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Hard to say based on the limited description available. Is the fireplace constructed completely of masonry? or is there an insert in the firebox? Is it framed walls with stone/brick veneer? Is the chimney a metal pipe or clay flu?
If you haven't used it and it is cracking, I would suggest that the foundation was possibly inadequate and it is settling.
Or the materials used were inferior materials, or the mortar wasn't a quality mix.
There are many factors that could be the cause. Hard to say based on the limited information.
I will say that converting from a wood fireplace to a gas fireplace shouldn't be much of an issue. Converting from gas to wood on the other hand is virtually impossible without major remodeling and expense.
I have constructed wine cellars and installed basements under existing houses. I can tell you right up front it won't be cheap. And it is not easy.
Have you considered building an above ground wine cellar, or building one underground but not under the house?
I second the nursery, but also make sure your soil is plant friendly. I lost a pretty large investment in trees because my soil is not good for growing. Next time around I will need to condition the area I plan to plant.
I also like the goat idea. We used to raise them, and they will indeed eat anything they can ingest, so you have to be careful about not only what you want to keep, but any potentially dangerous or poisonous plants in the area.
On the chemical side, a quality broadleaf herbacide or roundup should kill it. At least for the season.
You said your basement is made of treated wood? As in there is no concrete or masonry walls below grade?
If that is the case, my first suggestion to you would be to hire a contractor to excavate around your house, demo the basement walls, and replace them with concrete or masonry, followed by correctly installed waterproofing and draining backfill. This will not be an easy or cheap fix. Your insurance may help cover the cost of this repair.
I have never seen a below grade basement built with wood. That just doesn't make sense.
If you do have masonry or concrete walls, and they are leaking, especially through treated plywood that is attached to them, this is an indicator of a more serious problem outside. You may need to excavate around the house and replace the soil with a different type that allows for rapid drainage and prevents any sort of hydraulic pressure from building against your walls. Soil such as sand or gravel, or a mix of the two is ideal for this purpose. Also you should install proper waterproofing against the exterior walls to prevent water from contacting the wall at all.
Hydraulic pressure is incredibly powerful, and if you are experiencing water accumulation and build up sub grade against your house, and it is pushing through the wall, then no product you apply to the wall will stop it or be effective. You have to resolve the cause of the problem first.
Hope this helps.
Unfortunately I think WoW Home Solutions answered you correctly. This is an issue that should have been addressed in the planning phase by a forward thinking builder and/or architect, and at the latest in the building phase (assuming you had your home built; if it was a production tract home, then I'm sorry... and prepare yourself for more problems down the road....). Now that your home is completed, there is no easy or cheap remedy to this issue.
The only thing I can suggest that may work (emphasis on may/might/maybe) is to strip the existing drywall off the ceiling and replace it with soundboard. Insulate with spray foam (professional application) while it's all opened up. The spray foam will absorb some of the vibration and deaden the transfer of noise.
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