Back to the title subject - Support your local handyman! We have had this house in sub-urban California for almost 19 years now. In all that time there was a 'back porch' that looked like something out of National Geographic's photos from third world villages. Most likely it was built by someone from that corner of the world anyways...
After 19 years of hating the back porch because the roof never got finished, never got painted and became sun damaged, dirt (mud) floor - I am now very happy with how the back porch has turned out.
Around the first of the year, our neighbor has a beautiful paver store patio put in the front of her house. I told her that I was jealous of her new patio and she was kind enough to introduce me to her best friend's husband - a Handyman. He came over and looked at the cruddy back porch and listened to what I wanted to do with it and went to work! No more dirt or mud right outside the back door and the dog loves to scratch her back on the stones.
I would say that the hardest part of the back porch paver stones was finding something that matched the house without over spending. He was able to find a gray cobble stone that a local small builder supply carried once and convince them to order a couple more pallets. It was great in that it matched the house stucco color well enough and was not overly expensive.
My last step in this was to get the porch cover finally repaired. It started out as just new plywood sheeting and a roof but went bad from there very quickly. The lumber was never painted and already cracked when we purchased the house - something he pointed out day one. Turns out that the new lumber would not be more than what I had budgeted for the repairs anyways so I had him replace what needed to be taken care of.
Two weeks later and I have a porch that I am proud of - Water proof roof, painted lumber that matches the house trim paint and if you look at it from an overhead photo it only looks like the third world porch got a roof finally.
Not that this helps my preps out any but it makes for a much better place to rest up from working in the garden. It will also help the resale value of the house if I can ever convince my wife to move out to one of the Redoubt states.