Yardage, Measurements and Automobiles
To determine how many Yards you need:
All bulk material from Dirt Exchange is sold in 1 cubic yard. We do sell 1/2 yards but you must call in for that delivery. Please round your answer to the nearest 1/2 yard.
- Check out our cubic yard calculator here, by entering the length, width + height.
- Topsoil will compact so add 25% more to your order.
A good rule of thumb for most landscaping materials is to apply them about 3-4 inches deep but 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, making the 3" depth that you figured be, in reality, more like 1.5" or 2" deep.
Please note that 1 yard of material (such as bark) covers 108 square feet (about a 10'x11' area) 3" deep and 81 square feet 4" deep. Again, if you are trying to figure out how much Topsoil or Fill Dirt to order, make sure to add up to 25% more than the calculations show if you are compacting it down.
Figuring out how much topsoil or gravel you need is a tricky business. Below I’ll take you through how our material calculator works and how much various trucks can carry.
How do I determine how much material I need?
The best way to determine how much material you need is to figure out the volume of the area you need to fill. Volume means the total space, including the length, width, and depth of the area.
Volume = Length x Width x Depth
This is the formula that our material calculator uses. It then converts the volume from cubic feet to cubic yards (27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard).
Why are some materials sold by cubic yards and some sold by tons?
A cubic yard is a measure of volume while a ton is a measure of weight. The volume of the space you need to fill will always be the same, but the total weight of the materials you need will vary by the material. For example, a cubic yard of crushed rock is lighter than a cubic yard of topsoil.
Topsoil and sand are heavier during the rainy season when they’re wet but lighter during the dry season. We do calculations throughout the year to figure out how much water the material has absorbed. Then our team members calculate how much of a ton of material is water weight and subtract that from the total. Buying topsoil and sand by volume means that you pay for the material rather than the water that’s in it. That’s especially important in the wet Pacific Northwest.
How much can my pickup truck or delivery truck carry?
Small rocks may be used to create pathways or as a mulch in your garden. When ordering, you need to be certain that you will have the right amount of rock. Too little leaves bare spots, and if you purchase an excess, you will have wasted money. Accurately calculate the amount of rock you need from your yard's measurements to know how much landscape rock you must purchase in cubic yards. A landscape rock is usually sold in cubic yards, either in bags or in bulk, depending on where you purchase it.
Measure the length of the area to be covered in inches.
Stretch the measuring tape to the width of the area to be covered, and record this information in inches.
Divide both of these measurements by 12 to find the number of feet. Measure in feet and fractions of feet, not in feet and inches. For instance, if the length is 60 inches, it would be 5 feet. A width of 50 inches would be 4.1667 feet.
Divide the desired depth for your landscape rock in inches by 12 to convert it to feet. For instance, if you want the rock to be 2 inches deep, divide 2 by 12, which equals 0.1667 feet.
Multiply the length by the width by the desired depth in feet for your landscape rock to find the number of cubic feet you will need. For instance, if you have a small area that measures 5 by 4.1667 feet and you want to fill it to a depth of 0.1667 feet, you would do the following: 5 x 4.1667 x 0.1667 = 3.4729 cubic feet.
Divide the number of cubic feet by 27 to determine the number of cubic yards you need for your landscape rock; there are 27 cubic feet in each cubic yard. In the example, 3.4729/27 = 0.1286 cubic yards.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Use landscape rock as a mulch only in beds with plants that require little moisture, such as cacti or alpine plants.
- Install barriers around areas filled with landscape rock that is next to yards. This keeps the rock in its area and keeps it from falling into the lawn where it could cause damage to a mower.
You can figure out on your own how many yards you need for the space that you have. Just measure the length, then measure the width and multiply the two together. This will give you the number of square feet that you want to cover with material. For example, if you have a 4'x30' area, 4x30=120 square feet. Then divide the number of square feet by one of the following numbers (according to how deep or thick you want the material to be):
For 2" deep, divide by 162
For 3" deep, divide by 108
For 4" deep, divide by 81
For 5" deep, divide by 68
For 6" deep, divide by 54
For 12" deep, divide by 27
For 24" deep, divide by 13.5
- Use our calculator to estimate how much product you need. Dirt Exchange is not responsible for quantities ordered in error. Please verify your calculations, or call our office at 206. 599. 3478 if you are unsure of what you need.
Use the landscape material circular, rectangle or triangle calculator to determine how much gravel you need for your driveway or sidewalk or pathways, play-sand for your sandbox, topsoil for your lawn or yard, soil-mixes for your raised beds or your flower beds or mulch you need for your job.
Draw your site as accurately as possible - graph paper works well. For odd or complex shapes, divide the area into combinations of rectangles, triangles, and/or circles. Use the following formulas to determine area:
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)
To determine how many Tons you need(applies to 1-Man Rock sales only)
For 1-Man Rock, you must determine how many cubic feet of space you will need to fill with rock. To figure out the number of cubic feet, just measure the length, width, and height (in feet) and multiply them together. For example, if you have a wall that you want to put up that is 16 feet long by 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall you have 64 cubic feet of space to fill (16x2x2=64 cubic feet).
1 ton of 1-Man Rock fills about 15 cubic feet of space, so if you have 64 cubic feet of space, divide it by 15 to find out approximately how many tons you will need. 64/15= 4.26 tons.
So you are planning this great DIY project for the summer that will spruce up your yard considerably. You are quite excited, but there is just one problem: It requires crushed stone, and you have no clue how to calculate how much you will need. Crushed stone is a material that is typically used as a base or underlayment, upon which the stuff that actually shows -- for example, the concrete of a patio -- will rest. Guessing is rarely a good solution to such dilemmas when undertaking a big project, so let's look at a (relatively) simple way to figure out the correct amount.
The word, "relatively" is used because a formula is involved. And many of us, as soon as we hear the word, "formula," start quivering with fear. "What, math? Hey, I didn't sign up for this. I just want to do a DIY project. What sadist decided to make math part of it?" This is understandable, so some reassurance is called for. When the formula is actually provided for you (as opposed to your having to think up the formula, yourself), it is really pretty easy to use. All you have to do is plug in some numbers. So take a deep breath and let's get started:Yes, It Is a Formula, but There Is No Need to Fear It
Use this formula to determine how much crushed stone you will need for your project:
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(L'xW'xH') / 27 = cubic yards of crushed stone needed
In the construction world, most materials are measured in cubic yards. Multiply the length (L), in feet, by the width (W), in feet, by the height (H), in feet, and divide by 27. This will tell you how many cubic yards of crushed stone you need.
As an example, let's say your DIY project is a patio, and it calls for the use of crushed stone as a base. If your patio is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, and you need 6 inches of crushed stone for the base, you would plug those numbers into formula, like this:
(20'x10'x0.5') / 27 = 3.7 cubic yards
When using this equation, make sure all of your measurements are in feet. Since we needed 6 inches of crushed stone, we used 0.5 feet for the height (that is, we converted inches into feet).
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.
What Exactly Is "Crushed Stone?"
Crushed stone is produced by passing stones through a crushing machine at a quarry. Various types of stone are used in this operation, such as granite and limestone. At the bottom of the crushing machine lies a screen that traps the the crushed stone product (the finer material that passes through the screen is also kept and sold -- as stone dust).
What Other Uses Are There for Crushed Stone?
Above, mention was made of using crush stone as a base for various DIY projects, such as those that would involve pouring a concrete slab. But this material has a wide range of applications in the landscape. While it often serves as a base for something else (in which cases no one actually sees it once the project is complete), this is not always the case.
Other examples of how crushed stone can be used are:
- In roadways.
- As a driveway material.
- As a mulch in an area used as a dog run, in lieu of having your favorite mutt make a mess of your lawn.
- In a dry creek bed.
HOW TO MEASURE GRAVEL
There are a variety of uses for gravel, such as aggregate for a driveway or using for your home’s landscaping. No matter what you need it for, you still need to ensure you have the right amount. Way too little or way too much can leave you struggling, and this isn’t how you want to spend your day. Instead, use the following tips to help you understand how to measure gravel so that you can make a better estimate for your project needs and budget.
Choose the right material.
Before you can start to measure gravel, you need to first ensure you’re choosing the right material for your specific project. Certain products are better for certain applications, and if you make the wrong choice, you could be putting your project at risk. Our product catalog can help make the right choice for your project, or you can contact us to talk to someone about product recommendations.
Measure, measure, measure.
In order to determine how much gravel 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. 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 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 materials calculator to receive the most accurate measurement for your project.
Add some extra.
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.
Get an estimate.
Once you’ve figured out how much material you’ll need, you’ll also want to determine how much it will cost. Get a materials estimate from a trusted company to have a better idea of the project’s overall cost.
Ozinga has a variety of materials for you to choose from for your next project. Let us give you an estimate today.
GMC Complete Compost should be added to your soil at a ratio of 1 part compost to a minimum of 2 parts native soil.
- For lawns: Lawns can look great without chemicals. Aerate your lawns, then apply 1/4 – 1/2 inch of compost and gently rake into existing soil. Reseed and water as usual.
- For vegetable or flower gardens: Apply 1 – 3 inches of compost and rototill or mix into existing soil.
- For fall garden cover crop: Spread 1 – 3 inches of compost and seed cover crop in the fall to protect exposed soil. Incorporate the cover crop into the soil and proceed with gardening as usual.
To determine the cubic yardage of compost you need for your own garden simply enter the square footage of the site & your desired depth in inches then click “How Much Do I Need?”
Compost Coverage Formula
To determine the number of cubic yards:
square feet x inches of compost x 0.0031 = # of cubic yards needed
To determine the number of bags:
square feet x inches of compost x 0.124 = # of bags needed