The switches should always be on the hot side of the circuit, but at least in some parts of the circuit, there is a reversal. I can think of several places this could happen through careless wiring. In any case, even if the neutral is not wired correctly everywhere, the grounding conductor (bare wire) should be. Therefore, test the various parts of your circuit with a voltmeter against the grounding conductor. Then you'll see what is hot and what is neutral, and you can correct things.