# Estimating base material

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by kemmer, Dec 8, 2007.

1. ### kemmerLawnSite Senior Memberfrom New JerseyPosts: 608

How do you guys estimate your base material? you have your depth that you need, how do you figure out what you need after compaction? and in tons

2. ### JimmyStewLawnSite Senior Memberfrom NortheastPosts: 367

Take total excavation area x depth in feet (inches/12) x compaction coefficient (typically around 25%) / 27 for cu. yds. x Bulk Density (typically 3k to 3300lbs for gravel) / 2000 to get tons.

Example: 100 square foot hole with 6" base would be --> 100*.5 = 50*1.25 = 62.5/27 = 2.3 cu. yds* 3000lbs = 6900lbs/2000 = 3.45 tons.

3. ### GWORKSLawnSite Memberfrom NJPosts: 10

take the total sf divide by 175. Then multiply the desired thickness of base by 1.1 Now multiply the results of each to get your base in tons. Example 500sf / by 175=2.8571428 Compacted base depth 6" x's 1.1=6.6 multipy those #s 18.8 tons

4. ### North Woods HardscaperLawnSite Memberfrom Stillwater, MNPosts: 5

I've used a software program Versa-Lok puts out to estimate materials quantities. Pretty easy to use and it's accurate.

5. ### John ZapralaLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Exton, PAPosts: 283

I use this formula as well, just reminder to account for at least a 6" overdig in your calculations for the base. Also, keeping track of excess base stone will help you fine tune this formula. On bigger jobs a small calculation error might leave you with a few ton of stone to get rid of.

6. ### lawnkidLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Cleveland,OhioPosts: 935

John is right. You guys forgot about extending out at least 6" past your pavers. And always estimate more material than needed. You dug too deep in one spot with the mini ex or lost some material in the lawn etc...

7. ### JimmyStewLawnSite Senior Memberfrom NortheastPosts: 367

Yes, we all completely overlooked the 6" overdig. Good thing you were here to catch that. "total sf" and "total excavation area" both account for the extra, which at any rate would have been implied!

8. ### McKeeLandLawnSite Senior Memberfrom South JerseyPosts: 681

we use 33% for compaction, leaves a little extra for soft spots or if you go too deep. i am almost always right on with that number. i prefer to have a extra bucket left over than to have to go get one more.

9. ### lawnkidLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Cleveland,OhioPosts: 935

Don't you hate it when you're like two wheelbarrows short on stone or mulch and you could kick yourself because you didn't think you'd need that extra yard or yards.

10. ### McKeeLandLawnSite Senior Memberfrom South JerseyPosts: 681

thats my favorite! haha