Gravel Calculator

Calculates volume and cost of gravel for projects. Builds up an estimate by measuring each area you want to spread gravel on, selecting the shape that matches the space (rectange, wedge/triangle, circle). Includes estimated budget and labor hours. To clear your selections, hit reset. To add additional parts to your project, hit "add piece". Line items can be removed from the total estimate by selecting the "no-bid" option in the shape box.

Volume of Parts

Portion Shape Hgt Len Dia Depth Sq. Ft

Total Cubic Yards

cubic yards

Budget Planner


Labor Hours:



Other Costs:


Tool Overview: Gravel Calculator

This landscaping calculator is designed to estimate the total volume of gravel required for a project. You can build up the total area you as a set of pieces (circles, rectangles, right triangles); the calculator will determine their total volume. Click reset to clear the list of pieces (for a new shape); click add piece to construct a new piece of your total area.

The calculator also includes a costing model for landscaping projects. Numbers are for demonstration purposes only; check with your gravel vendor and work crews for accurate estimates.

For material costs, we convert the total volume of gravel into a buy quantity through two factors - tons/yard and waste. The waste factor is intended to accomodate spillage, measuring error, and "fine tuning" the project so it looks good. The tons per yard should be specific to the material (be sure to check with your supplier) and lets us figure out how much gravel to buy. We finish this up with a cost per ton figure for gravel. The model doesn't include a freight amount or delivery charge - either use a delivered cost or make a note of this separately.

For labor costs, we start with the expected quantity of gravel being spread (based on the site measurement, not including the waste amount). The gravel calculator then applies a labor hours per cubic yard estimate to guess how much time is required. We take a cost per hour for the labor to solve for the labor budget. When estimating yards per hour, it is best to average out your performance over a longer period (such as a day) to reflect non-productive time in the schedule such as lunch, breaks, commuting time, and meetings. Cost per hour should also reflect any benefits or insurance costs.

The estimate also includes a line for other project costs. For a business user, this would be everything else which you're required to perform other than actually spreading the gravel. This can include a lot of different things: driving to a job, any unpaid labor time (lunch, breaks), administrative costs for buying material or hiring labor, quoting and customer inspection time, licensing, etc. This is also a place where you can set a base profit $$ per job that must be included in the quote. There's is an amount ($100 - $500) below which the typical customer isn't covering the costs involved in servicing them.

Practical Example: Gravel Calculator

In the default example, the model looks at a project with three separate parts: a main driveway (rectangle), a side yard (right triangle), and a small rock garden in the back area (circle). Measurements are entered for each. We add a small overage for materials (5%) to give us a little room in the event we need to fill in part of an area. The cost and yards-per-ton for the selected material comes from our gravel supplier. We estimate the labor time based on past jobs and add a flat $500 fee for project time and profit.

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