Hello! Brand new member here. I searched the archives and didn't find a conclusive answer to my question(s), so I'll ask here. Forgive me if this has already been beaten to death! :-)

My house is an 1850s farmhouse which has seen multiple renovations and "upgrades" (i.e. its a bit of a mess), located in Raleigh, NC. It has about a 2400 sq ft footprint. It's built on dry-stacked fieldstone piers and a foundation perimeter wall has been built with brick(after the original house was built). There is very little ventilation -- 3 vents on the East side, two on the South, two on the North (both near the NE corner), none on the West where the crawlspace is tightest. The crawlspace is tight on the East side (ca. 24-30") and gets tighter to the West (ca. 12"). There is a vapor barrier down on the ground, but needless to say, there's still moisture. The water heater and plumbing are in the crawlspace, but the HVAC gear & ducting is in the attic.

Currently there is no insulation in the floors, but the previous owners installed fiberglass batts at some point. They said that within a year the batts were waterlogged so they took them back out.

In three rooms, there is carpet which we would like to rip out and have the original floors refinished. The current strata of the floors is: joists, heart pine flooring (no subfloor), 4x8 sheets of 5/8" particle board nailed to the pine (with LOTS of nails), padding, and carpet.

My concern is that when we remove the carpet et al, there will be only the one layer of pine separating the living space from the crawlspace. In addition to being an energy loss, I obviously don't want moisture, smells, and whatever other nasties to come up through the floors.

So, what would be your plan of attack for this sort of situation? Budget is definitely a consideration -- raising the house a foot or two isn't an option! ;-) I'd like to insulate and isolate, but I don't want create even more of a moisture problem than we've already got. I did talk to one contractor about doing a sealed crawlspace -- he just looked at it and laughed. ;-)

One option of course is to put new floors over the original, but we'd like to preserve the original if possible. All advice gratefully accepted! Cheers!