Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Cubic Yard Calculator


Pouring concrete for a slab

A cubic yard is the volume of material which fits in a space one yard wide by one yard deep by one yard high. Cubic yards are used to measure materials ranging from concrete to mulch for your garden.

Common materials that are measured in cubic yards include:

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

To determine the amount of materials you need in cubic yards, you must first convert all three dimensions to the same unit of measurement. There are:

  • 27 cubic feet in one cubic yard (3’ x 3’ x 3’)
  • 46,656 cubic inches in one cubic yard (36” x 36” x 36”)

For example, to find the amount of concrete needed for a slab 6” thick by 12’ long by 12’ wide:

  1. Convert the dimension in inches to feet (6” ÷ 12” = 0.5’)
  2. Multiply the three dimensions together to find the number of cubic feet (0.5’ x 12’ 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 cu. yd.).

You can find the same result by converting all three dimensions to yards by:

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

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

Cubic Yard Calculator
Length of area in feet
Width of area in feet
Height of area in inches

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44 Comments on “Cubic Yard Calculator”

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  1. robert cap Says:
    October 19th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    awesome so easy , thank you

  2. John Says:
    September 11th, 2014 at 10:19 am

    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.

  3. Thomas Rench Says:
    October 17th, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    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

  4. Ralph Says:
    November 2nd, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    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.

  5. Irene Lackey Says:
    November 6th, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    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?

  6. Myles Says:
    November 26th, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    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

  7. Fatkid Says:
    December 16th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I should have payed better attention in school.thanks for making my project easier

  8. Steven R. Marshall Says:
    January 5th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Very informative and much appreciated

    Thank you!

  9. Doug Says:
    January 7th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Thank You This Will Be Printed And Placed In My Cheat Sheet Folder Again Thank You

  10. Cosmas Okolie-Alfred Says:
    January 10th, 2015 at 10:24 am

    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…

  11. Alex Says:
    January 26th, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you!

    Well explained, great samples.

    And if math is not your thing, just use the calculator provided.

  12. charles farrel;l Says:
    February 14th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    how much pit-run gravel to fill a hole 14in x15 in x 72 in

  13. Jerry Hilbert Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 10:00 am


  14. Dan Mahoney Says:
    March 27th, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Simple and straightforward,

  15. chris Says:
    April 14th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    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

  16. Carlos Garcia Says:
    April 27th, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Thanks for the crash course – You make it simple and easy to understand.

  17. Bill Says:
    June 29th, 2015 at 1:40 am

    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.

  18. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 29th, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Hi Bill,
    Glad to hear you found our cubic yard calculator useful. Thanks for the feedback!

  19. Marcia Seehorn Says:
    June 29th, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    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

  20. LPowers Says:
    July 15th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    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.

    L Powers

  21. John Says:
    July 16th, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Great. Easy to use and fast thanks for the support

  22. Kisha Says:
    July 28th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Does this calculation for cubic yards take into a count that the gravel will be compacted?

  23. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 28th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

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

  24. Trish Horn Says:
    August 3rd, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    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!!!!!

  25. Stephanie Says:
    August 7th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    How many yards of sand will it take to fill a horseshoe pit 9x9x6

  26. Ronald Harper Says:
    August 12th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    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.

  27. RYAN Says:
    August 14th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    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?

  28. Sandy Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 9:36 am

    This was so easy to use and I thank you very much!

  29. yvonne Says:
    August 21st, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    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?

  30. Neville Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 10:55 am

    How to calculate for a trench that is 12″ in width 18″ in depth and 21′ long

  31. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    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”.

  32. Jim Saxon Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Wow, the calculator really saved me a lot of time. Thanks!

  33. Dede Says:
    August 25th, 2015 at 8:53 am

    If you have 220 sq Yds x 12″ deep, how many cubic yards is that?

  34. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 25th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    It would be 72.6 cubic yards (220 x 0.33 = 72.6).

  35. Chris Says:
    September 3rd, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for the info, sure came in handy. I’m saving the calculator, gonna make me look smart for my son. lol.

  36. Ronald Robinson Says:
    September 16th, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    WOW, how easy was that. I sure could not come up with the right amount. Thank You

  37. bruno Says:
    September 21st, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    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?

  38. Krishna Murthy Says:
    October 10th, 2015 at 2:26 am

    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

  39. Norma Moss Says:
    October 20th, 2015 at 9:30 am

    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.

  40. Wes Says:
    October 31st, 2015 at 11:12 am

    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?

  41. Mike Says:
    November 15th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    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!!

  42. Mike Says:
    November 15th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Please ignore the above post, I figured out the math. Thank you.

  43. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 15th, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    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).

  44. Don Says:
    November 25th, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Very Helpful.


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