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How to Calculate Cubic Yards for Concrete

How to Calculate Cubic Yards for Concrete

The amount of concrete required for construction is measured in cubic yards. Read on to know the simple steps on how to calculate cubic yards for concrete...
Mayuri Kulkarni
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
The rectangle of land stares at you, mocking your inability to gauge its depths. It needs filling, for your dream house is underway. What vexes you, however, is the exact amount of concrete required. You may require concrete for the slab/ foundation of your house, or some additional construction like building a backyard patio or a driveway stall. Don't lose heart, no matter what you need to build, it is easy to calculate the cubic yards of concrete required. All you need is the proper measurement of the area to be constructed and some quick calculations.

What is a Cubic Yard?
Cubic yard is a volumetric measurement unit, and the concrete required for construction is measured in cubic yards. One yard is equivalent to 3 feet. Thus, we can formulate the relation between cubic yard and cubic feet as,

1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet (1 yard = 3 feet)

Steps in Calculation

The steps required for calculating cubic yards for concrete are as follows:

➤ Mark the space that is to be filled by concrete and divide it into smaller shapes if the area is too big.
➤ Calculate the volume of total area by applying the appropriate formula.
➤ Convert the volume into cubic yards of concrete needed.

Step #1

The height of the concrete poured is usually between 4 to 6 inches. Convert the inches into feet. The formula used is as follows,

➤ 1 foot = 12 inches

4 inches = 4/12 = 0.333 feet
6 inches = 6/12 = 0.5 feet

Step #2

Now, calculate the volume of the total area to be covered by concrete, in cubic feet. Foundations are usually rectangular in shape and their volume can be calculated as follows.

Rectangle = Length * Breadth * Height (L*B*H)

Step #3

Converting cubic feet into cubic yards.

➤ 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet.
➤ Volume (in cubic feet) /27 = cubic yards of concrete required.

Cubic Yard Calculator

Well, who likes math right? I'm sure you want quick results and the steps detailed above may seem a little tedious. A calculator will help you follow the steps as they happen. Input the data for the dimensions of the foundation and see the figures as they change in the subsequent steps. Step 3 will give you the final answer in cubic yards.

Length (L) = feet
Width (W) = feet
Height (H) = inch(s)

➤ Step 1

inch(s) into feet.

inches =
/12 =

➤ Step 2
Calculate the volume of the area.

Volume =
feet *
feet *
feet =
cubic feet.

➤ Step 3

cubic feet into cubic yard.

Cubic yards of concrete =
/ 27 =
cubic yard.

Thus, you will require
cubic yards of concrete for the foundation.

If you get the figure of cubic yards in decimal, round up the figure to nearest whole number, as the concrete companies provide cement in whole yards. It is always safe to order more quantity than required, taking into consideration a wastage of about 10%.