Replacing old wooden steps with concrete ones is a worthwhile project that might increase the value of your house. When installing concrete steps, you have to make sure that you build the right number of steps for the height of the entrance. Before building the steps, you have to make a wood form, or frame, into which to pour the concrete. This form will be a hollow model of your steps.
Here's how to build a form for two concrete steps.
- 2-by-6 boards
- 2-by-4 boards
Here's what to do:
- Dig out 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of earth over the area where the steps will be. Make sure the ground is level and firm.
- Spread 2 inches (5 centimeters) of gravel over the cleared area. Ram down the gravel.
- Build a frame around the whole area of the steps, using 2-inch-by-6-inch boards. Measure the length and width of the steps and cut one 2-by-6 inch-length for each measurement, for each step.
- Build a frame with the boards that will fit snugly around the graveled area. This is the form. Push the form firmly into the earth flush against the graveled area.
- Bang 2-inch-by-4-inch wooden stakes firmly into the ground on the outside of the frame. The 2-by-4s should be flush against the wood form. The stakes should be long enough for the form for the top step to be nailed into them.
- Nail the form to the 2-by-4 stakes. The stakes should be no more than 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) apart, so they give maximum support to the form. How many stakes you need will depend on the size of the area of the steps.
- Add pieces of 2-by-6 to three sides of the form. This is the frame for the top step. The form should be a little higher than the finished step will be. Nail these 2-by-6 pieces of wood to the 2-by-4 stakes. Don't put a form where the top step meets the bottom step.
- Nail a 2-by-6 piece of wood across the form, where the bottom of the top step will be. Nail it to both sides of the form. This will ensure that the top step is the correct shape. [sources: Do It Yourself, Lands Concrete].
- Your form should now be ready to have concrete poured into it.