A backyard patio is an inexpensive way to add some sweet living area to your home.

For a professionally installed brick or concrete paver patio that’s 12 by 16 feet—plenty of space for a table, chairs, and barbecue equipment—you’ll pay about $15 per square foot, or $3,000 total. Expect a payback of 30% to 60% on your investment (plus many hours of great outdoor living).

Other paving materials include limestone, slate, and granite. Concrete is a less expensive option that costs $6 to $12 per square foot, installed.