Let's be practical concerning the article "Strong Rail-Post Connections for Wooden Decks" (2/05). Looking at it from a contractor's point of view, I have the following observations: The bolted connection passed code, so no further refinement is needed. Perhaps the code already took into account the safety factor, or the code needs to be changed. A 200-pound load applied continuously to a single post — as in the test — is a pretty unlikely scenario.

Readers can certainly choose to overbuild their deck if they don't mind the added cost, but I don't think they will have any more peace of mind.

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