Driveway on a Slope: Concrete Pouring Tips

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Chalk line
Measuring tape
No. 16 nails
Concrete vibrator
Square mouth shovel
Lumber (2x4)
Concrete float
Stiff bristle broom

Under certain conditions, a novice in cement work could theoretically be successful in pouring a concrete slope. In reality, pouring concrete on a flat surface, alone, can be difficult. Pouring on a sloped surface will not only require you to have the right tools and materials, but some skill and experience in using these tools. Here are a few instructions that can help you if you are planning a project like this.

Level Your Pouring Surface

Before pouring your concrete you'll need to prepare the ground that the concrete will be poured onto. This piece of ground will need to be level from side to side. Otherwise, your driveway will not be level from side to side. To create this level condition, you'll likely need to remove some of the dirt from the ground surface. You will be able to check the level of this surface more accurately after you build your form.

Space Your Forms Uniformly

building forms to pour concrete

You can ensure that your pour will be of uniform width when your form has been installed and you measure between the side boards to be sure the distance between them is uniform. Your form can be made by driving four one-inch stakes into the ground to mark the corners of your driveway. These stakes should be of equal distance from side to side and from top to bottom. A string stretched from the top stake to the bottom stake will serve as a guide for you to place your side form. When these two parallel strings are in place, the distance between them should be the same. Also, the distance from the strings to the ground beneath them should be uniform. If it is, this will tell you the concrete depth, when poured, will also be of uniform depth.

Order Your Concrete

You'll need your concrete to be the lowest slump allowable. You can get these allowances from your local building inspector. Lower slump refers to the consistency of the concrete mix. Concrete mix of a lower slump will more likely stay in place once it's poured and leveled. When you know the slump allowance, you can then order your concrete with this allowable slump level from the concrete batch plant.

Pour Your Concrete

pouring concrete

When the concrete truck arrives, the driver should pour into the bottom part of the slope first, then progress upward with the pour. If you have different footing depths in your pour, the deepest of these footings should be poured first. This will further ensure that your concrete will be less likely to run downhill. As the pour continues, using a concrete vibrator in the wet concrete will remove voids or bubbles.

Finish Your Concrete

When the pour is finished, using a 2x4 placed across the tops of the two side forms and moving it from side to side will allow you to create a level surface to finish the concrete. When the concrete has partially set up but not entirely hardened, you can create a slightly rough surface by brushing it with a stiff broom.