Cubic Yard Calculator – Calculate Cubic Yards

Enter the length, width, and depth, or area and depth of the space below to calculate volume in cubic yards. Estimate the price of the material by including the price per cubic yard.

Optionally enter the price per cubic yard
Optionally enter the price per cubic yard

Material Estimate:

Cubic Yards
Estimated Material Cost
Learn how we calculated this below

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If you’re measuring for landscaping material, be sure to check out our gravel, soil, mulch, and concrete calculators.

How to Calculate Cubic Yards

Cubic yards are the volume of a space equivalent to a cube with a length, width, and height of one yard. You’ll commonly see them abbreviated cu yd or yd³.

There are a few easy ways to calculate cubic yards.

The first way to calculate the cubic yardage of any volume is to use the calculator above. It’s especially useful for construction and landscaping projects such as concrete, landscape material, fill, dirt, gravel, or containers.

If you want to calculate cubic yards without a calculator, then calculate cubic yardage just like any other measure of volume, by multiplying the width times the length times the height. Ensure that all dimensions are measured in yards.

illustration showing the cubic yards formula

To find the cubic yardage of inches or another unit of measure, first convert all measurements to feet, then multiply to find the volume in cubic feet, and finally divide the result by 27 to get the volume in cubic yards.

cu yd = Lft × Wft × Hft / 27

Steps to Calculate Cubic Yards

  • Measure the width, length, and height of the space in feet. If measurements are in inches, then be sure to convert to feet.
  • If the area is complex, it may be simplest to break the area into manageable parts and calculate the volume of each part separately. For instance, you can break up a complicated flower bed into several geometric areas, and then find the cubic yardage of each of those areas first, and finally add them all together.
  • Multiply the width times the length times the height in feet (W × L × H) to get the volume in cubic feet.
  • Finally, convert the cubic feet measurement to cubic yards by dividing the result by 27, since cubic yards are equal to cubic feet ÷ 27. When in doubt, use a conversion calculator for this step.

For example, let’s calculate the cubic yards for a space that is 12 ft long by 14 ft wide by 9 inches deep.

Since we already know the space’s dimensions, the next step is to convert all measurements to feet. Note that the depth measurement is in inches.

depth = 9 inches ÷ 12
depth = 0.75 feet

Next, calculate the volume in cubic feet

cu ft = 12 ft × 14 ft × 0.75 ft
cu ft = 126 cu ft

Finally, convert the volume in cubic feet to yards.

cu yds = 126 cu ft ÷ 27
cu yds = 4.67 cu yds

If you are calculating yardage for a concrete or landscaping project, understand that suppliers may not sell fractions of a yard of material. You may need to round up to the nearest yard and order that amount.

It is always worthwhile to ask your supplier if they will sell a partial yard of material.

To estimate the cost of materials, simply multiply the cubic yardage found above by the price per yard.

How Much is a Cubic Yard?

You’ve seen how to calculate them, but you still might be wondering just how much is a cubic yard?

One cubic yard is equal to a space that is one yd wide, one yd long, and one yd deep. The table below shows the size of the space equal to one cubic yard in other units.

Measurements in various units of a space with the volume of one cubic yard.
1 cu yd = 1 yd x 1 yd x 1 yd
1 cu yd = 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft
1 cu yd = 36 in x 36 in x 36 in
1 cu yd = 0.9144 m x 0.9144 m x 0.9144 m
1 cu yd = 91.44 cm x 91.44 cm x 91.44 cm

Cubic Yards Volume Formulas

The formula for calculating yards is different for various shapes. Refer to the formulas below for the appropriate volume formula.

Diagram of a rectangular prism showing l = length, w = width, and h = height

Rectangular Formula

Calculate the cubic yards of a rectangular cuboid using the formula w × l × h

yds3 = length × width × height

Diagram of a cylinder showing r = radius and h = height

Round or Cylinder Formula

Calculate the cubic yards of a circle or cylinder volume using the formula πr2h

yds3 = ( π × (diameter ÷ 2)2 ) × height
yds3 = π × r2 × h

π = 3.14159265359

To estimate the yardage of more shapes, try out our volume calculator.

Tips For Calculating Yardage for Landscaping Material

Large piles of landscaping material, including soil and mulch

If you are calculating yards for landscaping, fill, or concrete, we suggest planning on buying slightly more material than you estimate you will need to account for material settling or spilling, and also to compensate for potential mishaps.