When pouring concrete, it is essential that it is level. The key to having level concrete is preparing properly for the pour. When pouring a pad of concrete, you need to make sure to level your wooden frame that the concrete will be poured into, so that the concrete ends up level.
Things You'll Need
- 2x8 boards
- wooden stakes
- mud rake
To pour a level pad of concrete, build a frame using 2x8's.
Nail wooden stakes to the outside of the 2x8 frame. You should have a stake at the end of each 2x8 board, including the corners of the frame and joints where two boards meet. The more stakes you have the easier it will be to level your frame for your concrete.
Hammer the stakes into the ground just enough so that they are secure and don't wobble. Your wooden frame should now be suspended off the ground several inches.
Pour gravel into your frame and rake it until it is relatively level. If you are pouring a 6 inch pad of concrete, you need at least 6 inches from the top of the gravel to the top of the 2x8 board. Use the extra gravel to build a small berm of gravel just outside of your frame. The gravel berm will keep concrete from flowing out under your wooden frame.
Starting at a corner, place a level on top of a 2x8. Tap the stake down into the ground until the board is level. Work your way around the frame until you have tapped each stake the right amount to make the frame level. You can also hang a string, pulled taut, along the length of each side of your frame. Once you have determined your string is level, you can use it as a guide to tap in the stakes and level each board in the frame.
Hammer stakes into the ground every few feet inside your frame. Now that your frame is level you can pull strings across your frame, and hammer small nails into each stake at the point where the string passes the stake. Each nail represents the spot you need to bring the concrete level to in order to make a level pad.
Once the frame is level, and the stakes are all marked with grade nails, you are ready to pour the concrete. As you pour concrete into the wooden frame, use mud rakes to pull the concrete out of the concrete truck chute, and spread it out evenly. Use the stakes inside your frame as a guide. Remove the stakes inside your frame as you level each section of the pad. You can also use a string pulled taut across your frame as a leveling guide.
As the concrete hardens, use a hand trowel or a power trowel to ensure a smooth and level surface.
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