A cheaper alternative to a paver patio??
have an enclosed space in my yard where I would like to put a 12x23 patio next to my garage, as a place for a patio table, some chairs, a grill etc. I have gotten a couple of estimates for a simple rectangular paver patio and they are way beyond my budget - about $4000 is the average price I'm getting. The materials alone go for about $1500, but after having researched how to build a paver patio I think my back would not take my trying to do this myself. I live near Boston Massachusetts (Zone 6).
I've been trying to think of something that would be cheaper but still give me a nice, low maintenance place to hang out and entertain. The area where the patio would be is relatively flat with some low spots - I've thought about trying to just grade it nicely and put crushed stone on it or something, contained by rr ties, but I'm not sure how that would hold up and whether it would be inviting. I also considered a really low deck, just like a wooden box really, but I don't know if that's practical either. Maybe a cement patio, would that be cheaper? I hate grass so I don't want to just have that. There's gotta be a way, I'd appreciate any advice/ideas you could give.
Thank you so much for your help!