Building Concrete Framing
If you are planning any home improvement project or landscaping project that requires decorative concrete work to be done you may want to consider building your own concrete framing yourself and completing the home improvement work in your own time to save money over the costs of a home contractor.
Framing is not entirely difficult to build yourself and the cost is manageable when compared to the cost of contracting the job out.
Doing your own concrete work first requires a solid plan and decorative plans. You cannot just wing it. Laying it requires framing that is well constructed and secure. Your lumber and framing materials must be crafted with care and in perfect dimensions. No matter if you are building concrete blocks to build a retaining wall, building a mold for concrete curbing, or starting a resurfacing project you will have to use or at least consider building or buying framing materials.
Building a solid framing structure will require some time, patience, and carpentry skills. These skills are not advanced or professional but they are moderate to high though not out of reach for the common handyman. So long as plenty of time and care goes into the frame building process a well made structure will be able to be made eventually even if it takes you more time than it should.
Build The Framing Yourself
You want to build your frame upside down so that the concrete can be poured. Make sure long portions of lumber are supported from the outside of the frame to ensure bowing doesn't take place. Line the joints inside of your concrete frame with Quickcrete or wood glue to stop concrete from seeping through the cracks of your frame. Depending on the shape of your frame you may wish to reinforce your finished slab by inserting steel rods into the frame so that the poured concrete will seep around the rods before setting.
Do not make the sections of your frame too large that the final set concrete slab will be unable to be moved. Your finished concrete block or slab will be quite heavy so you want finished sections which are small enough to be maneuverable. If you are building your framing mold on location such as paving a swimming pool landscape patio and the finished product will not be moved this rule can be bent or ignored. If this is the case make sure your framing is designed so that the top of the project is flat and that a concrete tamper can finish the job if necessary.
Building your own framing and doing the job yourself will definitely be more work if you choose to go this route but you will save substantial sums of money on labor and you will be far more proficient in your abilities to do home improvement projects around the house down the road. Consider building your reinforced frame yourself if you have the tools and experience but keep in mind the final concrete project will only look good if your concrete framing is built proficiently. If the job is too much for your abilities then do considering hiring out the job.