Overall these steps turned out quite well, the only thing that would have improved the results wood be to have cut the forms with a flexible Acrylic sheeting or thin plywood. Acrylic sheeting or fiberboard(fiberboard was used in this project it is approximately $20 per sheet and 1 and a half sheets were used.)The only problem with the fiber board is that it can expand. Step 3 Stake in your forms and add enough concrete powder inside the form to keep it from pushing inward. Step 5 Keep building and spraying your layers of Quickrete until you have about a half inch from the top of the form.
Dig out the next step area so that there is about 24 inches from the top of your first step. Now set up your form and lay the concrete blocks lengthwise to hold your form in place , this will also give you the 16 inch wide step depth. You are now ready to make the very top step, you can do the front form in the same fashion as the other steps. Step 11 Use your step tool to make a nice rounded edge, this will help prevent the edges from chipping off of your steps. Step 13 Use hydrolic cement or Vinyl-crete to touch up imperfections with a brush on the step faces where the forms previously were.

There are other methods for light touch up work if needed that I will cover in another article. If you are making a slab or steps in an indoor area such as a barn, garage or basement then use a 6 or 4 mil plastic sheet and lay it down first then do your leveling lay your mesh build your forms on top of the plastic.
The fiberboard is extremely strong and light, however as it got wet it would expand causing some shape loss and bulges. Repeat the earlier steps for filling the form and leave your half inch from the top of the form.
Just remember that hydraulic cement sets up very quickly so don't waste any time once it is mixed.
These steps are getting stucco texturing, concrete paint and sealer in the spring so it was not a big deal. Then drill and bolt them together this will allow you to make forms longer than 8 feet if needed.
Use a trowel to smooth and level your step and apron, If needed use a 2x4 board to slide across the the top of the form to level and smooth out the finish. The concrete blocks are 8 inches high and are being used to hold the forms in place, because you can't use stakes to hold the forms on the second step on up.

Make sure the flat screw head is on the inside of the form and the nuts are on the outside of the form. In the project pictured, a small apron is added which will then have a large paver patio extend from it.
It is a good idea to use a broom or a brush and make a light texture on concrete work that is outside, this helps add some slip protection.
The first 3 layers had been dugout to a 24 inch width so that each step was resting on a 10 inch width of the previous step, the rest of the step rests on the existing clay or dirt. You can dig the whole top step back to 8 inches, but it will also work just fine if you dig your apron depth to 4 inches and still use mesh. Now pour the mixture into the top form, and repeat this procedure until the form is entirely full.

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