A cubic yard is a unit of volume. It tells you how much space something occupies. Picture in your head a box that measures three feet on each edge. The space inside that box measures one cubic yard.
A cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet. One cubic foot holds about 7.5 gallons – so, one cubic yard is about 200 gallons of liquid. Picture in your head 200 one gallon milk jugs. Regardless of how you arrange them, as long as they are tightly grouped, they will occupy approximately one cubic yard.
Other visuals that may help:
- A kitchen built-in dishwasher is about one cubic yard.
- A regular 1/2 ton pickup truck bed filled level to the top of the bed is about 2 cubic yards.
- A living room couch is about 2 cubic yards.
- A kitchen free-standing stove is about one cubic yard.
- One twin-size mattress is about 1/2 cubic yard.
- One small filing cabinet (the small cheap kind) is about 1/4 cubic yard.
Contractors can very easily lose money when bidding debris removal by the cubic yard. Unfortunately HUD Regulations require bidding in cubic yards and pays for debris removal by the cubic yard. Although no allowance is made in the regulations and most companies have no provisions for “real world” circumstances, rather than loose money on debris removal explain in narrative form why your bid is above the authorized HUD fee. Do not bump up the cubic yard measurement as that does not explain the circumstances and warrants a possible charge back.
Editor’s Note: We have some simple rules at our property preservation business – if there is no profit in it, we’re not going to move it. We will move one cubic yard of gold bullion for free. One cubic yard of crushed stone in the front yard of a vacant home is going to cost considerably more than the allowable.