Qualicum Beach handyman wins national competition

Mark Falvai was chosen as HGTV's Canada Handyman Challenge winner back in July - and now the secret is out.

Mark Falvai of Qualicum Beach is Canada's top handyman after winning an HGTV challenge show.

Mark Falvai of Qualicum Beach is Canada's top handyman after winning an HGTV challenge show.

Qualicum Beach graphic and furniture designer Mark Falvai no longer has to keep it a secret.  He was crowned the winner in Canada’s Handyman Challenge back in July but the final show wasn’t aired until Feb. 21.   The 38 year old local jack of all trades had to keep who the eventual winner was top secret until all the episodes on the HGTV reality show were aired.

The final challenge for the remaining four contestants was to build a deck and Falvai knew he had to go the extra mile and he did.  Falvai chose to build a round deck, even though he knew it would be a huge challenge.

“I have never made a round deck before.  I didn’t know if it would work…but I had a back up plan to my back up plan.  It took a lot of planning but once I got started I said yah…I can do this,” he explained during an interview the morning after the finale was aired.

He said the four finalists weren’t presented with their last challenge until the night before so it didn’t leave much time for planning.

“It was about 11 p.m. and they said ok, this is what your are doing tomorrow and see you in the morning.  It was stressful.  I stayed up until 3:30 a.m.  I didn’t get a ton of sleep.”

Tough as nails contractor Mike Holmes who is on the very popular HGTV shows Holmes On Homes and Holmes was one of the three judges Falvai had to impress.

Each team got a construction crew to assist them in the final project and Falvai agreed his crew was was experienced but construction of the deck had to be lead by him.

“Mike Holmes’ son was on my team but he wasn’t about to give me anything.  He was a great worker and we had fun.  I was in my glory once we started,” he said.

During the episode the hosts expressed concern that Falvai might not finish his ambitious plan, but Falvai said he wasn’t worried or stressed out.

Read the entire story in our Friday print edition.