Local handyman raising the roof

Handyman contestant on popular television show says he's having a blast

Mark Falvai of Qualicum Beach is keeping quiet on who won Canada’s Handyman Challenge.

Mark Falvai of Qualicum Beach is keeping quiet on who won Canada’s Handyman Challenge.

He has had to shingle the roof of a dog house, build something creative out of scraps of lumber and discarded furniture among other challenges, but so far so good for Qualicum Beach graphic and furniture designer Mark Falvai.

The 38-year-old, who grew up in these parts, is one of 12 competitors remaining on Canada’s Handyman Challenge.

The finalist on the national TV reality show, currently airing on HGTV said it would be great if he was chosen as the fan favorite. You can vote for Falvai as your favorite handyman on the show’s website.

Currently Kyle Chura of Surrey is in front.

Falvai and his family have been watching each episode with friends who gather around their TV each week. He said it has been hard keeping tight lipped about what the end result is.

Because it is reality TV, the competitors have to keep who the eventual winner is top secret until all the episodes have been aired. Filming for the show happened in the summer and since July, Falvai has had to make sure he doesn’t slip up and accidentally reveal too much.

“Oh my god …everyone tries to trick me all day long … it’s non-stop. It’s is fun and I am getting good at deflecting and seeing a set-up coming.  There is not much you can say because you don’t want to give anything away,” he confessed.

He admitted It is kind of weird watching himself on TV.

“You think oh god … why did they use that? You are filmed morning to night and you have no idea what they will put in and you are always your own worst critic. The hardest part is being embarrassed if something goes wrong with your work.”

Falvai has no formal training in any trade, but has tackled all of his renovations himself and has helped many friends with their projects over the years. It was a friend who suggested he try out for the show.

His wife Joanne Simister said a friend e-mailed them when they heard about the competition because they immediately thought of Falvai.

“We didn’t have HGTV so we looked it up online and went from there,” said Simister.

Falvai was invited to the Vancouver episode on the basis of his first project, a chair he made out of plywood.

The construction of that chair was a hit and he was selected as one of the four western Canada finalists.

Tough as nails contractor Mike Holmes is one of the judges Falvai had to impress.

Falvai admitted it was unnerving at times having Holmes ask him all kinds of questions about the projects he was working on.

He also said it was a lot of fun and he had a good time hanging out with the other contestants during the two weeks they taped the show.

He said he missed his kids while he was away. At the time his twin girls Rocca and Carro, were only five months old. The two boys, Mercer, three, and Bridge, seven are his biggest fans and get very excited when they see their father on TV.

The show airs Tuesdays at 7 and 10 p.m. and this week is the episode in which the finalists are cut down to six. The final show airs Feb. 21.

To vote for Falvai, go to www.hgtv.ca/canadashandymanchallenge.