If for no other reason than the integrity of the magazine, someone should review information and, more specifically, photos submitted by advertisers. Recently, for example, an ad touted the wonders of a manufacturer’s screws without showing whether the heads are Phillips, slot, square, Torx, or the combo square/Phillips. But that is only minor compared with the photo of the deck shown in the ad, which features a 1960’s-style 2x2 PT rail that would be prone to coming loose and liable to rot at the contact point with the rim joist, and that would collect dirt and pine needles where it meets the deck edge. As if that is not bad enough, the post-to-beam connection is apparently toenailed, as no metal hardware is visible. Also, it would take very little movement to rock the deck back and forth, since there are no angle sway braces on the posts. Makes one wonder how old the photo is, and who built the deck.

Bob Hawkins
American Home Services
(formerly Decks Plus)
Lynden, Wash.