PG&E Gas Line Issues

The gas line install was incredibly expensive – in excess of $30K. Given that menlo park is not going to allow gas in new construction – except for a stove – you may want to consider foregoing a gas hookup completely. For us, the planning and construction of the new line was extremely disruptive, expensive, time consuming and caused serious stress.

Design was more than $10K. This for a single page plan that showed the trench from the main to our new gas meter. This process took 1-2 months.

The gas line trench and install in the street took more than a month and for at least that long there were metal plates over the trench which were messy and disruptive.

Once we had the design we were ready to start. But it was months before we actually broke ground.

PG&E Gas shutoff before demo

PGE has caused major delays in our project. Some could have been much worse. If you are doing new construction in menlo park you or your contractor should be aware of these issues.

For starters, there was a 4 month lead time for the gas disconnect. The demolition could not proceed until we had the shutoff from PGE. Fortunately I had warning about this so had started the ball rolling early, but we were still behind schedule because of waiting for PGE to disconnect the gas.

Review of Benitez Concrete for our new foundation

Benitez Concrete

*** Highly Recommended ***

Our project was a new construction 2600 sf home with a 260 sf detached garage in Menlo Park. We needed a perimeter foundation with no basement for the house and a slab for the garage.

I found Paul Benitez’s company online and asked for a bid. He provided an thorough and detailed estimate that was quite competitive in price. We ended up accepting his bid and started the foundation in 9/2018.

Benitez construction built us a high quality foundation on budget and on time. Benitez’s work and craftsmanship were expert with great attention to detail. We had one minor hitch due to a mistake by the architect and Benitez handled the change quickly and fairly.

Overall, I would give Benitez concrete the highest rating and recommendation.

We hope to employ Benitez Concrete for future work on our driveway.

Isomorphic React Platform choices

Finding and utilizing a technology stack for react isomorphic/universal projects has been a difficult process. I have spent a lot of time investigating the many boilerplate projects on github. These mostly non-opinionated projects receive a flurry of interest for a period of time then activity seems to wane. Clearly the idea is that the User will maintain and enhance the stack, but this can become a time consuming issue.

For my latest project that began in the spring of 2016 I utilized the CrocoDillon universal react redux boilerplate. I selected it because it was current, utilized react/redux/react-router and was easy to understand. It had a simple solution to preloading data: utilizing the react-router onEnter functionality. Unfortunately I don’t see further updates or activity on the project at this point. Such appears to be the world of github boilerplate/framework projects, things may look exciting initially and then interest is lost or perhaps the author becomes too busy.

On the other hand there are more extensive frameworks that receive continuous activity. After almost a year of working with a “boilerplate” I am ready to migrate to a more opinionated framework as I don’t wish to be the sole maintainer of the technology stack, although I still like to pick my poison. At this point I have found two react isomorphic/universal frameworks that are clearly supported and continually updated.

Redfin’s react-server which is the server behind some portions of the Redfin real estate site. A real estate website is a perfect example of the need for an isomorphic/universal approach as thousands of cities/neighborhoods/markets need to be indexed to appear on google. react-server not a boilerplate but instead a complete framework that is heavily supported and well documented. Yet core support is lacking: The listen directive has precious little documentation yet is a fundamental component. Nonetheless, the github react-server project has enormous activity and support through many authors. A drawback is that it utilizes Yahoo routr and it’s RootContainer/RootElement approach is certainly different and poorly documented.

The github author Nikolay who appears to be out of Moscow, Russia has a different approach. This is the author of webpack-isomorphic-tools which is used in many react-isomorphic projects. That project has been improved with universal-webpack that is employed along with react-isomorphic-render as framework components that are used together as with this sample project. Investigating the activity of the project shows it is well maintained and actively supported by the author. Documentation is extensive as is github activity. Certainly a smaller framework then Redfin’s react-server, it offers a “settings” approach with it’s integrated server, a packaged approach to redux action creators and reducers and other “integrated” features. One important feature is the Page preloading that will load data before the page is rendered – a prime requirement.

So which to use? Both are actively supported and employ the latest development features. If your goal is a solid framework foundation backed by a large company then Redfin’s react-server is the easy choice. If you like react-router and a more standard approach to react/redux then universal webpack and react isomorphic render might be choices worth considering. At any rate I will be posting an update with more insight as I port the Databreeze project to one of these platforms.





Databreeze source code public

The Databreeze source code is now public:


This is the source code behind

Databreeze requires the Databreeze API Server to operate.

Databreeze is a GitHub Open Source web application designed using ReactJS. Databreeze requires minimal configuration and coding to allow navigation, searching, listing, viewing and editing of database information. The application utilizes React, React-Router, Redux, ES6, ES7 and NPM modules including ESLint, Babel and Webpack. Databreeze is configured to work with a Databreeze API server accessing MongoDB.