Pouring a concrete slab yourself can be a big money-saver or big mistake. We show you the best techniques and tools so you get concrete forms right the first time.
Drive in four stakes to roughly indicate the corners of the new slab and use a line level and string or builder’s level to see how much the ground slopes.
Flattening a sloped site means moving tons of soil. You can build up the low side or dig the high side into the slope and add a low retaining wall to hold back the soil.
For most do-it-yourselfers, the best material for building a concrete slab is a ready-mix crack-resistant concrete product. The wet mix is poured into a prepared wood form, then left to cure. After the concrete has hardened, the sides of the form are knocked off and the slab is ready to use.
Ready-mix concrete is a blend of gravel, sand, cement, and other additives. Bagged and available in most home centers, ready-mix concrete contains all of the materials to make concrete, except for the water. Wait for dry, warm conditions to pour your concrete slab. For most ready-mixes, the temperature should be 70° F or higher for five days after pouring. You can pour the slab in colder temperatures (50—70° F), but the curing time will be extended to seven days.