We are in desperate need of repaving our backyard that serves as a parking lot in addition to redoing our driveway. After weighing the pros and cons and taking in aesthetics we are interested in doing concrete. We don't want a completely solid concrete look. We do not want to go with pavers because that seems a lot more involved with removing another 8 or more inches of soil below the existing ground line to install the appropriate layers of compacted aggregate before finally putting the pavers on top.
From what I've seen on YouTube videos, masonry pros who do this type of work all day remove existing cracked concrete, compact the soil, add rebar for support and then pour new concrete onto the ground into forms that are 4 to 6" deep. As it stands now we currently have a pretty thin layer of asphalt with tons of cracks all over that can be broken up and removed with a shovel.
What I'd like to know is if I can do this approach by pouring concrete into my forms, but I'd like to create a 'giant' paver look with minimal space in between. This is sort of the look I'm talking about:
The space in between my pavers will probably be the thickness of my 2x4's that I'll use to create my forms. I'd like to do this look for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would make it a lot easier for me to work with such a large area as I can do a little bit at a time.
First, We share a property with another owner and there are three cars I'm going to have work around as I conquer this project.
Second, as it stands now since the parking lot is currently cracked and broken up asphalt rain doesn't accumulate and goes right into the ground beneath. The parking lot is approximately 36x60ft. It would not be smart to make this a solid concrete parking lot without a designated water drain. When it rains the water will have nowhere to go.
My question are: Can I lay concrete with my design idea in mind but approach it as if I were just laying concrete on freshly compacted ground? I'll use my forms and apply ether the appropriate gauge mesh or rebar for reinforcement. Or do I have to lay down an aggregate first like I would with smaller pavers; which is something I don't want to do.
I'd also want to use some landscape weed barrier fabric between the 2" spaces of my pavers to prevent weeds from growing through them. And instead of planting grass I'm just going to use garden mulch that will be extend into the planted landscaped areas along the sides of our parking lot.
Are my ideas doable?