whether you need a gravel calculator or want measurements for concrete, sand, rock, fill dirt, topsoil, mulch or compost, this tool does it all!

Calculate It!

Cubic Yard Calculator
 Length of area in feet Width of area in feet Height of area in inches
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Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

1. Thank you. I’ve been calculating these measurements every few years. But not enough to hold the formulas in my head. Now I have to figure out the square yards of the trapazoid for this project. Thank you again.

2. I am filling 16 in. casing or Pilon with sand how do I come up with the yards of Sand I need to do this Job

3. Calculate the volume of a cylinder. It works out to 1.4 cubic feet of sand for every foot of length of the casing. A yard of sand is 27 cubic feet, divided by the 1.4 cu/ft = 19 feet of 16″ casing can be filled with a yard of sand.

4. I live in a hillside area and they are building a lot down the street from me. They expect to remove 1,735 cubic yards of earth and anticipate taking 20 full days to do so. Can anyone give me an idea of how many builder’s dump trucks will be passing by my house in total?

5. Irene I think you will need about 115 dump truck loads each one will have about 15 yards a truck if it’s a random ten wheel truck

6. Am stockpiling sand on a land That’s length is 1000 meters by 500 meters wide, and height of the sand is 30 ft. How do I calculate the amount of sand in place…

7. I’m building a flower box that is 36ft long 46in wide and 2in deep how much cubic yards would I need to fill it

8. Thanks for this tool. I have several areas around my house to fill with rock. This tool was so helpful. So glad you were able to share it.

9. My Grandson cut or trimmed my pink camelia from 9′ down to 4′. It was very healthy. Is there any thing I can do to help it live and grow or will it just replace with new limbs?? Thanks Marcia

10. I need to figure out how many cubic yards of dirt I need to order to fill in where my above ground pool was. It is 27′ round and about 3 inches deep.

Thanks,
L Powers

• Kisha,
Our cubic yard calculator measures the volume of the material as delivered. If you compact it, you would probably need more.

11. Need to fill an area behind a new retaining wall on sloped land. Leanth is 44 feet from existing level of yard to new fence. Wall is 49 feet across. Highth of wall is 5 feet. Now I failed math miserably so I have come nowhere close to figuring this out. Please help!!!!!

12. My daughter is putting up a good size playground in her back yard. Dimensions of mulch area is 30ft.x 20ft. And laying 3″ deep. How many cubic YARDS of mulch do they need and any economical suggestions for material? Thank you.

13. I calculated using your calculator it just seems to be quite more than I thought unless im doing something wrong im waterproofing my basement instead of fill it back in with dirt. im using 6a stone please help me. trench is 3 ft wide 7 ft deep and 192 ft around house. how many yards of stone will I need?

14. Building a 2508 sq. ft. home in a flood plain and need to build up 2 feet. How many cubic feet or yards would be needed for fill on this size house?

• Neville,
To figure out the cubic yards it would take to fill you trench, just put the numbers in the length, width, and height fields in the calculator, then click “calculate”.

15. I would like to know how many yards of dirt or tons 1 yard = 1 ton of material into one acre at 40 ft high, 210 long, 210 wide, at 40 ft high?

16. I would like to know the details of area diagram as my plot area is 38.7 feet width in south face, 38.2 feet in North face, 60.10 feet in East face and 61.3 feet in West face thus total area is 259 yards kindly let me know my diagram

17. I am replacing a section of patio:L ength 14.5 X W 11.5 X H 6″
Could you please calculate for me. I have but not sure how you get the cubic yards. My husband just recent passed away and the neighbors are helping just wanted to be sure on the amount of cement ordered.

18. I have a cone of gravel. We are trying to find out the tonnage in the cone. The cone circumference is 400 feet. The height is 40 feet. Our calculation for the radius is 63.7 feet (but, could be wrong). What is the volume of the cone in yards?

19. Great summary and calculator!! Thanks for the post.

I have three sections to fill with gravel:
1) 92′(L) x 3.5′(W) x 2″ (T)
2) 20′(L) x 5′(W) x 2″ (T)
3) 14′(L) x 5′(W) x 2″ (T)

If I calculate each section separately and sum of the cubic yards I get 3.03 cubic yards. If I sum up the L & W of all 3 sections then calculate the cubic yards (126’x13.5’x 2″), I get 10.5 cubic yards.

I expected to get the same total regardless of calculating each section separately or in aggregate and now not sure what the correct number is. Thanks again!!

• Mike,
You calculation of 3.03 cubic yards is correct (actually it would be closer to 3.037 cubic yards if it’s not rounded off). The calculation won’t be correct if you add all the widths together and all the lengths together and multiply the two totals because you’ll be doubling one of the dimensions. If you simplify the dimensions and draw it out on paper, you’ll see why. Say you have two 5′ x 10′ slabs. If you calculate each one separately you get 5×10=50 for each slab and 50+50=100 for both. If you added the widths together and the lengths together, then multiplied them, you’d get (5+5=10 and 10+10=20 and 10×20=200 for them both). The reason this is not correct is that when you combine the two slabs, one of the dimensions (either width or length) will adjoin the other one and cancel itself out, so you’d have either a 5′ x 20 slab or a 10’x 10′ slab, each of which equals 100 (5×20=100).

20. Just what I needed for a new Driveway costing exercise.
Thank you. I’ll keep it in my “Favourites” File

21. Thanks for the calculator! I must have been doing the math wrong earlier, because your calculator really helped me figure out how much potting soil I will need for my new garden beds.

22. I have 6 different slabs to pour, using your calculator,
1st slab= 4’x6’x4″=.29 cubic yds
2nd slab= 3’x4’x4″=.14 cubic yds
3rd slab= 4’x7’x4″=.34 cubic yds
4th slab= 3’x4’x4″=.14 cubic yds
5th slab= 3’x5’x4″=.18 cubic yds
6th slab= 3’x5’x4″=.18 cubic yds

Add all these up and I come up with 1.27 cubic yards. When I calculate all the length and width up, I come up with a different cubic yard amount. When I add the above amount of length 20x31x4″ I come up to 7.65 cubic yds. What am I doing wrong?

• Reuben,
The 1.27 cubic yard figure is correct. You can’t add the lengths and widths up when calculating cubic yards. For an explanation of why, see my comment reply above in yellow on November 15, 2015.

23. I am moving and the logistics person sent me this message:. So the height of the container/trailer is about 7’ 4” the pallet can go up to 6’8 inches and the pallets are 4’x4’x4’ perfect square. You can obtain the cubic feet by using LxWxH and divide by 1728. Let me know if you need any help calculating the sizes.

What?! Why would I divide by 1728?

24. I need to level out back yard but still keep a slope for run off. Currently back slope is 26″ in 45′. Way too much can’t keep grass growing. Yard is 150′ x 55′. I want to go with a 1″ slope every 10′ distance. I have run a string line and from one side set at 4″ to other side is 22″ ( this is 55′ wide). Wondering how many yards of top soil need to complete yard

25. Thanks for this calculator, this is exactly what we needed…
Building 8 raised bed for a garden, 8×4 each, 10″ deep= 1 cubic yard each.

Thanks agian,
C+C

26. For a free waste pickup we have old railroad ties. The requirements are 7 cubic yards per pick up. Can you please tell my how many feet long, wide and high this stack of wood should be to stay within 7 cubic yards?
Thank you

27. Thanks for the calculator. it showed me the error in my own calculations. on a 16’x4’x30. ( thought I only needed 4 cu yards. boy I was off, it also allowed me to confirm the amount of soil that was delivered was what I ordered and I wasn’t shorted).

28. We have a wall behind the tub and planning to put river rock on it . It is 6ft wide and 7 ft high . The rock comes in cubic ft ,what would i need to cover it . Thanks

29. i want to cast a slab of concrete 10 ft in lengthx 6ft in width x 3 inches thick,how much concrete it would take for that space,can you give me details on how to do the calculation on how much sand and to to buy?

30. Infotrmative Love it . I would like to know how much material do you need for a cubic yard of concrete thanks

31. Hi,
I am trying to calculate how many feet I will need to fill my front garden with mulch. We measured for the edging around 62 ft, the left side is appropriately around 12 x 15 and the right side is long and narrow at around 20 feet. I cant figure out how to measure how much mulch I would need.

32. I figured 44 feet x 20 feet x .35 (4 inches)
Your calculations are 10.86 yards of concrete
My calculations come up with 11.4 yards
Humm??????

• Benjamin, converting 4 inches to feet would be .3333…, not .35. I think that’s where the discrepancy is. Hope that helps.

33. While I use to calculate off a slide rule, the older I got these requirements alway challenge my efforts.

Great validation of my guestimate, thanks for sharing.

34. This is how I do it. Length in inches x width in inches x height in inches will give you total cubic inches. 46,656 cubic inches in a cubic yard of concrete.
Example: 137 inches long times144 inches wide times 5.5 inches high equals 108,504 cu. in.
108,504 cu.in. divided by 46,656 (1 cu. yard) equals 2.32 cubic yards needed. My question is:
How much concrete will sink into 3/8 gravel, 1/2 inch gravel or 3/4 inch gravel?

35. I calculated my requirements and was not sure if I was right
Then used your calculator. it was spot on

36. I have worked these numbers over and over. The calculator says I need 33.3 cubic yards but the reality is I need 5.55. I used another online soil calculator as well and it says 33.3, which I know is incorrect. Can anyone explain this?

37. What a great website you have here. I hope the comments are still being monitored because I’d like to say THANKS! I’ve used “Today’s Homer” tips for years, and it’s been a great help. Thanks again and God Bless!

• Glad to hear you’re enjoying our website, Randall!

38. truck holds 30 cubic yards it is 65% filled. what is the formula to figure out how many cubic yards the truck is holding.

i hate being a dummy, THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

39. I have done this over and over, now I would like someone else’s answer to make sure mine is correct.
My Back Yard: East to West: 19 yards
South to North: 11 yards, 1 foot

Subtract Patio: East to West: 9 yards
South to North: 5 yards
Overseed with seed at the rate of 6-8 lbs of seed per 1000 sq. ft

How much seed do I need? I don’t trust my brain enough for this and I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily. I would really appreciate your help. This information is just what I’ve been looking for.

40. how much marble rock will I need to put around 18′ above ground pool
with edge wide of 24″ to fill around the pool? and how much is your price per cubic yard ? thank you.

• Hi, Nellie!
We don’t sell construction products, but we encourage checking your local home center for these materials.
Good luck!

41. My Gosh, your explanation is so hard to follow. Here’s the easy version:
L = length; W = width; T= height in inches; CF = cubic feet; CY = cubic yards.

L x W x T / 12 = CF
CF / 27 = CY

42. I’m using the calculator on a cell phone, and it’s not showing the result. The page isn’t functioning for me.

Length 135′

Width 1′

Height 1′

• Hi, Robert,
We’re looking into the matter and working to fix it.

• Hi, Robert,
Our calculators are working again.
You may need to clear your browser’s cache to restore functionality.
Thanks for reporting this issue!

43. Why make this so difficult? I measure L X W & divide it by 80 for a 4″ thick concrete, for the Cubic Yards of Ready-Mix I order.