How to Measure Concrete to Be Poured

Measuring the area where Concrete will be placed to calculate how many Cubic Yards, Cubic feet (or Cubic Meters) will be needed.

Steps

  1. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 1
    1
    Measure the Length (L). For an example lets say it's 12 feet 6 inches (15.2 cm).
  2. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 2
    2
    Measure the Width (W). For example lets say its 15 feet (4.6 m).
  3. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 3
    3
    Measure the Height (H). Fro example lets say its 3 and 3/4 inches.
  4. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 4
    4
    Use a Construction Calculator. Do search online to find them.
  5. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 5
    5
    If you're calculating for Cubic Feet or Cubic Yards of Concrete needed, you will need to convert your inch measurements to Engineers Scale. Engineers scale is basically taking a foot (12 inches) and converting it into10ths. The engineers scale also eliminates the fractions of an inch. (i.e. 3/4 of an inch is equal to 0.75 of an inch)
  6. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 6
    6
    For the L measurement of 12 feet 6 inches (15.2 cm), take the 6 inches (15.2 cm) and divide it by 12. 6 inches (15.2 cm) / 12 = 0.50 feet (0.2 m). Put the .50 after the 12. Now we have 12.5 feet (3.8 m).
  7. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 7
    7
    At 15 feet (4.6 m) and 0 inches (0.0 cm) the W does not need to be converted.
  8. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 8
    8
    For the H measurement of 3 and 3/4 inches, we will first need to convert the fraction 3/4 of an inch to a decimal. Take the top number 3 and divide it by the bottom number 4.
    • 3 / 4 = 0.75 of an inch. Put the .75 after the 3. We now have 3.75 inches (9.5 cm). Now take 3.75 and divide that by 12.
    • 3.75 / 12 = 0.31 feet (0.1 m).
      • Now we have L = 12.5 feet (3.8 m), W = 15 feet (4.6 m) and H = 0.31 feet (0.1 m).
  9. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 9
    9
    Multiply them altogether. 12.5 x 15 x 0.31 = 58.25 cubic feet.
  10. Image titled Measure Concrete to Be Poured Step 10
    10
    To calculate the Cubic Yards take the 58.25 cubic feet and divide it by 27. 58.25 / 27 = 2.15 Cubic Yards.

Tips

  • On large pours measure as the pour goes along. If the W and H are the same you can measure and calculate that you have used x amount of Cubic Yards in x amount of feet. That way you know how many cubic yards you need to finish and can change your order accordingly. You don't want to be the one responsible for the crew standing around for an hour waiting for the last load. It's typically better to over order a little and through away a few cubic yards than pay the labor to stand around or worse yet, finish concrete in the cold dark.
  • Calculating Cubic Meters is much easier since the Metric system eliminates the use of fractions. For example L (3.81m) x W (4.57m) x H (0.095m) = 1.65 Cubic Meters.
  • If you are using a pump to place the concrete add for some waste since there may be 1/2 of a cubic yard in the hoses and the hopper.
  • Check your calculations. If you're not sure have someone else check them.
  • Typically Concrete will contain 5% air. That means once you tamp, vibrate, screed, float, etc. air bubbles will be released thus condensing the concrete. It's a good idea to add 5% to the calculation especially if you are using transit mixers. It may take them 40 minutes to come out with your 1/2 Cubic Yard order, which they may charge you a short load fee on.
  • Check your measurements before calculating. If you're not sure have someone else measure it and see that you come have the same numbers.
  • If you are doing a large pour with multiple transit mixers have them spaced by out correctly. You don't want the crew standing around waiting for transit mixers and you also don't want the transit mixers stacked up waiting, and probably wanting to charge for stand by time.
  • If you are using transit mixers ask the concrete plant if they charge a short load fee on the last load. Many charge a short load fee on anything under 2 cubic yards.

Warnings

  • Wear gloves, cover your skin, wear safety glasses, wear rubber boots if you have to stand in it. Some people have very sensitive skin and react badly to cement. Concrete splashed in the eyes is no fun either. Concrete will also dry out leather boots and shorten their life span.

Article Info

Categories: Concrete