What You Need to Know About Cubic Yard Calculations

Imagine a box that is 1 yard high, 1 yard wide, and 1 yard deep. Now imagine that the space inside is filled with liquid. Right now, you are imagining the exact measurement of one cubic yard, it is the volume. Essentially, you can remember a cubic yard as a cube that measures 1 yard in all directions. If you are doing any sort of construction work, such as carpentry, masonry, or remodeling, it is important to understand how to measure cubic yards accurately.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about cubic yard calculations, starting with common materials that are typically measured with this system.

Indianapolis Handyman and Remodeling Services 317-454-3612
Indianapolis Handyman and Remodeling Services 317-454-3612

A cubic yard is the volume of space or mass that fits inside a space that measures one yard wide, by one yard deep, by one yard high. Cubic yards are used frequently to measure all sorts of materials. Some of the most common materials and projects measured in cubic yards include concrete, mulch, soil, compost, gardens, patios, pools, parking lots, and more.

Measuring in Cubic Yards

In order to properly measure your needed materials in cubic yards, all dimensions must be converted into the same measurements first. Here are the basic increments you need to know to do this correctly:

1 Cubic Yard = 27 Cubic Feet (3’ x 3’ x 3’)

1 Cubic Yard = 46,656 Cubic Inches (36” x 36” x 36”)

As an example of how to apply this math, imagine that you are on the market for enough concrete to fill a slab that is 6 inches thick, 12 feet long, and 12 feet wide.

In order to calculate how much concrete material you will need, you must first convert everything to a common dimension. In this case, feet would work best. This means that 6 inches would convert to ½ a foot, or 0.5 feet, and the rest would stay the same.

Then you would simply multiply all three values together to find the number of cubic feet, like this:

0.5 x 12 x 12 = 72 Cubic Feet

Continue by dividing the answer to the above equation (72 cu. ft.) by the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard (27 feet) to get the right amount of material you need in cubic yards, like this:

72 ÷ 27 = 2.67 Cubic Yards

SOLUTION: You’ll need 2.67 Cubic Yards of concrete to fill your slab!

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