We have a raised deck off the back of our house that is 3 feet above the ground at the house and ground level 30 feet away from the house.
Between the top of the foundation and the bottom of the first floor is a 30 inch tall cripple wall. The wall extends from the corner of the house for 20 feet (under the 27 foot width of the deck).
We are thinking of replacing the decking with a hard surface patio. The problem is the cripple wall. Do we replace the cripple wall with a concrete extension upward of the foundation...or...would it be better to move 6 feet away from the house and put in a parallel retaining wall that is backfilled on the opposite from the house with a decking material spanning from the wall to the house?
If replacing the cripple wall, does it seem possible to do so in stages..say, four foot long segments so as not have to pull out the complete cripple wall? The thought being having not to provide a vast about of support to a bearing wall...and not to mention replacing a cripple wall all at once is definitely not a DIY project.