Hole on Patio Deck: how to word caution for guests?

Hey hosts! We have airbnb guests checking in on Friday for a vacation home we live about 90 minutes from, so we do electronic check in with a Schlage system.

There’s a rotted area/hole on our patio deck and it’s smack dab in the middle of the deck. I have a guy scheduled to come out to replace the board, but it won’t get fixed until next week.

The grill on the deck is a big benefit, and the guest did double check that we have propane available so I know she’s planning on cooking outside.

How do I warn the warning about the hole in the deck? Should I buy a few orange cones and caution tape so that it’s SUPER obvious? I really don’t want anyone to stumble into it and get hurt. Liability is also a huge concern.

Picture of the hole here: https://imgur.com/a/BpRawvC

It’s a ground floor deck, not a raised one, so the danger is a twisted ankle, not death.

Appreciate your help!!

Buy some brightly colored duct tape, or some blue painter’s tape and do an “X” marks the spot type of thing. Write on the tape “DO NOT STEP HERE”.

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Fix the deck, buy the wood and do it yourself or get your guy to do it sooner. Put a big 4X8 sheet of plywood over the hole. Make it safe or cancel the booking.



Agree, if you can get nothing else done, put some plywood on there, message the guest that the deck has temporary repair but is safe and usable, and mark any edges with tape so nobody trips.


I agree with all the responses below, but I would also speak to the guest about the issue and give her the option of cancelling. In the UK this would cover you with regard to liability, but I wouldn’t know about where you are.


Thank you guys for the suggestions!! I didn’t even think about putting down plywood!! I kept thinking of a stainless steel sheet but didn’t know where to get one of those :slight_smile: Will put down plywood + outdoor rug so that it’s safe. Thanks again for the input!! I knew you guys would have the answers!

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I’d probably also put the outdoor table on top of the plywood so people don’t stub their toe or trip on the edge of the plywood. You don’t need a whole sheet of plywood and places like Home Depot sell quarter sheets already cut. Be sure to tell the guest the repair is there.


(oops…Karma beat me to the same idea so I’ll delete mine.)


Good to know about the quarter sheets!!! I was already wondering how to transport it here :slight_smile: Thank you so much!

They also have a cutting service so you can get lumber (and much more) cut to your measurements. There’s just no need to pay for a whole sheet though.