Well! Last time I came here to ask the collective Permies oracle a question, I was stumped about what insulation I should use in my walls. After much dreaming on my side, and much practicality on my family's side, we met in the middle at denim insulation.
It was really easy to work with (a bit fluffy when you rip it, but no prickles- oh, and the blue snot it gave me was pretty fun too), but I could not get around putting a plastic vapour barrier over it. I know I don't feel comfortable about sealing the walls, but I can't really make a decent argument as to why when I'm speaking with people used to building to code. Anywho- so we've now got to-code insulated walls complete with plastic vapour barrier and more tuck tape than you can shake a stick at, and instead of drywall we have plywood walls (for strength, mostly).
I'm going to plaster the interior with American Clay Loma, but the exterior is where I'm stuck. I know that I would rather work with a natural plaster than a cement stucco, but I'm worried that a breathable finish like earthen plaster over tar paper might allow moisture to enter and create condensation? I'm really stuck on all this. What I get from the conventional builders is, "well, you just need vapour barrier! Without it your house will be draughty and your walls with rot!" But now that there's a vapour seal on the inside, should I have a tight one on the outside, too? Does this mean I have to say goodbye to my natural-ish house all together? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Any other exterior finish ideas would be wonderful too : )