This cubic yard calculator, or yardage calculator, helps you find a volume in cubic yards. Wondering how much is a cubic yard?, how many cubic feet are in a cubic yard?, how to convert cubic inches to cubic yards?, or how to evaluate the volume from an area in square feet to cubic yards? - In the text, you'll find the answers to all these questions, and more! This tool is handy if you want to learn how to calculate the cubic yards of an object - regardless of its shape, and whether it is in and on the ground.

How much is a cubic yard?

A cubic yard is a unit of volume. One cubic yard is defined as a volume of a cube with 1 yd long edges. One cubic yard is denoted by 1 yd³ or 1 cu yd. The question What is the yardage of this object? means the same as How many 1 yd³ cubes can fit inside this object?

Where do we use cubic yards? Cubic yards are often used when we want to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with an amount of material, such as gravel, sand, or mulch, due to the scale of this operation being well suited to cubic yards. On the other hand, you may need to find the size of a structure or a building. In either case, we are interested in the volume of material needed, or just the occupied space. The good thing is that you can think of any shape, and this cubic yard calculator will help you obtain a precise result!

How to convert cubic feet to cubic yards?

The other commonly used unit of volume is a cubic foot, ft³ or cu ft. Analogically, this is the volume of a cube with sides 1 ft long. In this instance, you can easily convert length units, as 1 yd = 3 ft. So, how many cubic feet are in a cubic yard?

  • A cubic yard is: 1 yd³ = 1 yd x 1 yd x 1 yd
  • Convert yards to feet: 1 yd³ = 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft
  • Multiply all quantities: 1 yd³ = 27 ft³

As we can see, the conversion ratio from cubic yards to cubic feet is 27, and while it is 1/27 if you're converting from cubic feet to cubic yards.

How to convert cubic inches to cubic yards?

Cubic inches are another unit of a volume. This time, it's the space occupied by a 1 in x 1 in x 1 in cube. 1 yd is precisely 36 in. To find out how many cubic inches are in a cubic yard, let's repeat the simple procedure from above:

  • A cubic yard is: 1 yd³ = 1 yd x 1 yd x 1 yd
  • Convert yards to inches: 1 yd³ = 36 in x 36 in x 36 in
  • Multiply all quantities: 1 yd³ = 46,656 in³

A conversion ratio from cubic yards to cubic inches is 46,656, while from cubic inches to cubic yards it is 1/46,656.

There are plenty of volume units, including metric ones such as cubic meters , cubic centimeters cm³, and many others. Whenever you want to switch between them quickly, don't hesitate to use our volume converter!

How to estimate a volume from square feet to cubic yards?

We now know how to convert cubic yards to cubic feet and vice versa, but what about finding the yardage of space with a known square footage (i.e., its area) and its depth or height? It depends on the shape, meaning that we can distinguish three cases:

  1. The prism-like volume: Volume = area * depth. It doesn't matter if we are dealing with triangular, rectangular, or any other type prism, the formula is always the same. All that is required is for you to find the area of the arbitrary shape that is the base.

  2. The pyramid-like volume: Volume = 1/3 * area * depth. Analogically, it doesn't matter what shape the base of the pyramid is, the formula is always the same. It can also be a circle as well (making the pyramid a cone). Unlike the previous case, we have to multiply the equation by a constant factor of 1/3.

  3. Other shapes, such as hemispheres, hollowed cubes, or not-well-defined shapes, require their own individual formulas. Sometimes it's possible to divide the shape into smaller pieces with known volumes, and then to find the sum of them. Check out how we deal with this problem in swimming pools, where the volume is worked out in a fancy way!

How to use cubic yard calculator?

The tool is intuitive and very simple to use:

  • Think about the shape of the structure you want to build or the hole you want to dig.
  • Choose the appropriate option or the one that matches your plan the most (if you aren't sure, the calculator will provide you with small pictures to help you visualize all shapes).
  • Input all necessary dimensions.
  • The volume in cubic yards will show up immediately!

Yardage calculator in practice

Imagine you want to prepare the ground for your dream garden with walking alleys, a pond, and a pyramidal sculpture. So, how do you calculate the cubic yards of soil you have to dig, and how do you find the amount of material required for your perfect place? This is important - you don't want to overspend on materials! Let's divide this process into three parts, one for each element:

  1. The alleys will be made out of concrete. Let's find the yardage:
  • The total distance of the paths is 320 ft, and they don't cross one another. The desired width of the alleys is 5 ft, while the desired depth is 20 in
  • We can find the total footage of the paths: 320 ft * 5 ft = 1600 ft²
  • Convert inches into feet, 20 in * 1/12 = 12/3 ft, and multiply this by the square footage to move from square feet to cubic feet, 1600 ft² * 12/3 ft = 26662/3 ft³.
  • It is difficult to move from square feet to cubic yards, so, now that we have the cubic feet, multiply it by the conversion ratio 1/27: 26662/3 ft³ * 1/27 = 98.77 yd³.
  • You can evaluate the final price of the alleys here. If you decide to use gravel instead, you can still use it to estimate the total cost.
  1. Let's assume that your pond will be in the shape of a hemisphere, and you have space for a circular reservoir with a circumference of 100 ft. How many cubic yards of water can you pour inside?
  • Find the radius: r = 100 ft / (2*π) = 15.92 ft. We rounded this result to two significant figures for convenience, but if you want to be more precise, feel free to use more.
  • Use the formula for the volume of a hemisphere: V = 2/3 * π * r³ = 2/3 * π * 15.92³ = 8451 ft³ = 313 yd³
  1. You decided to create a rocky square pyramid, with sides of 4 ft, and a height of 6.5 ft:
  • Estimate the area of the base (the area of a square): 4 ft * 4 ft = 16 ft²
  • Work out the volume: V = 1/3 * 16 ft² * 6.5 ft = = 34.67 ft³ = 1.284 yd³

As you can see, all of these values are simple to evaluate when you know the formulas. If you forget one of them, want to be sure about the outcome, or just don't like converting between units, use this cubic yard calculator, plan your beautiful home, and you'll have no more worries about any yardage problems in the future. You can also input the price per units to calculate the total price of your project!

Wojciech Sas, PhD candidate
Choose the shape of your hole/structure and its dimensions
Rectangular cuboid
A hole of a rectangular cuboid shape.
Depth / Height
cu yd
Cost calculation
Price per unit
cu yd
Total price
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