By Tom Midlane @GoldenLatrine
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / Director: Russell Nickerson
Producer: Tom Midlane, Nick Johnson, Tom Collins
Editor: Kyle Waters
Despite wife Jill’s dreams of a swimming pool in the garden, Tyler Kirkham, 32, couldn’t be swayed from his vision based on The Elder Scrolls series of fantasy games.
He now plans to take his high-cost customisation even further, using a new release in the series as his inspiration.
Alongside suits of armour and an alchemy lab full of medieval potions, the space features a $15,000 bathroom with its own waterfall and ivy-covered rock-face.
Incredibly the basement features a secret door, activated by pulling one of the books on the bookcase.
The main room has a rack of swords, where wannabe swashbucklers can hone their skills on a practice dummy.
Other items in Tyler’s installation include everything from a medieval helmet worth $100 to a $20,000 home cinema for playing the games on a large screen.
He also fitted a $250 Italian crossbow, $8,000-worth of stone and masonry and stained flooring costing $3,000.
The 1,500-square -foot man cave mirrors the game's Old World setting, with distressed stone walls designed to look like they've borne the brunt of a dragon attack.
The role-playing games, which have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, take place in a giant open world fantasy land called Tamriel.
The setting is similar to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth for Lord of The Rings or George R. R. Martin's Westeros for the Game of Thrones series.
Comic book artist Tyler decided to embark on the ambitious renovation after falling in love with the franchise.
"It felt amazing to turn our dream vision of what we wanted the space to be into a reality," said Tyler, from Kaysville, Utah.
"I wanted to do something fun with the basement and I love the fantasy world of these games.
"When you're in there it just has a very unique feel, it's completely different from the rest of the house."
And while not all spouses would be ecstatic at the prospect of a video game-themed basement, Tyler's wife Jill, 32, a real estate agent was onboard from the start - and even helped with the design.
She said: "With all the money we've put into finishing the basement, maybe we could have divvied it up and put in a pool in the backyard.
"But I never wish we had a plain or 'regular' basement - who wouldn't want one like this, it's amazing."
The basement has been a huge hit with Tyler's friends and neighbours too.
"Pretty much everyone's reaction has been the same, whether they know what the game is or not - wide eyes, mouth open, with a shocked look on their faces," he said.
"They always ask: 'How did you guys think of this?'"
One of the basement's biggest admirers is Tyler's brother, Tristan. The pair love to play the game together with friends.
Tristan said: "I think Tyler did a great job, he's always had a knack for interior design.
"When Tyler first told me about the basement, I was very excited, because we both love the game and I knew he'd do a great job of it.
"When I entered the basement for the first time I was completely floored."
However, not everyone was immediately sold on the project, including Tyler's father Richard, a contractor who helped him with the work on the basement.
Tyler said: "I think he thought it was a bit weird at first, but he quickly came around and now he can't wait to show it to people when we have friends over."
He began construction on the family space and theatre in February 2012 and uses screenshots from the games to ensure maximum accuracy.
Financial constraints meant that Tyler had to wait until the summer of 2014 to add the bathroom.
The basement features a wealth of other nerdy details from the game, including coin purses sourced from Italy and homemade scrolls customised to look ancient and tattered.
There is even an alcove for Tyler's one-year-old boy - who he plans to introduce to the Elder Scrolls series once he is old enough to play.
And Tyler has plans to expand his creation further. He’s considering a wine cellar or children's play area inspired by the latest instalment in the series, the multiplayer online game Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to playing Elder Scrolls Online on my XBox and PS4 - the idea of playing with friends against people who might be a state away, or even a continent away, is amazing to me.
"I might be fighting a guy who is in Europe, or who is in China, or we could be teaming up to fight orcs or goblins or trolls."
And while he loves spending time in the world of Tamriel - the world the game is set in - Tyler says he is not sure how well he would cope in a real-life version.
He added: "I would hope to be a powerful mage because magic is the only chance I would have for survival!"
‘Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and Mac.'