The plans called for extensive digging under the house. To avoid undermining the existing fireplace, which was to be left in place, the crew installed temporary plywood shoring pinned to the earth with heavy rebar.
The new reinforced wall would serve as the back wall of the downstairs living space and permanently stabilize the soil under the house.
The retaining wall foundation required a serious amount of rebar, including L-shaped pieces coming up from a wide footing.
To speed tying and ease wrist strain, the crew used inexpensive manual twist tools that wind the ends of the wire when their handle is pulled.