If you are calling around to different stone suppliers to purchase a bulk amount for your driveway you may be confused as to what and how much you need. Different suppliers may use different measures for what they are selling. Here are a few tips to help determine just what you need.
While most suppliers sell by the cubic yard, some sell by the ton. To determine the cubic yard amount you simply measure the length and width of the driveway and multiply the figures to come up with the square feet of the area. Next, decide how deep you want the stone to be and multiply the area's square feet by the depth. This will give you the cubic feet. To find the cubic yards divide the cubic feet by 27. For example, if the driveway is 12 feet long, 8 feet wide and you want the stone to a depth of 6 inches you would multiply 12 by 8 to get 96 square feet. Then multiply 96 by 0.5 (because 6 inches is ½ foot) to get 48 cubic feet. Then, divide 48 by 27 to get a cubic yardage of 1.778.
If the supplier is selling by the ton you need to know what type of stone you are buying because different stones weigh different amounts. The supplier can tell you how many pounds will fill a cubic yard. Multiply this number by the cubic yardage and then divide the answer by 2,000. If the gravel you are purchasing has 2400 pounds in a cubic yard and you are filling the driveway mentioned above you would multiply 2400 by 1.778 to get 4,266.667 pounds. Divide this by 2,000 to find that you need 2.133 tons of gravel to do the job. It is important to ask the supplier if they are weighing the gravel when it is wet or not because the water will add extra weight to it. You should be there when they are weighing your order and make sure that it is dry or you will need to buy extra gravel.
Many contractors feel it is a good idea to order extra gravel because it will become embedded in the ground over time. Some contractors will order a smaller gravel or "pea gravel" to be placed down first to the depth of 0.5 to 1 inch to reduce having the larger gravel sink. While you can always order more gravel if you don't get enough in the first shipment, keep in mind that you will have to pay for a second delivery fee and that some suppliers have a minimum amount for delivering. You do not want to end up having to order an additional 5 cubic yards because you are 1 short. Determine how much you need and add on 5 to 10 percent extra just in case and you should be good. For more information, contact companies like Harristone.