How to Build Wooden Concrete Forms
Building concrete forms might sound complicated on the face of it, but it’s actually very simple. They’re ideal for use as part of foundations for a variety of structures, from sheds to gazebos, and in this article, we’re going to talk you through how you need to lay your wooden concrete forms.
Step 1: Prepare the site
Site preparation is crucial to the success of any construction project and this one is no different. Firstly, it’s important to check with your local authority to see if you have the requisite permission to undertake a construction project on your site.
It’s also important to prepare the ground: use a builder’s level to measure the gradient of the land you’re using – if it slopes, you’re better off building up the low side, or digging the high side into the slope itself to even it out.
Make sure the soil itself is well drained, too: the concrete slab is less likely to crack or move if the soil is well drained. For sandy soil, all you need to do is remove the topsoil and sod, and replace it with gravel if necessary. Clay or loam soil requires you to remove between 6 and 8 inches of soil so you can add compacted gravel before the concrete is poured.
Step 2: Mark your dimensions
Using wooden stakes and string, measure out the perimeter and height of the slab that is to be laid. Make sure the strings are pulled tight in order to ensure a consistent grade of concrete. Use a builder’s level to make sure that you’ve got everything in line, as it should be.
Step 3: Place form boards
Once your stakes are in place and the string is running between each one around the perimeter of the square, it’s time to place the form boards. These should be placed alongside the strings, essentially forming a border into which you can pour your concrete.
Step 4: Pour the concrete
Once the forms are in place and you’re sure they’re correctly situated, it’s time to pour the concrete. Slow and steady is the best approach here; it helps you do a consistent pour and helps to make sure that you don’t get any of the concrete on the strings. The reason it’s important to avoid concrete getting on the strings is because you need the strings to serve as markers for the height of the form; as concrete can affect their height.
Once poured, let the concrete cure. It’s not at full strength until around 28 days after pouring but don’t worry; concrete can usually be safely walked on between 24 and 48 hours after you’ve poured it.
iMix concrete are proud to provide high quality concrete for domestic and commercial customers throughout Romford, Ilford, Essex and the wider London area. For more information about the work we do, please get in touch with us today on 0800 030 9015 or use our handy contact form and we’ll be more than happy to help you with anything you need.