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.
About Cubic Yards
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:
- Fill dirt
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:
- Convert the dimension in inches to feet (6 inches ÷ 12 inches = 0.5 feet)
- Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic feet (0.5 feet x 12 feet 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 cubic yards).
Now, let’s convert all three dimensions to yards. Here’s how to do this:
- Convert the dimension in inches to yards (6 inches ÷ 36 inches = 0.167 yards)
- Convert the dimensions in feet to yards (12 feet ÷ 3 = 4 yards)
- 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!
awesome so easy , thank you
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.
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
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.
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?
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
I should have payed better attention in school.thanks for making my project easier
Very informative and much appreciated
Thank You This Will Be Printed And Placed In My Cheat Sheet Folder Again Thank You
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…
Well explained, great samples.
And if math is not your thing, just use the calculator provided.
how much pit-run gravel to fill a hole 14in x15 in x 72 in
THANKS I LIKE IT
Simple and straightforward,
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
Thanks for the crash course – You make it simple and easy to understand.
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.
Glad to hear you found our cubic yard calculator useful. Thanks for the feedback!
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
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.
Great. Easy to use and fast thanks for the support
Does this calculation for cubic yards take into a count that the gravel will be compacted?
Our cubic yard calculator measures the volume of the material as delivered. If you compact it, you would probably need more.
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!!!!!
How many yards of sand will it take to fill a horseshoe pit 9x9x6
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.
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?
This was so easy to use and I thank you very much!
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?
How to calculate for a trench that is 12″ in width 18″ in depth and 21′ long
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”.
Wow, the calculator really saved me a lot of time. Thanks!
If you have 220 sq Yds x 12″ deep, how many cubic yards is that?
It would be 72.6 cubic yards (220 x 0.33 = 72.6).
Thanks for the info, sure came in handy. I’m saving the calculator, gonna make me look smart for my son. lol.
WOW, how easy was that. I sure could not come up with the right amount. Thank You
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?
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
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.
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?
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!!
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).
Please ignore the above post, I figured out the math. Thank you.
Very helpful I can never remember the formulas. Thank you
Just what I needed for a new Driveway costing exercise.
Thank you. I’ll keep it in my “Favourites” File
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
Building a raised garden for my son. Need to figure out cubic yards for fill dirt!!!!! Thanks
The calculator does not work? When you hit calculate.
We’ll get it fixed as soon as we can. Thanks for letting us know!
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.
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?
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).
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
how can i calculate in millimeter all of the measure of the house L 16.5m W 9m thickness is 500 mm
Thank you for the calculator. It saved me a lot of brain pain trying to calculate gravel for my driveway!
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?
thank you in Advance
6divided by 12 is not 0.5!
Cheryl, 12 divided by 6 is 2.
6 divided by 12 is .5.
Infotrmative Love it . I would like to know how much material do you need for a cubic yard of concrete thanks
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.
very helpful calculator==Thanks
You guys are awesome!
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
Benjamin, converting 4 inches to feet would be .3333…, not .35. I think that’s where the discrepancy is. Hope that helps.
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.
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?
Thank you this worked out perfect .
I calculated my requirements and was not sure if I was right
Then used your calculator. it was spot on
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?
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!
Thanks for reading, and please, tell your friends. 🙂
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!
Ok just wanted to say that this is my first time on your site and it is helpful to me…. Keep the good work.
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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.
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.
We don’t sell construction products, but we encourage checking your local home center for these materials.
I have a playground area That is 20 feet wide by 33 feet long I want to buy rubber playground chips to fillet a depth of 2 inches how many cubic yards what I need?
Our Cubic Yard Calculator is the best tool for calculating this job.
Here’s the link: https://www.todayshomeowner.com/cubic-yard-calculator/
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
I’m using the calculator on a cell phone, and it’s not showing the result. The page isn’t functioning for me.
Thanks for letting us know about this issue.
We’re looking into the matter and working to fix it.
Our calculators are working again.
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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.
We get comments every day from fans who just want the calculation (without the *calculating*)
Our online calculator lets those folks punch in their specs and get an instant measurement. 🙂
Thank you, you have made it easy for to figure how much gravel that i need it.
Glad to hear you enjoyed this content! Please share it with friends — that’s how we’re able to create similar content.
I am using your calculator on my phone and it is not showing results.
Hi, Farheen. We’re looking into this. Thanks for letting us know!