How much does it cost to build a deck ? That depends. How big? Wood or composite? A local handyman can provide an estimate for your dream deck, but it doesn't hurt to know going into that meeting what the average cost is on a national level. Read on to learn exactly that as well as how to estimate costs for a DIY project.

2014 National Average Cost for a Deck

Hanley Wood's "Remodeling" magazine puts out an annual cost vs. value report for popular remodeling projects. It used the following criteria to come up with the average national cost for materials and installation of a wood deck:

Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install pressure-treated deck boards in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing system using pressure-treated wood posts, railings, and balusters.

The magazine found a total national average cost of $9,539.

It used the following criteria to come up with the average national cost for materials and installation of a composite deck:

Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install composite deck material in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material.

The magazine found a total national average cost of $15,437.

2014 National Deck Resale Value and Cost Recouped

Wood Deck without Roof

The magazine also researched two other factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to add a deck: how much the deck adds to the resale value of a home and how much of the cost gets recouped upon resale.

It found that the average national resale value of the above wood deck was $8,334, which worked out to 87.4 percent of the cost recouped for the homeowner.

It found that the average national resale value of the above wood deck was $11,476, which worked out to 74.3 percent of the cost recouped for the homeowner.

When deciding between wood and composite, keep that 13.1 percent difference in favor of wood as a material in mind. It costs less and offers more value in the short-term for a homeowner.

Determining Local Costs

In addition to national averages for deck projects, the magazine also offers regional averages: East North Central, East South Central, Mid-Atlantic, Mountain, New England, Pacific, South Atlantic, West North Central and West South Central. To drill down to an even more local level, use one of the many online resources that estimate the cost of a deck by zip code.

Deck Repair

For example, the Homewyse website offers a wood deck cost calculator with zip code and square footage as the criteria. Enter those, and it will give you a low and high non-discounted retail cost for a common, mid-grade wood deck that includes typical installation waste, fabrication overage, material for future repairs and delivery within 25 miles; direct labor; and job materials and supplies, such as corrosion resistant fasteners, flashing and exterior grade caulking, weather stripping and sealants.

The most accurate estimate will come from a local handyman , though, as there are factors specific to your property that must be taken into consideration. He or she also will know local sales tax percentages for materials and supplies as well as the permit or inspection fees required by the local building department. Knowing all of the costs up front allows you to set a budget and stick to it.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.