LA CROSSE, Wis. -- There's another sign the economic turn around may be gaining strength.

The government said building permits for new homes increased by more than 5 percent last month nationwide.

That's why home builders are hopeful this spring construction season will be the best it has been in years.

Optimistic builders from around the area are gathering this weekend at the La Crosse Center for the "Home and Builder's Show".

Executive Director of A Home of Your Own, Kirt Anderson, said he's already seen evidence of more people looking to build.

"We're pretty optimistic about the approaching construction season. I think we really found the bottom in 2008 and you can tell when you attend a home show just by the traffic and the folks coming out that there is renewed enthusiasm," he said.

During the slump, builders have been forced to adapt their business plans in recent years.

Instead of working mostly on new homes, many have expanded their remodeling operations.

The president of Jon Olson Construction, Jon Olson, said that's because people were looking for ways to spend less money.

"Our main business was new homes a few years ago but now our main business is remodeling becaue there haven't been as many new homes being constructed these days," he said.

The show lasts all weekend long at the La Crosse Center.

The entrance fee is $5 for adults. Children under the age of 12 get in free.