If you want to be able to spend time out in your backyard, but you don't have a patio, you probably want to come up wth something that will give your yard some character. There are all kinds of ways that you can do that. One is to have a concrete patio. Lots of people think that a concrete patio is something that is going to look just gray and boring, but there are ways that you can get a really great patio that is not boring while using concrete.
One way you can do that is to take advantage of concrete stamping. You've probably seen stamped concrete in a lot of places. Many cities use stamped concrete on places like sidewalks. They can tint and stamp a particular area so that it looks like there is a section of brick embedded in the sidewalk. You can do the same thing with your concrete patio. What happens is that after the concrete has been poured and skimmed so that there is a nice, flat surface, the contractor will use a stamp to create a pattern in the concrete. You don't have to have a brick pattern stamped into your patio; there are all kinds of patterns you can choose. If you choose to go with something like stone, faux grout marks can be put in to really sell the illusion.
Another option is to get the concrete tinted. There are powdered tints that can be used when the concrete is being mixed that will change the color of the concrete. You can have your whole patio tinted one color, or the contractor can put in different colors. Your contractor may be able to create a faux finish on your patio that will make it look like marble or granite. You can combine tinting and stamping as well. That will give you the most options out there. Using the two, you could do things like create a large checkerboard on your patio so that you can play games on your patio or just about any other combination you can think of.
If you want to be able to have additional living space outside, building a patio can do that for you. One way to get your patio is to have a concrete contractor pour one for you. You can work with them to create something that will work well for you.