How to Calculate the Volume of Dirt Removed


Determining the volume of dirt removed from the ground plays a role in gardening and home improvement projects, such as creating foundations, building gardening beds and determining the amount of soil or mulch to buy to replace poor dirt in your yard. The hardest part of finding the volume of dirt removed is the digging, because the calculation part takes only moments to do.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
  • Measure in inches the length and width of the hole from which you dug out the dirt.

  • Hold the measuring tape at the top of the hole to determine the depth in inches.

  • Divide each of the measures by 12 to determine the number of feet for the length, width and depth measurements. For instance, a hole measuring 12 inches long by 24 inches wide by 6 inches deep would equal 1 foot long by 2 feet wide by 0.5 feet deep.

  • Multiply the length, width and depth of the hole in feet to find the total volume in inches. For the example: 1 foot x 2 feet x 0.5 feet = 1 cubic foot.

  • Divide the area by 27 to find the volume of the dirt in cubic yards (because 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet). For the example, the cubic yards of the hole would equal 1/27 = 0.037 cubic yards.

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  • Photo Credit Digging in the garden image by dquinnan from
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