How to Frame a Concrete Slab

Lead Image
  • 40-50 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 2,000-40,000
What You'll Need
Chicken Wire
1x4 boards
Wood stakes
Rubber gardening trim
Measuring tape
Landscaping spray paint

A concrete slab is a section of concrete with many uses, ranging from a patio arbor floor to a slab for a concrete foundation. It is fairly simple to complete a frame, but the time involved will depend on the size of your slab and the complexity of your design. For the design below, it will be three sides square with a rounded protruding front piece

Step 1: Measure the Area

Use the measuring tape to make the four even corners for your square. Mark the corner measurements with the landscape spray or stakes.

Step 2: Level The Ground

Level the ground by digging or adding dirt where needed. A great way to check the level of a large surface is by using a string leveler attached to the corner stakes.

Step 3: Rough It In

Use the 1x4 boards to create the three even sides. They will stay in place with the wood stakes and nails. Make certain that they are level and plumb and that the inside edge where the concrete will be poured is smooth.

Tip: The boards should be even with the ground to prevent the concrete from leaking.

Step 4: Add A Curve

Adding a curve to a slab is not difficult. Make sure that the area for the curve is also level with the rest of the ground. Use the rubber gardening trim to form the curve from the two front corners. Measuring is needed to form a perfect curve. Place a stake at the perfect center and attach the trim to it. Then connect the two ends to the corners. Once the three points are connected then use at least two more stakes on each side to form the curve.

Make sure that all stakes are on the outside of the frame.

Step 5: Check Your Work

Go back over the frame with a leveler and an eye for detail. Make sure that the slab is exactly where you want it and facing the right direction.

Step 6: Chicken Wire

Adding chicken wire to the frame will help the concrete be more stable once it is poured. If you are pouring a slab for parking a vehicle on then rebar is a better choice and you will need to make the slab at least five inches thick instead of three or four. Use rebar shaped into a U shape as the stakes on top of the chicken wire. Pull up on the chicken wire and attach it to the rebar stakes. You are making sure that the chicken wire will get concrete above and below it for maximum effect.

By following the steps above you will be able to make a simple frame in a small amount of time for your slab. Whether the slab is for a patio to add to your outdoor living space or foundation for a storage shed, it's certain you'll be happy with the results.