Laying concrete should be an exciting part of you project providing you have prepared your area correctly
The preparation needed will depend on:
Key Points of Advice:
In all cases, if you have an architect design or an engineering design you should seek guidance from them or your architect.
The formwork is made up of timber planks 25mm thick that go around the edge of the area you want to concrete. This will support the concrete as it hardens and also is used to form a level.
When building your formwork it is important to remember to allow for run off, allowing water to drain from the surface and to knock some of the timber planks deeper than others (use a spirit level to check this).
As a guide, an area of concrete 2m wide should have a drop of 25mm to prevent standing water.
If you are laying a circular concrete base, you could use a rope or hosepipe to mark the outline of the curve you want to follow.
The pegs and string will need to be closer together to maintain the curve and the timber will need to be cut to about half its depth on the side that will form the inside of the curve.
A tamping tool can be as simple as a piece of wood with a good straight edge ensuring it’s longer than your form. You can also get metal tamps with handle bars, making the tamping movement easier!
With one person at each end, raise it above the form before bringing it back down. Ideally this process should be repeated twice across the whole area of the poured concrete.
It is best to level the concrete before tamping. To do this, use a sawing motion with the tamping tool across the surface of the concrete against the formwork whilst moving slowly forward. Anyone helping onsite can drag the excess concrete from the approaching tamping tool to make your life easier and help ensure the concrete is distributed more evenly.
Be sure to check that the concrete gets into the corners of your forms and that there are no low spots. If there are then fill these in and repeat the tamping process.
In order to allow your concrete to cure, and prevent cracking, we have listed some top tips. These should help your concrete drying out too quickly:
Lining the base where your concrete is going to go will help with damp proofing:
Try our frequently asked questions, how to guides and technical support for specialist advice.
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