Are you planning a paving project and need to know how much asphalt to purchase? Using an asphalt calculator can make determining the cubic feet or cubic yards simple. Follow this guide to learn how to use this tool to plan your needs.
key takeaways
- Enter dimensions to calculate the exact cubic yards/feet needed for paving jobs.
- Use estimates to compare material costs and contractor bids.
- Consider 10% extra for uneven areas in your measurements.
- Check if vendors prefer orders in cubic feet or cubic yards.
- Allow 1-2 weeks for asphalt delivery when planning timelines.
- Prepare base and site layout while waiting for materials.
- Accurate estimates prevent budget overages.
Getting Started with the Asphalt Calculator
When you first open the asphalt calculator, you will see fields to enter key measurements:
- Width of the pavement in feet
- Length of the pavement in feet
- Thickness of the pavement in inches
A driveway for a single car is typically 9 to 12 feet wide. The length depends on your available space. Driveway thickness often ranges from 2 to 4 inches.
Parking lots have greater variability depending on the number of spaces needed. While some lots may only be 20 feet wide, larger commercial lots can be over 100 feet in width. Length and thickness also depend on the anticipated traffic and load.
Step-by-Step Guide
Using the asphalt calculator is simple. Follow these steps:
- Enter the width in feet - this is how wide your driveway or parking lot will be
- Enter the length in feet - this is how long your driveway or parking lot will be
- Enter the thickness in inches - this determines how thick the asphalt will be paved
- Click "Calculate"
The calculator will automatically determine the cubic feet or cubic yards of asphalt needed.
For example, if paving a 12 ft wide by 50 ft long driveway at 4 inches thick:
- Width = 12 ft
- Length = 50 ft
- Thickness = 4 in
Results = 25 cubic yards of asphalt needed
The exact amount allows you to estimate materials and plan your budget accurately.
"Accurately measuring your asphalt area and depth ensures you purchase the precise amount needed for your paving project."
When to Use Cubic Feet vs. Cubic Yards
The asphalt calculator can display amounts in:
- Cubic feet
- Cubic yards
Cubic feet are an exact measurement generally used for smaller areas. Driveways often require asphalt by cubic foot.
Cubic yards represent larger quantities more suitable for big projects. Parking lots usually need asphalt by the cubic yard.
Here is a comparison:
Measurement |
When It's Used |
Cubic feet |
Driveways, sidewalks, small areas |
Cubic yards |
Parking lots, large paving jobs |
Most vendors specify pricing and sell asphalt by the cubic yard. Ask your asphalt company which unit they prefer.
Estimate Asphalt Costs
Once you know the cubic yards/feet required, estimating the cost is easy. Common asphalt pricing averages:
- $100 - $150 per ton
- $50 - $75 per cubic yard
With the coverage amount from the calculator, you can approximate your budget.
For example:
- Need 36 cubic yards
- Asphalt costs $60 per cubic yard in your area
- Total estimate = 36 * $60 = $2,160
Having the measurements in advance allows you to obtain contractor quotes confidently and determine if DIY paving is more affordable.
Extra Design Factors to Consider
Measurement Unit |
Equivalent To |
When It's Used |
Cubic foot |
1,728 cubic inches |
Smaller asphalt jobs like driveways |
Cubic yard |
27 cubic feet |
Larger asphalt jobs like parking lots |
Ton |
2,000 pounds |
Pricing and selling bulk asphalt |
Square yard |
9 square feet |
Measuring the area to be paved |
Inch |
Fractional unit of feet/yards |
Thickness of the asphalt layer |
Gallon |
231 cubic inches |
Liquid asphalt sealer amounts |
While the measurements from the asphalt calculator provide the base amount, there are additional calculations needed for complete paving:
- 5-10% overage for uneven ground
- Gravel or aggregate base material
- Edge restraints like curbing
Add extra width, length, and depth when entering dimensions into the calculator if you know the current surface is uneven. An extra 10% makes sure you purchase enough asphalt.
Gravel and other base materials require separate measurements and budgeting. These provide a firm foundation prior to paving.
Edging materials keep the asphalt contained. Be sure to account for curbing, bricks, or timber to be installed around the paved area perimeter.
"Talk to an asphalt contractor about other products needed for your paving project before finalizing your order."
Why Proper Asphalt Calculations Matter
Getting accurate asphalt calculations from the very beginning saves you time, money, and headaches down the road. Here are key reasons that precise measurements are essential:
- Eliminate asphalt waste - With exact amounts purchased, your leftover is minimized
- Prevent budget overages - When you know precisely what you need, there are no expensive surprises
- Enough for adequate thickness - Proper depth guarantees durability and longevity
- Plan for potential overages - A 10% cushion accommodates for extra asphalt if the site requires more
Take measurements seriously as you prep for your paving job. Correct calculations make installing asphalt a smooth process.
Next Steps After Using the Calculator
Once you have the needed asphalt amount from the calculator, here are next steps:
- Research asphalt suppliers in your region
- Contact contractors for project bids
- Compare DIY vs professional quotes
- Schedule delivery date for materials
- Mark layout and prepare base for paving
Order asphalt 1-2 weeks prior to when you plan to pave. This provides time for any unforeseen delays or backorders.
"Prep your project site thoroughly so you are ready to pave quickly once the asphalt is delivered."
With the right calculations, you can confidently move ahead with your paving plans!
Conclusion
An accurate asphalt calculator simplifies your paving measurement needs. Determine precise cubic feet or yards with essential dimensions - width, length, and depth. Use the estimates to compare contractor bids and material costs for your budget. Careful calculations at the start prevent headaches and ensure your project’s success!