How to Make a Concrete Form Level

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Most forms are erected on unlevel ground.
Most forms are erected on unlevel ground. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Concrete forms are wooden or plastic structures used to hold cement in a specific form until the concrete sets. The standard form is a mixture of plywood and 2-by-4s nailed together. A good tip is to rub motor oil onto the surface of the wood to help prevent the wood and cement from sticking together. Leveling a form takes on two aspects; leveling the sides and leveling the top. The only tools necessary for leveling the form, besides the wood for the form, is a standard level and a string level.

Things You'll Need

  • Level
  • String level
  • String
  • Wood stakes
  • Wood mallet
  • Concrete form
  • Temporary support stakes

Hammer ground stakes onto each side of the location for the concrete form with a wood mallet. The stakes should sit about one to two feet outside the edges of the concrete form and be higher than the desired level for the form. The number of stakes depends upon the size of the form. Place a minimum of two stakes per side, one pair near the front of the form and one pair near the end of the form on each side. Place more pairs along the length of the form for longer concrete pads.

Tie a string to each stake and stretch it across the form to the corresponding stake on the opposite side of the form. and hang a string level from the string. Adjust the string to the desired height for the concrete pad while checking the level of the string. Remove the level once the strings are stretched between each pair of stakes.

Erect the concrete form so that the sides of the form are flush with the string. Check the vertical level of the walls of the form with a standard level while erecting the form. Adjust the form as necessary to ensure the sides are level while keeping the top flush with the strings. Place temporary support stakes along the walls of the form while adjusting the level of the form. Replace the temporary support stakes with the form's permanent supports before pouring the concrete.

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