Yardage, Measurements, and Automobiles

Standard garden beds measurements and soil volume:

3 ft x  5 ft x 11 in. = .51 cubic yards

3 ft x 5 ft. x16 1/2 in. = 0.76 cubic yards 

3 ft x 8 ft. x 11 in. = .75 cubic yard 

3 ft x 8 ft x 16 1/2 in. = 1.1 cubic yards

3 ft. x 10 ft. x 11 in. = 0.9 cubic yards

3 ft x 10 ft x 16 1/2 in. = 1.4 cubic yards

4 ft x 5 ft x 11 in. = .67 cubic yards 

4 ft x 5 ft x 16.5 in = 1.02 cubic yards 

4 ft. x 8 ft. x 11 in. = 1 cubic yard 

4 ft x 8 ft x 16 1/2 in. = 1 1/2 cubic yards

4 ft. x 10 ft. x 11 in. = 1 1/4 cubic yards

4 ft x 10 ft x 16 1/2 in. = 1.85 cubic yards

Materials are sold by:

We sell quantities smaller than 1 yard but you must do pick-up yourself.  For delivery, our minimum is 1 yard, please round your answer to the nearest 1/2 yard. 


  • After you have your total cubic yards figured out, you need to remember to add some extra. As a general rule, round up. If you came out with 3.7 cubic yards, you would round up to 4 cubic yards. By rounding up, you ensure that you have plenty of material for your project. After all, it’s better to have a little bit extra than to not have enough, so always err on the side of caution. It doesn't hurt to overestimate since when you buy topsoil, for example, you'll likely compact it down if you are planting grass, walking on it, and/or it will naturally settle.

  • Topsoil and sand are heavier during the rainy season when they’re wet but lighter during the dry season.
  • Draw your site as accurately as possible - graph paper works well. For odd or complex shapes, divide the area into combinations of rectangles, triangles.
  • Dirt Exchange is not responsible for quantities ordered in error. Please verify your calculations, or call our office at 206. 599. 3478 For questions. 
  • Common measurements : 

    Using 1 cubic ft bag: 1 yard = 27 bags

    Using 2 cubic ft. bag: 1 yard =14 bags

    1 yard = 9-14 wheelbarrow loads (depending on size of wheelbarrow)

    Trash cans:

    1/2 yard = 18 5-gallon bucket loads 

    1 yard = 36  5-gallon bucket loads

     1 yard = 10 17-gallon trash can

    1 yard = 6 30-gallon trash can 

    1 yard = 5 35-gallon trash can

    *Keep in mind that 'irregular' shaped object pack differently and also change depending upon whether wet or dry so a bucket of 1" rocks will be a whole lot different than a bucket of 'classified' material with respect to not only weight but volume as well. 

    Pickup sizes and measurements:

    Weights for 1 yard in different materials: 

    1 yard of bark = 800 LBS

    1 yard of topsoil = 1300 LBS

    1 yard of sand = 2,600 LBS

    1 yard of gravel = 2,500 LBS

    *These are all estimates of weight, it will vary. 

    *Materials are much heavier during the rainy season, when they are wet and lighter during the dry season. 

    1 cubic yard spread out covers:

    1 cubic yard is = 3’x 3’x 3’ or 27 cubic ft. or 37”x37”x37”

    1" Deep = 300 sq. ft
    2" Deep = 150 sq. ft 
    3" Deep = 100 sq. ft
    4" Deep = 75 sq. ft
    5" Deep = 62 sq. ft
    6" Deep = 50 sq. ft
    8" Deep = 37 sq. ft
    10" Deep = 32 sq. ft
    12 Deep = 27 sq. ft

    To determine how many yards you need: 

    First, choose the right material.
    Before you start your project, you need to first ensure you’re choosing the right material for your specific project. Certain products are better for certain applications. You can contact us here to ask questions or check out our product descriptions for more help. 

    Second, measure once then measure again.
    In order to determine how much material you will need, you need to know the size of the area you need filled. This requires you to measure the width, length, and depth. Once you have these numbers, be sure to write them down. Or draw it out on paper as accurately as possible to give you a good visual aid. Depending on the size of the area, you may want to use a measuring wheel instead of a measuring tape, and you may want to get someone to help you.  When ordering, you need to be certain that you will have the right amount of material. Too little leaves bare spots, and if you purchase an excess, you will have wasted money. Accurately calculate the amount of material you need from your yard's measurements to ensure you buy what you need. 


    How to get cubic yards? Measure by inches, convert to cubic ft, to cubic yards.

    When you do the math, you need to ensure that your measurements are in the same units. To make it easy on you, always try to take your measurements in feet. If any area of your project is less than one foot, you need to convert the measurement from inches to feet, which you can do by dividing that number by 12. So, for example, if you had a depth of 6 inches, you would convert it to feet by dividing 6 by 12. So 6 ÷ 12 = .5 feet. Calculate the cubic feet.
    Once all your measurements are in feet, you can easily calculate the total cubic feet of your project. This is done by multiplying the length x width x depth. If you have a 10’-wide x 20’-long driveway that’s .5’ deep, you would multiply 10 x 20 x .5 for a total of 100 cubic feet.  Convert to cubic yards.
    Since gravel is measured in cubic yards, you’ll need to convert your measurement from cubic feet to cubic yards. You can do this by dividing the total number by 27. In terms of the example above, your math would look like this: 100 ÷ 27 = 3.7, or 3.7 cubic yards. While this math may be easy for you to do on your own, you can also use our handy material calculator on any of our product pages to receive the most accurate measurement for your project. If your number comes out as a fraction -- and it probably will -- round up. In the example above, you would round the 3.7 cubic yards of crushed stone to 4 cubic yards of crushed stone. It is better to have a little extra than to run short.

    Area formulas:

    How to determine the area of a CIRCLE:
    Multiply pi ( = 3.14) by the square of the radius, If you know the diameter, the radius is 1/2 of the diameter.

    How to determine the area of a RECTANGLE or PARALLELOGRAM: 
    Multiply the base times the height.

    How to determine the area of a TRIANGLE: 
    Multiply the base times one-half the height.

    How to determine the area of a TRAPEZOID:
    Add the lengths of the 2 parallel sides, divide by 2 to get the average length of the parallel sides. Multiply this by the height (distance between the parallel sides).