Q.: I see many advertisements for sleeves and the mechanical connections for reinforcing bars, and I know they are sometimes welded. What's wrong with an ordinary lap splice?

A.: There's nothing wrong with it if there is room for it and it is done properly. The ACI 318-77 Building Code, Section 12.15.1 says: "Splices of reinforcement shall be made only as required or permitted on design drawings, or in specifications or as authorized by the engineer." Lap splices are usually the most economical method, but if they cause excessive congestion, problems in placing concrete, or problems of design or detailing, some other kind of splice must be used. Lap splicing of #14 and #18 bars is not permitted by the ACI Code, except in compression to smaller size dowels at footings.