Question: We are buying a house with a fireplace that is approx 27 years old. We had the chimney inspected. The first contractor said the chimney was bad and that he would put in a new liner. The second contractor said the chimney was bad but he would not put in a new liner because he said the resulting opening would be 6X9 as opposed to the original 8X12 opening. He said the 6X9 opening would not be sufficient to handle a wood burning fireplace. He recommended converting the fireplace to gas instead of wood burning. The original chimney is terra cotta. What is your opinion on this? Thanks Answer: He is correct that you could have draft problems if you size the chimney down. Here are some other solutions: 1. There is a special rectangular liner made that give you close to the same size as you have now. 2. If you install a wood stove or insert...many use a 6" flue - which would easily and cheaply line your existing chimney. 3. You could go gas...anything from Gas Logs (not very efficient) to Gas Fireplace Inserts and Stoves that heat well. Most of these inserts and stoves use a 4" aluminum (very reasonable in price) liner.