How to Calculate Yard Gravel

When you are planning a new gravel driveway or want to place some gravel as a foundation for a patio or other area, it is necessary to figure out how much you need.

Calculate cubic yards when ordering yard gravel.Calculate cubic yards when ordering yard gravel.
Most companies sell gravel by the cubic yard. Calculating yard gravel requires the length and width measurements as well as the depth you want the gravel. When measuring, always round up rather than round down measurements. It is better to have more than you need than to not have enough for the job.

Measure the length of the area you want to cover with gravel with a tape measure. Write down the next highest whole foot and divide the measurement by three. For example, if you have a 26-foot 6-inch length, round the measurement up to 27 feet. Divide 27 feet by three and write down the resulting 9 yards.

Measure the width of the area you want to cover. Again, write down the next highest whole foot measurement down on a piece of paper (for example, 9) and divide the measurement by three.

Estimate the total depth you want to cover, expressed in feet, and divide by three. If you want to have a depth of 1 foot, 6 inches, your result would be .50.

Multiply all three measurements together to come up with the total cubic yards necessary for the project. Using the example measurements, 9 X 3 X .50, which equals 13.5 cubic yards.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Calculator


  • You can also take the measurements in feet and multiply them together then divide the total by 27 (because there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard) to get the cubic yards. Using the figures in the example, 27 X 9 X 1.5 = 364.5 feet. Divide the total feet by 27 for a result of 13.5 cubic yards.

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.