How to Calculate Yards of Concrete for a Basement


Concrete is the most commonly used materials for basements. To complicate the pouring process, the concrete used in a basement is poured in two or three steps, depending on if poured concrete walls are used. Fortunately, the process of determining the amount of concrete, measured in yards or cubic yards, is a simple mathematical process.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Measure the length of all the footings required for the basement project. Footings are the poured concrete base of the basement and ultimately the house. Measure the width of the footings, in inches, and the depth of the footings, also in inches. The width will be consistent as the distance between the forms. The depth will vary depending on the excavation. Average the depths of the forms. Multiply the length of the footings, in inches, times the width. Multiply the product of this by the average depth, also in inches, to determine the total cubic inches of concrete necessary for the footings. Divide this by 46,656, the number of cubic inches in a cubic yard for the number of yards of concrete necessary for the footings.

  • Calculate the yards of concrete necessary for the concrete basement floor. Multiply the width of the floor, in inches, times the length of the floor. Multiply this by the thickness of the planned slab. Divide the total cubic inches of the floor slab by 46,656 to determine the yards of cement needed to pour a concrete basement floor.

  • Calculate the amount of concrete necessary for the walls, if necessary. This step isn't performed if block or treated lumber walls will be used in the basement. Measure the total length of basement walls, in inches. Multiply this times the planned height of the walls, also in inches. Multiply that answer by the width of the concrete walls. Divide the total by 46,656 to determine the yards of concrete necessary for concrete walls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each of these projects is performed at separate times during the basement construction. Calculate each separately to order the proper yardage of concrete for each portion of the basement project.

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