When planning a landscaping or construction project, estimating the right amount of dirt or fill material needed is crucial. Ordering too little means a shortage, ordering too much means wasted money. Converting between cubic yards and cubic feet of dirt allows you to precisely calculate volumes for material requirements.

Read on to learn the cubic foot and cubic yard definitions, see visuals of their dimensions, and get step-by-step instructions for accurate calculations.

## When Cubic Yard and Cubic Foot Measurements Are Used

Cubic yards and cubic feet are both units used to measure volume – the three-dimensional space taken up by an object or material. In construction and landscaping projects, cubic yards are commonly used to measure and order materials like dirt, gravel, mulch, and more that are sold and delivered in bulk.

One cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet. Cubic feet are a more precise unit used for smaller volume measurements. For example, when calculating the amount of dirt needed to fill a specific hole size or planter bed.

Knowing the cubic yard to cubic foot conversion allows you to quickly estimate material needs for all types of projects. Here are some examples of when you might need to use cubic yards or cubic feet:

- Landscaping – Calculating cubic yards of mulch or soil for garden beds
- Excavation – Measuring the cubic feet of a hole to fill
- Construction – Ordering cubic yards of gravel or fill dirt for grading
- Gardening – Determining cubic feet of soil to fill raised beds

## Cubic Yard Definition and Dimensions

What exactly is a cubic yard? A cubic yard is a standard unit of measure for volume in construction and landscaping. One cubic yard (cu yd) is equal to a cube with sides of 1 yard or 3 feet. This equals a volume of 27 cubic feet (cu ft).

Here are the dimensions that make up a cubic yard:

- Length: 3 feet
- Width: 3 feet
- Height: 3 feet

The image below shows a cubic yard with the length, width, and height labeled:

[Insert image of cubic yard diagram]

## Cubic Foot Definition and Dimensions

In contrast to a cubic yard, a cubic foot is a unit measuring one foot in all three dimensions – length, width, and height. Here are the dimensions that make up one cubic foot:

- Length: 1 foot
- Width: 1 foot
- Height: 1 foot

See the cubic foot visualized in this diagram:

[Insert image of cubic foot diagram]

A cubic foot is used for smaller, more precise volume measurements. While a cubic yard estimates material needs, cubic feet allow you to dial in exact quantities.

## The Cubic Yard to Cubic Foot Conversion Formula

Now that we’ve defined cubic yards and cubic feet, how exactly do we convert between these volume units? The conversion is quite simple:

**Cubic feet = Cubic yards x 27**

To convert cubic yards to cubic feet, multiply the cubic yards by 27. It’s that easy! This formula works because there are 27 cubic feet in 1 cubic yard, as we saw from the cubic yard dimensions.

The same formula can be written as:

Cu ft = Cu yd x 27

Knowing this simple cubic yard to cubic foot conversion formula allows you to quickly estimate the cubic feet equivalent for any cubic yard measurement.

## Converting Cubic Yards to Cubic Feet

Let’s look at some examples of using the cubic yard to cubic foot formula:

**1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet**

To convert 1 cubic yard to cubic feet, multiply 1 x 27 = 27 cubic feet

**5 cubic yards = 135 cubic feet**

For 5 cubic yards, multiply 5 x 27 = 135 cubic feet

**10 cubic yards = 270 cubic feet**

To convert 10 cubic yards, multiply 10 x 27 = 270 cubic feet

As you can see, converting between cubic yards and cubic feet is as simple as multiplying or dividing by 27. When estimating material volumes for a project, remember to also account for compaction.

Materials like dirt, gravel, and mulch compact down, decreasing the total volume. It’s common to order about 30% more than your actual calculated cubic yard needs to ensure you get enough material accounting for compaction.

## Cubic Feet to Cubic Yards Conversion

You can also use the cubic yard to cubic foot formula to convert cubic feet back to cubic yards. To do so, simply divide the cubic feet by 27:

**Cubic yards = Cubic feet / 27**

Here are some cubic feet to cubic yards examples:

**27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard** **81 cubic feet = 3 cubic yards** **243 cubic feet = 9 cubic yards**

Converting between the units in either direction is straightforward once you know that 1 cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet.

## Cubic Yard to Cubic Foot Conversion Calculator

Doing the cubic yard and cubic foot math on paper is simple, but online calculators make conversions even easier. There are many free cubic yard to cubic foot converters available online.

We recommend this user-friendly cubic yard to cubic foot calculator from CalculatorSoup. Just enter your cubic yards or cubic feet to automatically convert between the units.

For example, enter 5 cubic yards to convert to 135 cubic feet. Or enter 243 cubic feet to convert to 9 cubic yards. The calculator does the cubic foot and cubic yard math for you instantly.

## Real World Examples and Applications

Being able to accurately convert between cubic feet and cubic yards is key for many real-world construction and landscaping projects. Here are a few examples:

### Landscaping with Mulch

For a home landscaping bed measuring 5 feet x 12 feet along a house foundation, you need to cover it with 2 inches of mulch. To determine how many cubic feet of mulch are needed:

Length = 12 feet Width = 5 feet Depth = 2 inches = 0.17 feet (2 inches / 12 inches per foot) Cubic feet of mulch = 12 x 5 x 0.17 = 10.2 cubic feet

Bulk mulch is often sold by the cubic yard, so convert cubic feet to cubic yards:

10.2 cu feet / 27 = 0.38 cubic yards

You would need just over one-third of a cubic yard or mulch for this bed.

### Filling an Excavated Hole

Say you need to backfill a hole that is 32 inches long x 16 inches wide x 12 inches deep. To calculate the cubic feet of dirt needed:

Length = 32 inches = 2.67 feet (32 inches / 12 inches per foot) Width = 16 inches = 1.33 feet Depth = 12 inches = 1 foot Cubic feet = 2.67 x 1.33 x 1 = 3.55 cubic feet

Convert to cubic yards:

3.55 cu feet / 27 = 0.13 cubic yards

You’d need a little over one-tenth of a cubic yard of dirt to fill this hole. The cubic yard and cubic foot conversions help estimate just the right amount.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

### What is a cubic yard?

A cubic yard is a standard construction and landscaping measurement for volume. One cubic yard equals a cube with sides of 3 feet or 1 yard, which is a volume of 27 cubic feet.

### What is a cubic foot?

A cubic foot is a unit equal to a cube measuring 1 foot on all sides. It precisely measures volumes smaller than a cubic yard.

### How many cubic feet are in a cubic yard?

There are 27 cubic feet in 1 cubic yard. This conversion is based on the dimensions of a cubic yard being 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet.

### What is the formula for converting cubic yards to cubic feet?

To convert cubic yards to cubic feet, use the formula: Cubic feet = Cubic yards x 27. For example, 5 cubic yards = 5 x 27 = 135 cubic feet.

### How do you calculate cubic feet of dirt needed?

Multiply the length, width, and depth of the area in feet to get the cubic feet of dirt required. Convert any inches to feet by dividing by 12 inches per foot. Remember to order about 30% extra dirt to account for compaction.

### How much does a cubic yard of dirt weigh?

On average, a cubic yard of dirt weighs around 2,200 pounds or 1.1 tons. The exact weight depends on the dirt type and moisture content.

Knowing the exact cubic yard to cubic foot conversion is vital for estimating material volumes for landscaping and construction projects. One cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet.

Use the simple formulas provided to quickly convert between cubic yards and cubic feet as needed. Taking the time to calculate accurate material quantities will prevent shortages or overordering.

This guide showed you the cubic yard and cubic feet definitions, dimensions, conversion formulas, examples, and real-world applications. With this knowledge, you can efficiently convert dirt volumes for your next project.