How to calculate concrete yardage

How to calculate concrete yardage


Are you currently working on a concrete pour project but need help with the calculations involved? Or perhaps you need a refresher on the math from your school days?

It’s always a good idea to double-check and ensure you’re on the right track when uncertain. Planning the budget and accurately calculating costs is crucial for big projects like this.

Without proper planning, you may run out of funds at a critical moment, resulting in a slab with nothing built on top of it or nothing at all.

While it may seem like an extreme example, there have been instances where outside factors have caused a project to halt midway, so it’s a reality that needs to be considered.

Calculating concrete yardage

It’s essential to know how to calculate concrete yardage when more significant projects are on the schedule and you want to know how much the concrete will cost.

You can also use this example to calculate cubic yards for fill dirt, rock, and sand for other home improvement projects. The proper calculation will help with quality control as well.

Step 1: As always, the first thing is measuring and planning. Use a measuring tape if you are replacing an existing patio, sidewalk, or other space. If you are creating a new project, draw a plan and write its intended dimensions. It would also be good to do some in-place measuring to ensure everything will fall in with the plan.

Step 2: Convert the dimensions from inches into yards by dividing the inches by 36. (There are 36 inches in a linear yard.)

Step 3: Calculate the area by multiplying the width and length of the space in yards.

TIP: Multiplying width and length to determine the area will only work with rectangular regions. If you have an odd-shaped area, draw a plan that reflects the area, then use a ruler to break up the plan into standard shapes such as triangles, circles, and rectangles.

Then, calculate each shape’s area and add each space’s location together for a total area.

Step 4: Determine the depth of the concrete pad. In most cases, 4 inches is standard. However, this can vary depending on the application.

Step 5: Divide the depth of the concrete pad by 36. You should get a fraction or decimal number. (For instance, using a 4-inch depth is also 1/9 of a linear yard.)

Step 6: Multiply the depth of the concrete pad by the area of the space you intend to cover. This will give you the amount of concrete you need in cubic yards.

Once you have the correct cubic yards, you can check your calculations using a cubic yard concrete calculator online. Also, add 10 percent more to your cubic yard calculations. This will help account for any loss during the mixing and pouring process.

TIP: To add 10 percent more to your calculations, multiply your cubic yard calculations by 1.1 or 11/10. The resulting number will be 10 percent more than needed to finish your concrete project.

How much is a cubic yard of concrete?

The first calculation determines how many cubic inches are in a cubic yard. This is done by multiplying the height times the width times the depth of a cubic yard. This calculation will tell you there are 46,656 cubic inches in a cubic yard. (36 x 36 x 36 = 46,656)

The next number you must find is how much concrete it will take to cover a square foot of patio 4 inches deep. This is done in the same way we calculated the cubic yard.

Height times width times depth. (12 x 12 x 4 = 576) For every square foot of concrete four inches deep, you will need 576 cubic inches. You now have two of your four numbers needed.

The following calculation is a simple one. Take the total cubic inches in a cubic yard and divide it by the cubic inches needed to cover a square foot. 46,656 divided by 576 = 81 square feet covered per cubic yard.

Recap of calculation:

One cubic yard = 46,656 cubic inches (36 x 36 x 36)

Each Square foot requires 576 cubic inches (12 x 12 x 4)

One cubic yard of concrete will cover 81 square feet at a depth of 4 inches


When it comes to calculating the amount of concrete yardage and cubic yards of concrete needed for a project, it can be quite a daunting task.

The estimation part is particularly challenging, as it requires careful consideration of various factors such as the dimensions of the project, the type of concrete to be used, and the potential for errors or accidents during the pour.

To avoid any possible mistakes or failures, it’s always better to be on the safe side and add 10% to the calculated amount. This is a good fail-safe measure that can help you avoid any potential issues down the line.

It can account for any mistakes in the calculations or unforeseen accidents that may occur during the pour.

Calculating the amount of concrete yardage and cubic yards of concrete needed for a project can be done by measuring the exact dimensions of the project, minus any doors and windows.

This approach can help you estimate the amount of concrete needed for the project accurately.

For example, if you’re planning on building a concrete slab or wall, measuring the dimensions correctly can help you calculate the amount of concrete needed.

Finally, if you’re planning on building a concrete ceiling, it’s worth noting that it’s just another slab that needs to be measured. This basic math can take you a long way in your project planning, so it’s essential to get it right.