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Top Shops: An office fit for a shop
Bob & Debbie Klemp
Bob and Debbie Klemp started farming 22 years ago with Bob working out of an old wooden shed to do repair jobs on their Wheatfield, Indiana, farm.
The addition of a fully functioning office to their shop not only creates a professional headquarters for the farm business but also provides a family meeting spot for (from left) Veronica (Andy’s wife), Andy, Kevin, Debbie, and Bob Klemp.
The Klemp’s shop was built over a decade ago. Note how the Klemps located the shop’s main 24-foot-wide split sliding door at the end of the shop to access the building’s main repair and service bay which is equipped with a swing jib hoist. A second, 16-foot overhead door is located at the side of the shop. This allows vehicles and equipment to exit head first out the repair and service bay or to allow a second vehicle to enter the shop for lubricating and oil changes as well as power washing.
Built in stages
The original 48-foot-wide by 72-foot-long Klemp shop, through which Bob is driving a tractor through it’s 48-foot-wide main entrance, was built over a decade. The farm’s office complex (on the right-hand side of the image) was added to the shop structure several years later.
This is the scene looking south toward the Klemp shop and farm office addition. The shop’s secondary 16-foot-wide door is on the right. The shop and office’s 6x8-foot mechanical room is located to the left of this door. Fuel storage is located on the right side of the driveway that approaches the 16-foot-wide door. Locating the fuel storage tank in this location provides close assess to the shop for re-fueling but provides a safe distance from the shop.
The swing jib crane (whose hoist is seen at the top, left-hand side of the image) as well as access to all fabrication tools (welding, toch, drill press, metals storage as well as a tire machine were all positioned to the left side of the shop’s main 24-foot-wide entrance. A floor drain runs the length of the shop in the center of the floor. Other shop features include a storage bins (top, center of the image) as well as lubrication center is located at the end of the shop (out of the image on the top right-hand side).
The Klemps’ original shop office was located underneath a storage loft located on the north side of the shop wall. The double doors were added to provide access to the new office. The existing countertop and cabinets were kept in place for manuals and parts catalogs as well as to hold small parts. This area certainly is useful to hold service and owner’s manuals, parts catalogs, repair guides, and small parts.
The Klemps built their new kitchen around an island salvaged from a house.
The island acts as a table for meals. A fully equipped kitchen surrounds that island. The meeting room is in the foreground. Access to the bedroom (storage), locker room, and bathroom is to the left of the island.
Bob Klemp prefers having his desk in the same open space that houses their office’s meeting area and kitchen. Making this space-saving move also “keeps me in touch with what is going on in the rest of the office as well as in the shop (located behind him) and the farmyard,” Bob explains. (The farmyard is visible through the window to his right.)
A well-designed addition creates the office they always needed.