KALISPELL, Mont. -

Warm weather means new business for construction companies, and in the Flathead it's more than just a seasonal improvement.

We double checked construction loan numbers from one local bank. There were 30 loans by this time last year, compared to 36 this year -- an almost 20-percent increase.

Bob Nystuen is the president of Glacier Bank in downtown Kalispell. Springtime means he's busy.

"All of a sudden at the month of May, the floodgates have opened, and we're getting a lot more requests coming in to build houses," said Nystuen.  

Nystuen has been busy lending construction loans, either for personal homes or commercial buildings.

"The economy this year, compared to last year -- there is a stronger sense of confidence, so we're starting to see people saying 'I need to get out and upgrade my house,'" said Nystuen.  

And he's not kidding. At Ron Terry Construction, they are just trying to not drown in all the new projects they have happening.

"About as busy as I've seen it. We've had people calling daily, one or two new people calling in almost every day looking for homes," said Merna Terry, Vice President of Ron Terry Construction.

They are booked until the middle of summer with construction projects. They had to hire new people just to keep up with the workload.

"A lot of customers coming to us saying they've looked at what's available out there and they can't find anything that meets their needs, that doesn't need a lot of work, that they can afford, so they're having new homes built," said Terry.

It's a trend across the board. Experts say with fewer foreclosures in the market, there is a renewed sense of confidence, making people more willing to invest this year, which keeps Nystuen busy with loans.