Not to state the obvious, but when you make repairs, use the right materials!
This is something that I see so often on home inspections. With the availability of so much information available out there regarding home repairs, why is it that so often I see work that is entirely incorrect?
Take this stair tread, for example.
It was exceptionally loose.
And why not.
Can you see what's up?
FIRST, the wood is not a board that has been pressure treated. All outdoor deck materials should be pressure treated. And this board is new. It is Southern Yellow Pine, typically knot free. This is an indoor material, not made for outdoors unless it is primed and painted, and soon it will begin to rot.
SECOND, the wrong nails were used to install it. They are bright nails, made for dry, indoor applications. They have been there long enough to begin rusting. Soon, as they rust more, they will affect the wood and cause it to rot. Even if these nails had been used just the day before and had not yet begun rusting, I would have been able to tell they were indoor nails.
THIRD, the nails are too close together. These stairs, and their three stringers (the angled members everything is nailed to), are all old and splitting. There is nothing for the nails to grab. But putting nails so close together will cause the wood to split even more. Hence the looseness.
All of these stair treads were loose. But this new "repair" was especially so. There is nothing right about it. Is it a homeowner job? I don't know. Probably.
But what if it had been installed by a "professional?" Would I be surprised? No. I see so much schmuck work from day to day it is amazing. And this work is far from professional.
My recommendation: do it right! Or get it done right! If you do it yourself find out how things should be properly done. But as with anything, practice makes perfect. If you hire someone, hire someone with a reputation and a history. Someone who knows proper construction or repair techniques. Anything else is useless. Calling a home inspector here was the Best Practice.