I am renovating a 120 year young wood on pier house in hot, humid New Orleans. The house is currently gutted and reframed, which was necessary due to serious termite damage. The exterior wood siding is actually in pretty good condition so it remains. My question is how do I properly insulate the walls of this house? I'm not removing the siding so I can't add a vapor barrier between the siding and the studs. If I have a vapor barrier between the insulation and drywall, it will surely rot when rain water inevitably gets in the siding, right?
Everyone tells me something different (and seems quite sure of themselves!). Inspectors, builders, exterminators, other homeowners all have a different opinion. Many can't even agree on which way the paper is supposed to face! I'm a realtor, so I've seen some horrible mold situations. Is it just that these old wooden houses were meant to "breathe" and I shouldn't insulate the walls at all?