Summer is fast approaching, and homeowners everywhere are ready to start grilling and entertaining outdoors. While most grillers cook out on holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day, 60% of grillers report using their grills year round. Unfortunately, grilling and outdoor entertainment can be difficult without an appropriate patio. Installing a patio may sound difficult, but with proper materials, it can often be completed in a weekend.

Before you begin building your patio, it is important to find an appropriate location. You will want your patio to be level, so if your yard has any slope, you will need to dig a flat area for the patio’s construction. Consider building a retaining wall around your patio if you need to dig it into a slope. The retaining wall will keep the remaining hill from eroding and falling into your patio area.

The most important part of building any patio is to create a strong base. Without a good foundation, your patio is likely to crumble within the year. Sand, gravel, and concrete make excellent bases for patios, as long as they are between eight and twelve inches deep. A deep foundation will keep a patio durable and functional for many years. Sharply angled particles lock together better than those with rounded edges, so it is good to pay attention to the types of sand and gravel that you use.

Once you have your retaining wall and foundation in place, you can alter your patio designs to fit your taste. Poured concrete is a popular option for patio paving, due to its low cost and ease of installation. Brick pavers are another option — they’re easy to install and stronger than concrete. Patio pavers can be arranged in different designs and patterns for added customization, and are easy to remove if the foundation needs repair.

By adding a patio to your home, you are investing in the future enjoyment of summers to come, as well as in the resale value of the property. Homeowners often see a 72% return on investment when a deck or patio is added to their home.