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Estimating base material

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

  1. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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.

    GWORKS LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 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 Hardscaper

    North Woods Hardscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 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 Zaprala

    John Zaprala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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!:hammerhead:
  8. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    thats my favorite! haha

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