How to Pour Concrete on an Incline


Pouring concrete is a labor-intensive task. It can also be an expensive one. However, pouring your own concrete can greatly reduce the cost of your home improvement project. One area of concern to many DIY enthusiasts is pouring concrete on an incline, such as in your driveway or a sloping backyard path. It may seem daunting at first, but proper preparation will make the task a great deal easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • Float
  • 1-by-4 lumber
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Reinforcing bars (rebar)
  • Hammer
  • Construct the form-work which will mark the borders of your finished concrete slab. The cheapest form-work material is lumber, preferably 1-by-4s. Ensure that your form-work is square by measuring the distance from one corner to the corner diagonally across from it. Then compare that to the other diagonal measurement.

  • Place the form-work over the area in which you intend to pour concrete. Secure the form-work in place by driving several 1-by-4 pegs into the ground along the border and then screwing them into the outside of the form-work.

  • Mix the concrete in your wheelbarrow by adding water to a combination of sand, gravel and cement. For every cement shovel-full you add to the wheelbarrow, add two shovel's worth of sand and three shovels of gravel. Since you are pouring the cement on an incline, add water sparingly. Drier concrete will be less viscous and will therefore run less along the incline as you pour.

  • Pour the wet concrete inside the borders of your form-work. Leave about three inches of unfilled volume near the top of your form-work.

  • Lay rebar rods into the wet concrete for added support.

  • Pour more wet concrete on top of the rebar until you completely fill the space up to the borders of your form-work.

  • Tap the outside edges of your form-work with a hammer. This will help settle the concrete and eliminate air pockets.

  • Smooth the wet concrete surface with a trowel by holding it flat against the concrete and pressing lightly. Make a sweeping motion back and forth until the concrete is smooth. Use an extender bar to the center of your form-work.

  • Allow three days for the concrete to harden. Remove the wooden form-work and inspect your finished concrete slab.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rub a long piece of 1-by-4 lumber across your poured concrete in a sawing motion as a preliminary flattener for your poured concrete. Doing this will make your trowel work a bit easier.
  • Ready-made concrete is fast and easy to use, just add water. However, be aware that this is usually the most expensive option when pouring a large amount of concrete.
  • Make sure to wear safety goggles and gloves while working with concrete. Prolonged exposure can burn your skin.

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  • Photo Credit concrete wall image by Lela Obradovic from
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