Cubic Yard Calculator — Start Here Before Purchasing Materials

Construction worker measuring cubic yards for pea gravel
Whether you’re pouring a concrete slab or adding gravel to a project, you’ll need to calculate the space’s cubic yards before purchasing construction materials. (DepositPhotos)

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. 

About Cubic Yards

Under the United States’ Customary System, 1 yard is equal to 3 feet or 26 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

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