How to Frame for Cement Curb

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Concrete curbs are a combination of aesthetics and functionality, working to bridge the gap between two areas of different heights, such as from a street to a yard, or in a garden where different areas need to be separated. They can be created from a variety of products ranging from brick, stone, wood and concrete, with the latter being the preferred method for most people due to the fact that concrete can be molded to a variety of shapes through the use of curb forms that hold the concrete in place while it cures.

Things You'll Need

  • Rebar
  • Angle grinder
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Hammer
  • Spray paint
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Wood for forms
  • Circular saw
  • Concrete floats
  • Decide the type of curb you want to build, as this will determine the type of material you need to purchase from your local home improvement store. For example, a typical 4 inch high curb will utilize 2-by-4 material, while a higher curb will require 2-by-6 material, for example, or even plywood for larger areas, cut down to size.

  • Measure the area for the curb. Spray the area with spray paint to outline the working area. Measure your wood forms to size, depending on how high or wide you want your curb. Cut them to fit with a circular saw and place them where you will be building your curb. Hold the forms together with nails driven into the wood just enough so that the wood is held together, but not so deep you cannot pull the forms apart by hand later.

  • Cut the rebar down to the proper height, depending on the height of the curb. Use an angle grinder with a metal cutting blade. The idea is for the rebar to be just tall enough to sit within the curb itself without poking through the top of the curb. Cut the rebar at least 3 inches over-length so you can sink that depth into the soil. Place the rebar on the inside of your form just inside from the boards.

  • Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions and pour it into your curb forms. Finish the top surface with a concrete float and allow it to cure for the amount of time indicated by the manufacturer before removing the curb forms. Remove the curb forms by pulling them apart by hand or with the claw of the hammer, and save them for future use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plastic form boards can be purchased and used for customized curb forms.
  • Always wear safety gear when working with power tools. Bear in mind that building a curb and curb forms is a procedure that takes practice and unless you are a working professional who is used to working with the tools and materials necessary you will likely need a weekend to complete the project.

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