Work from home might sound attractive, but it can be not easy and productive if you do not have proper space and peace. Many professionals who work from home consider converting their loft into a private home office where, without being distracted, they can focus on their work.
Going upstairs for work has many benefits as the attic is a slightly apart space from the rest of the house and gives proper ideal space for work.
If you are inspired by the idea of converting your loft into an office space, you should take some time to think through the details of designing and space uses.
Also, before going to convert your loft into an office, you must see that the loft should have a suitable size to transform into an office space, and you can work here for a long time. As you may require a large desk, personal computer, chair, papers container and bookshelves, hence your loft should have a sufficient head and floor space to cope up with all these requirements.
Instead of making your attic dusty storage space, with the following modification ideas, remodel it into an idyllic working space.
Practical Considerations -
Opt for loft ladders as they serve as a suitable alternative for the standard staircases with their lightweight and foldable features. Instead of a permanent obstruction, it also helps to maximize the space, and you can hide them when you are not using them. Loft ladders also effectively reduce the need to reinforce the loft floor and you can establish its standing as a separate space from the rest of the house.
Build into nooks -
During the loft conversion work, often space ends up with several nooks and crannies which are created for structural supports and the angle of the roof. You can utilize those nooks to build shelves for books and files. It can add useful extra work and storage space at either end.
Colour theme -
Groupe the lashings of colour together on every surface in a perfect sense of order. Colour-coding provides several benefits as it is easier to find what is placed where.
Make it multi-tasking -
Many home offices function as multi taking place. You can use it as a spare bedroom, a small storage space. Transform it in such a way to create an impressively multi-functional space. Corners can provide the spot for some recessed shelves, and you can adjust a small bed for resting there.
Allowing natural sunshine is one of the most significant aspects which needs proper consideration while converting your loft into the office space. Proper sunlight makes the loft an attractive workspace and improves your mood with the presence of natural light. Also, being exposed to sunlight improves your sleep quality, productivity, sleep efficiency, and your overall health.
Depending on the pitch and your loft layout, you can opt for a suitable window type, while converting your loft into an office space.
Come off the wall -
Often while people convert their loft into the office space, they position the desk up against the wall, instead of making that face out into the room, that allows space for someone else to sit at the desk, especially if you are working on more collaborative projects. Utilize that empty wall as a storage space, cope with a bank of neat cupboards to give the whole comfortable feeling.
Stay willowy -
Keep your room more cult free by occupying a few essential furniture as the bigger the desk, the more clutter. Nowadays, most of the people working at a laptop do not need a big space or big desk, hence avoid the desk impinging the rest of the room. However, you can go for the sleek, long desk, on which you can keep a few of your books, table lamps, pen stands or other required things.
A cosy retreat -
It is not necessary to have a large dormer to tuck in a workstation; you can make your small loft into a cosy escape. You can keep your desk on one side, and cupboards on the other side, under the eaves.
Are you working from home? Do you have a proper dedicated space for work? Are you looking for a remodelling? If not then contact with House extension London to make your loft in an ideal space to work in.
There are various loft flooring options to choose from while beginning to board your loft. Some options are cheaper than others but often have some drawbacks and therefore need to be thought of, very carefully. We'll take you through the description, advantages and drawbacks of some of the common loft flooring and boarding approaches:
This is the cheapest method of all and you can do it all by yourself, if you love DIYs and have fun creating your own space by yourself.
But, the major drawback with this type is that it does now allow enough airflow and doesn't leave the space any room for the recommended insulation depth, which is usually between 240-270 mm.
The alternative for laying chipboards directly on the joists is to buy and lay insulation boarding over the joists.
But, insulation boarding is expensive and does not really solve the insulation problem.
Attaching counter battens at the top of the joists raises the level of the floor. Then the boards can be laid on the top.
The advantage of using counter battens is that it does allow enough space for insulation and airflow.
This is to use a raised floor system. This kind of flooring is the job of an expert and gives a professional finish to the loft.
The advantage of LoftZone StoneFloor system is that it solves the airflow problem and takes the best care of insulation. It is a modular system which is unique and patented. It provides an extra storage space and this type of flooring system is the only loft flooring system that complies with the building regulations. LoftZone StoneFloor flooring system is strong enough to provide a safe deck for access along with keeping a check of the insulation underneath.
Hence, this can be considered as the best loft flooring system also, if you are ready to spend on the quality of it.
Installing loft boarding and flooring is of great advantage and brings you many benefits like an added storage space which can be used for various amazing purposes.
If you have read the above, you know by now that each flooring system has different advantages and different disadvantages. If you want to DIY your flooring system, you can do that too or if you want to get professional help, that can also be done very easily. All of it completely depends upon your personal preferences and the kind of use you are looking out from your new loft conversion. Hence, we recommend considering our experts at Loft Conversion London to give you detailed advice on which flooring system would suit your requirement the best. We understand that different people have different tastes and how the issue of insulation can be a bigger concern for some and for others, just the storage bit matters. For some, doing and creating the space all by themselves can be of great excitement and hence we drive with the mission of helping people fulfill their dreams and ambitions and converting their loft in the way they have always wanted and imagined it to be.
If you want to add up space but moving in isn't an option, loft conversion is a great way for you to get started with creating up additional space in your existing house. But before Loft conversion, one is required to keep a check of all the laws in that particular area, other considerations and obviously a lot of planning is required. The most important factor that comes into our minds while thinking of loft conversion is the cost and how to calculate loft conversion costs. Here, we are going to talk specifically about that.
The most important factors on which the cost of loft conversion will depend upon are- structure of your, roof, the available space you have, what kind of alterations do you want to make, installing a staircase and obviously the cost related to the amount of interior design you want to add up and beautify the space.
Converting your loft is a relatively cheap and an easy way to add up space in your house. A loft can work as a storage space, an additional living space, a lounge area, an office, s guest room, a children's play room, a home cinema or even a gym. Sounds amazing, right? But, the question remains the same, that - how much does a loft conversion cost? We let you discover the average price of a loft conversion along the course of this article.
One of the biggest loft conversion cost calculation factors is the location you live in. To simply this, here is a list of some average loft conversion costs for areas in the UK for 20 m sq. standard space.
Northern Ireland - £8,580
Scotland - £12,012
Wales - £10, 639
Northern England - £11, 669
Midlands - £10, 868
Yorkshire - £11, 669
East Anglia - £11, 097
South East England - £12,012
South West England - £10,686
The average cost for one room in the loft conversion starts from around £15,000 and goes upto as much as you can afford. This minimum cost will include -
The actual cost will vary on the quality of products you want to invest in for all of these factors.
Another popular option for loft conversion is Hip to Gable loft extension. This includes converting the slope side of the roof into the fat edge and adding up additional space in your loft. This type of loft conversion costs between £30,000 - £35,000. The cost will increase if you want to make additional changes too, in the loft.
Another common option for loft conversion that is being mostly opted for is the dormer loft conversion, which means extending the outwards from the back side of the loft and converting the loft in a box shape. This type of loft conversions are also known as kennel or box conversions. These add up to a lot of extra space and the cost of such dormer loft conversion ranges between £19,000 and £30,000.
The most costly loft conversions are when you want to change the roof structure altogether. Changing the roof structure is considered to be the most expensive and the most difficult kind of loft conversion ever. This is because it mostly requires removing the entire roof and re-building it in the desired way. People of for changing the roof structure in two cases -
This type of loft conversion does require the homeowner to take permissions, which adds up to the cost even more. The average cost of changing the roof structure begins £40,000 and goes upwards to unimaginable extent, depending upon the quality, quantity and desirability of the outcome.
The cost also varies depends on the type of and number of windows that you want to add up-
Hence, these are the common aspects you'll need to know about while calculating the cost of loft conversion.
Be smart while building your house extension, to save money. We are listing 7 tricks to help you in making value-adding decisions.
Choose a reliable architect and explain to them what exactly you want as an outcome.
2. Leave time for paperwork -
A planning permission commission almost takes 8-14 weeks to provide a lawful development certificate. It's advisable not to start any extension work without getting approval from the council. As the delay in paperwork can delay your extension work too, so do that on priority. Ensure that all your appraisal, survey work, building control, and party wall matters get settled before you begin. If you start doing this early, you may get a more competitive quote.
3. Use standard materials and features -
You can get a lot of ready-available and easy to use products. Generally, if you are looking for a custom-made solution, you can eliminate the costing from the initial estimate. Keep it simple using precast beam and block solutions for the block-work for the walls, ground slab, brick, render or timber cladding for the exterior coatings, and can use softwood for the roof frame structure.
4. Check your agreement and break down your quote -
Before starting any extension work gets a tight contract, so, if anything turns during your project, it will give you a proper way to handle inflating costs. Get a fully cost quote from the builder so that you will be aware of the price of each element, and if anything gets changed, you can refer to the original price per unit.
5. Eliminate problematic groundwork -
Avoid building near trees, drains or other services or if you have a detached house, try not to extend too close to your neighbor's house, it may affect their foundation, and they may apply for a Party Wall Act.
6. Compare suppliers -
Compare different supplier price rates form choosing an architect to sourcing a builder. Try soliciting 4-6 quotes for all supplies and finalize the best one. However, we can sometimes say it's possible that the cheaper one will not be the best. House extension London offers value, quality and trust and handles your entire contract precisely to give you the best outcome.
7. Save money on a planning fee -
Expert Architects at House extension London helps you to keep costs down and build low-cost development simultaneously consolidating a high-value design. We will help you throughout the making process of the Planning and Building Regulations applications. It would be the best idea to invest money to those who will look after your interest.
You can avoid paying the fees associated with the planning permission
if your extension comes into the Permitted Development criteria. However, House extension London always advises for an initial pre-consultation inquiry.
8. Hire a project manager -
Whether you're building a two-storey rear extension or a renovated kitchen or just removing your conservatory, a project manager is always relevant to consider.
A project manager will help you to stay updated about the work progress. Also, he will keep an eye to the trades person and will try to complete the work within the timeline.
9. Get the design accurately -
An improvement to the drawings will always require more hours from your architect; on the other hand, any changes during the construction process can cost you more labor, time and materials. Decide the design in one go, as replacements always acquire in extra costs that only become apparent later on. A perfect design ensures that everything is happening in the right place. It becomes crucial when dealing with loft conversions as it has a complexity of having different roof pitches, stair's headroom and the available quality space. However, use the 3D model to make the designing work easier.
10. Negotiate trade discounts -
House extension London uses its own trusted suppliers, and get special prices for their loyalty. We offer the best deal in the market.
We keep our costs down by using basic specifications. Get in touch for more specifications.
Space is an important aspect in terms of living. Effective usage of space in a given area is still a challenging work for the designers. The architecture has to perfect so that the building comes with minimal or no flaws. There are many ways to transform a given area into a beautiful atmosphere. One such technique is the loft conversion. A loft conversion is a methodology of converting the extra space available in the loft and attic into a usable functional area. These spaces are designed carefully so that maximum utilization is brought out from the given area.
Design and structure
The beauty of the building lies in its design. With the perfect architecture, one can create enormous structures with elegancy. Considering a developed area, it is quite difficult to find large areas to furnish the luxury you desire. Hence an alternate can aid you by giving the necessary benefits at an affordable cost. With loft conversions being our major, we provide you the best solutions.
The ideology of loft conversion dates back to the 17th century. From then it has been evolved into various forms as per the needs and the area available to the people. Space can be converted to any form of room you desire. Be it a living room, study room, bedroom, or an office workspace, anything can be structured with loft conversions.
With this being said, let us introduce you to the types of prominent loft conversion available.
All these conversions satisfy your requirements with class.
Ideas for your London home
Before settling with an idea, make sure that you venture out the resources and the services available. Resolve your conflicts with an idealistic solution so you may seek what you dreamt of. Here are some of the interesting solutions that you may ponder before jumping into a conclusion. Some best ways where the loft conversions aid you are:
Extensible living area - This can be an extended living area where you could accommodate the guests and have a happy chat-out.
Private Bedroom - With this, you can have a private bedroom with all the necessary facilities intact.
Kids Fun Park - Kids tend to have fun in their means. Providing them with a special fun space makes them a lot happier.
Study room - It’s time for your kids to have a separate study room to focus on their academic activities.
Recording Studio - Are you passionate about music? Then this can be your ideal space to spread your voice to the world.
Workspace - Be it any type of work you are into, you require a dedicated space to use your full potential. This will enhance your productivity levels.
Warehouse - You can also use this space to stock your materials and use them for your business purposes.
Mini party-hall - Well now you don’t have to hire places for partying because you can create one and rent it out when not in use.
GYM/ workout spaces - these areas can be best suited for workouts and other related activities. One can train here as and when he/she desires.
Bathroom - Last but not the least, if you wish to have a luxury bathroom well now you can create one with the area available to you.
Ways to plan loft conversions the right way –
Plan your space that you are wishing to convert. Once you have fixed the space, you can contemplate the type of loft conversion.
Once the design has been planned, sketch the necessary outlines and types of products you wish to use.
Make sure that your plan receives the maximum amount of sunlight because this ensures most of the lighting part for your room.
Furnish the room with the appropriate décor suiting the color and structure.
Maximize the storage area by using convertible furniture or shelves. These will help you to avail the best area out of it.
Keep it simple yet stylish. Use the latest adaptable products which save you from cost as well as provide better functionalities.
Décor your surrounding area with the greens so that you may not be deprived of fresh air and soothing appearance.
For whatever purpose you are deliberating the room, make sure it fits 100% of your requirements. If not make some necessary alterations so that you can live your dream space.
Use all the angles wisely. The one thing with the loft conversion is that you will be left with quite a few numbers of angles. These can be adored when used wistfully
The entrance points should be well designed so that it matches with the stairs perfectly.
Know your regulations. Though it is remodeling the extra area you possess, it does require some permissions and formalities.
Well, that’s a quite lot of information to look at. Be it any form of construction it requires authentic planning before fetching the result. We offer the clients with the best of resources and services. All the permissions are properly taken care of with due notifications. We show our hands clean by exhibiting transparency in every single detail. As the modern environment quenches for a different space, we are ready to satiate them with the marvel they could never imagine.
9 Important Questions That You Need to Ask Before You Consider a Loft Conversion
A loft conversion can be quite an exciting project. It gives homeowners an opportunity to be creative and increase the living space in your house. However, before you rush to start this task, there are several things that you must consider. The planning process can be quite hectic, but it will surely save you time and money over time. To help you get organized and ensure that you have a project that you will be proud of, there are questions that you should ask yourself. Here are the loft conversion questions that you should ask before starting your project.
Why do you want a loft conversion?
There are several reasons why homeowners choose to extend their living space. One reason is to make improvements in the property that they have invested in for many years. If you are planning to stay in the home permanently, then you need to invest in a quality loft conversion project. In addition, other people opt to convert their loft to add value to their homes and make more profit when they sell the property. You can always speak to a real estate agent to determine how much value the conversion will add to your home.
Some people can also convert their loft to create short-term space. This is usually done when a homeowner needs extra space but does not have the financial ability to move to a bigger home. Knowing why you want a conversion will help you to set up your budget accordingly and avoid overspending in the process. If a conversion is a short-term solution, then it may make sense to save the cash and move instead of spending it in a home that you will leave after a few years.
How much money do you want to spend in the loft conversion?
Even though this may sound obvious, many people consider a loft conversion before deciding on their budget. This usually results in a project that looks ideal but is way out of the stipulated budget. If you are planning on a loft conversion, then you should think critically and come up with a realistic figure that you wish to spend. Make sure that you communicate this to your building contractor before you get started with your design as you may get recommendations to save money on your loft conversion. This will help you to save lots of time and will ensure that you do not spend more money than you have planned to.
What design styles do you like?
After ascertaining your set budget, you need to think about the style that you want for your loft conversion. You should never assume that your architect and loft conversion building contractors know what you want. There are many loft conversion styles and designs out there and you need to research extensively to come up with the exact design that you want. Ensure that you discuss every detail that you want with the contractors. You can check out our loft conversion ideas to help you make a decision.
Is it necessary to consider building regulations when converting my loft?
When converting your loft, you must consider the local building regulations. You can get a building completion certificate from your local authority or a nationally approved building inspection company. This will ensure that your loft conversion project is built according to the set building regulation standards. Your property may be devalued if you do not have this certificate and you may have problems selling your house in the future since a building completion certificate is necessary during the selling process.
When do you want the project to be done?
Many people prefer building work to be done during the spring or summer months. These seasons have good weather and they ensure that construction work takes less time to complete. Irrespective of when you want the building work to start, you must ensure that you start planning for the loft conversion process early. Surveys, designs, applying for planning permissions,, getting building regulations approvals and hiring building contractors take lots of time. It may take several months for your conversion project to get started. This is why you need to be realistic and start the process early enough.
How long will the loft conversion project take?
On average, it will take about eight weeks for a loft conversion to be completed. However, the time will vary from one loft to another and depending the building work that is needed. You should also take into consideration the time taken to have the loft conversion plans drawn up and getting planning permission.
Will the loft conversion affect my neighbors?
Before you start your loft conversion planning process, it is important that you consider your neighbors. You will need their cooperation, especially if the construction work will affect a wall that you share. Furthermore, you may need to access their land during the building process. Ensure that you talk to your neighbors to let them know about your project in advance. You need to know whether they have any objections or problems with your upcoming project. This way, you can make minor alterations to your loft conversion plans to prevent your neighbors from raising any material planning objections that will delay your project. Furthermore, you will be able to be on good terms with all your neighbors.
Will my utilities be strained?
When you add extra living space to your home, you can be sure that your heating requirements, water, and electricity needs will also increase. Your builder should advise you whether a new fuse board is necessary to handle the additional circuits and breakers or whether the shower or bathroom in your loft will affect the water pressure in the rest of the house, necessitating installation of an unvented cylinder or pump.
Do you need work done anywhere else in your home?
Before you start your loft conversion project, you should check around your home to determine whether you need work done anywhere else in your home. By getting all the work done at the same time, you will save money and time. Furthermore, you will reduce the amount of disruption and time you have contractors in your house.
A loft conversion is a perfect way of adding space to your home. It can come in handy if you have a baby on the way, need a home office, or you have visitors coming to stay. A loft conversion project will add an extra shower room or bedroom upstairs and it will be a less costly project than moving to a bigger property. By asking these loft conversion questions, you will be able to come up with the best plans that will guarantee a successful project.
Do You Need Planning Permission for Your Loft Conversion?
Loft conversions are an easy and convenient way to increase your home’s plinth area without putting up a new structure. While this option is quite economical, many people are reluctant to undertake loft conversion projects for fear of being denied planning permission. Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to convert your loft without permission. All you have to do follow a few easy steps.
In order for you to determine whether you need to apply for planning permission, you will need to procure the services of an architect, builder or civil engineer. Once you tell them what you intend to do with your attic space, they will be able to advice you on whether you need to apply for planning permission or not.
Make sure that their advice is based on your final design as changes to your design may warrant application for planning permission. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of your local building control such as city council to guide you on which conversions are allowable without planning authorization.
Whether you need planning permission or not you will still have to ensure that you get building regulations approval. These regulations are in place to certify that any conversion jobs completed are structurally sound. They also vary from project to project depending on the features covered by each regulation.
The key elements include but is not limited to fire safety with regards to materials used, insulation and alarm systems, sound insulation, walls, joists and floors, staircase accessibility in case of a fire and load bearing support.
Apart from the requirements above, you may also be faced with additional authorization requirements depending on the following factors.
If you live in a protected historic building, you may face some roadblocks depending on the historic classification grade. Some historic buildings are not eligible for conversions that are bound to alter their original design significantly. So if you live in a historic building, ensure that the changes you wish to make are acceptable by the Heritage Protection Guide. You can find the guidelines on The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings or the Historic England website.
Endangered species habitat
If for some reason, your attic has been inhabited by any protected species such as bats, various bird species, dormice, wart-biter crickets and V-moths, then you will have to shelf your loft conversion plans. You can get the entire list of protected species on www.phlorum.com.
While there are ways to work around it, you will need to hire an ecologist to survey the site and advice on whether you can still convert the loft or not. Even so, your planning permission might still get rejected should they decide to carry out a survey of their own and come to a different conclusion. On the positive side you may still be able to carry on with your conversion if you are successful in getting a mitigation license stating that your project will not endanger the protected species residing in your loft.
Party Wall Agreement
If you live in a detached or semidetached house, you will need to inform you neighbour of your proposed loft conversion especially if the job will affect the shared wall. In this case you will need a Party wall agreement between you and your neighbour stating that the conversion will not affect their property.
You can find templates online that you can then customize to your specifications with regards to you and your neighbours’ situation. If they are reluctant to sign off, you can have an independent surveyor come in and approve your conversion.
In conclusion, you will not need planning permission for your proposed loft conversion if your project stays within the guidelines stated below.
Also do not forget to reinforce the floor below as your current existing floor may not have been built for heavy usage. Ensure you discuss this with your architect, builder or civil engineer.
Loft Conversion Ideas
A loft conversion is a great way of adding space and value to your house cost-effectively. If you have an attic that is still untouched, then you are lucky and should make better use of this part of your home. Loft conversions will help you get the much needed extra functional space that your home needs. You can convert this space to an additional living room, bathroom, bedroom, or even office space. When perfectly done, loft conversions can offer financial rewards if you ever sell your property because they will boost the value of your home. Here are some loft conversion ideas that will help to transform your attic from a cluttered space into a practical, chick room that you will love.
Get Your Loft Conversion Design Right
Before you start working on your loft, it is important to consider the complete layout of your loft conversion. This means that you should make a decision on where the furniture pieces will be positioned, any built-in storage, and the bathroom if you are constructing one. If you plan to build an en suite, then you should take into account the ceiling height in your attic space. This will ensure that your design is practical before you start construction.
Expose the brickwork
You can leave one wall of your new space unpainted and expose your brickwork to create a stylish feature that looks great, particularly in an attic that has slanting ceilings. If your brickwork is not in good condition, then you can opt to use wallpapers that will help you achieve the same look. With wallpapers, you do not have to remove the plaster as they can be fitted onto your wall.
Check the Attic Height
Before you make a decision on what function you want the extra space to serve, you should scrutinize your space carefully. If you discover that you have a double-height room then you can consider creating a mezzanine level of the attic. This will give you a desirable look that has plenty of appeals. With a double-height space, you can create a sleeping area that is above a living room or an extra bedroom with a bathroom on the mezzanine floor.
Manage without a staircase
If you are converting the loft to add extra storage space, you can opt to add a strong and durable ladder for easy access the loft above. This is an excellent way of maximizing your unused space without the need to construct expensive staircases. It can also be an amazing feature for a perfect hideout whenever you need some personal time.
Plan Your Storage
You should consider creating a customized wardrobe if you are converting your attic space into an extra bedroom. This will help you to get maximum utilisation for your space. With the low-level sloped ceiling, you do not have adequate space to accommodate the standard, ready-made furniture. This is why you need to think outside the box and make use of an awkward space. You can construct handy recesses into the attic to make a great addition to your new contemporary bathroom, particularly when it is designed to complement the existing décor.
Create a Feature Wall to Spark Interest
Many people opt for white when they want to create an illusion of a lighter and larger space. However, not every homeowner prefers a one-shade scheme. You can opt for patterned wallpaper, especially one that features a subtle repeat print. It should also have a light hue to help add more interest in your space. You can create an illusion of more wall length by positioning your feature wall at the end of the room.
Maximize on Natural Light
You should think about the position and size of your windows in the loft conversion design. The position of windows will be determined by the shape of the roof, for example, deeper, narrow rooms will look better with one large window, while shallow rooms need windows that are evenly spaced along its length. Every attic space will vary in size and shape, and you should carefully consider the type of window that will perfectly suit your new room.
Highlight Slanted Ceiling
When it comes to loft conversions, you should never be put off by tiny spaces and awkwardly shaped ceilings. You can use patterned wallpaper on a small panel or the entire room to create a unique look. Wallpaper is perfect for adding instant personality to your space and you should choose a design that you love. If you are converting your loft into a bedroom, make sure that you go for muted colours for a restful feel.
Showcase your Creativity
A restricted footprint of most attic spaces should not affect your creative flair. You can add significant value to your loft conversion with a stylish bathroom. With the sloped ceilings, you will have a dramatic frame for your stylish bathtub underneath. For the small spaces in your loft conversion design, go for bold wallpaper design as they will help to give an illusion of a bigger space. Furthermore, a big-patterned feature wall will add personality in a small compact room and will give your new functional space a focal point.
A practical attic conversion can transform the look, feel, and functionality of your home. Keep in mind that loft conversions are not possible for everyone; however, if you have attic space, then it is worth to convert your loft into a functional room. A professional loft conversion will add about 10 to 20% to the value of your property without the need of sacrificing extra garden space that is needed by ground floor extensions. For the best loft conversion, find a company that has the expertise and experience handling attic conversions.