I'd planning to build some steps that lead from sidewalk to front door (about 15' and 3 steps). The steps will have curved faces. The steps/walkway will be covered with stone and or brick so it does not need to be fully smoothed.
I have done one curved form (not a step) so I know the basics. Normally the form for a square step is just a straight board across the width of the side forms. I figure for a curved face step, a good way to build the form is to still place a straight board across the side forms but place it such that the apex of the curve just kisses the board. Then the plywood curved form can be placed within this and blocking can be added between the curved form and straight board to add support. Is this a good plan? The problem that I see here is that it would be difficult to screed/smooth the portion of the lower step covered by the square part of the form. Perhaps one could hold the square part of the form above the level of the lower step to allow a screed to slip under it? (Sorry, I'm thinking aloud here).
One other question - Often when pouring a driveway or even a patio one might need a footing around the perimeter of the slab at a lower level for brick edging or a small retaining wall etc. Are these forms usually constructed and poured at the same time as the main form or are they done as a separate operation? I suppose you could use a 2'x4' for the main slab form and then a lower form for the perimeter footing (kind of like a form for steps). This way they could be poured at the same time guaranteeing a monolithic structure. You would have some holes in the footing where the stakes for the slab form were placed but this is not a big deal is it?
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