Q:

How do you build concrete forms?

A:

Quick Answer

To build concrete forms, prepare the ground, determine the necessary measurements; cut and build form boards and corner stakes; brace the boards and pack soil around the stakes to improve the slab's stability; and pour concrete into the forms. Required tools include a tape measure, level, saw and hammer.

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Full Answer

Before you start building a concrete slab, contact your local authorities to obtain necessary permits. Remove topsoil and dirt, or add gravel if necessary. Use stakes and string lines to lay out the corner positions of the slab. Tighten the strings, measure diagonally from one corner to the opposite, changing the parallel sides until you get equal measurements. Measure the height and outside measurements, and record them on a piece of paper.

Purchase straight, flat lumber from a lumberyard. Use a saw to cut lumber into corner stakes and form boards, and position them properly. Brace the boards with 2x4 stakes and kickers. Be sure to drive the stakes at least 6 inches into the ground, and align the form boards with string line.

Pack soil around the stakes to prevent the form from slanting in or out, and ensure that it aligns with the string line. Nail more boards to the sides of the slab to increase stability, and restring the sides to correct any curves. Carefully pour concrete into the forms, and level it with a screed board. Have a helper fill any voids as you level the concrete. Wait for water to disappear from the surface of the slab, and then round off the edges with an edging tool.

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